With English High School students gathered in a packed gym, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law that boosts investment in public schools by $1.5 billion annually over the next seven years. Baker was joined by numerous elected officials and business leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Boston School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto, State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, City Councilors Matt O'Malley and Annissa Essaibi-George, and more on Nov. 26. The Student Opportunity Act will particularly provide new funding to school districts with high percentages of low-income students and English Language learners who often live in some of the highest-need communities. “This is a monumental moment for the future of our Commonwealth.
Three incumbents coasted to victory in the at-large Boston City Council race, with one newcomer, Julia Mejia, earning a victory. And for the first time ever, the Boston City Council will be majority female. The at-large council race featured eight candidates vying for four spots. Incumbent Althea Garrison, who became a city councilor after Ayanna Pressley was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, came in seventh. Just as she did in September's preliminary election, Michelle Wu topped the at-large city council race.
Tuesday's At-Large Boston City Council election is the hot contest, but there is also a very interesting citywide non-binding question. Before we get into the at-large race, let's talk about that non-binding question:
Do you support renaming/changing of the name of Dudley Square to Nubian Square? The Nubian Square Coalition is leading the effort to rename the square, which is named after Thomas Dudley, a former Massachusetts governor who supported legislation promoting slavery and the slave trade. Nubian Square would be named after the Nubian Empire, which was an ancient empire that ranged from the Upper Nile to the Red Sea, according to National Geographic. The proposed renaming is supported by many organizations, individuals, present and past politicians, including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, District 7 City Councilor Kim Janey, NAACP Boston, and more.
Got any needles hanging around that you need to get rid of? How about any prescription drugs? This week you can drop off both of those items at different sites around the city, and in Jamaica Plain. Thursday will be Boston's first-ever needle take back day, which was organized by At-Large City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, chair of the Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health, and Recovery and the Committee on Education. Numerous organizations have teamed up to initiate the day, including the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Boston University School of Public Health Activist Lab, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services, the Boston Public Health Commission, and the Grayken Center for Addiction at the Boston Medical Center.
The Boston School Committee is appointed by the mayor, but it wasn't always that way. Some people like that the seven-member committee is appointed and others would prefer to go back to an elected committee. There's also the option of a hybrid governance of elected and appointed. The school committee used to be a 13-member elected committee until a public vote in 1991 changed the governance to its current form. Back then there were lots of issues with having an elected committee, including not all neighborhoods being represented fairly.