Acting Mayor Kim Janey named two new Boston School Committee members, including Jamaica Plain resident Lorena Lopera. Along with Lopera, Polanco Garcia of South Boston was also named to the School Committee. Lopera is a Boston Public Schools parent and Executive Director of Latinos for Education, New England, which is a national organization dedicated to creating leadership pathways for Latinos in education. She is currently co-chair of the Hurley K-8 School Site Council. She has been very involved with organizations focused on expanding educational access for Latinx youth and students of color, including Roxbury-based Sociedad Latina, La Vida, Inc., and Building Excellent Schools, plus national organizations such as City Year and the Posse Foundation, according to a press release.
Alexandra Oliver-Dávila was elected chairperson of the Boston School Committee. A position she was quickly elected to in November of the former chair resigned. “Growing up as a Latina learning English in Boston, I am intimately familiar with the hurt and pain caused by racist practices and ideologies, and I have experienced the barriers to opportunity that our young people encounter every day,” said Oliver-Dávila. “There is much challenging work ahead to develop our competencies and closely examine our policies to improve outcomes for our students. I thank my fellow members for their support and their unwavering commitment to our students and families.”
Oliver-Dávila is a Roslindale resident and a Boston Public School parent.
Former Boston School Committee member and past president of Boston's League of Women Voters Mary Tamer has thrown her hat into the ring for the District 6 Boston City Council seat. Tamer is a West Roxbury resident, and announced her candidacy on Facebook. "I am running for City Council because residents of Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Roslindale, and Mission Hill deserve strong leadership as we face a second COVID-19 spike and then proactively plan for an equitable recovery. Bostonians have been so vigilant throughout, but it is critical that our elected leaders are giving our neighbors the support that they deserve," wrote Tamer. Tamer was on the Boston School Committee from January 2010 through December 2013.
Boston School Committee Chair Michael Loconto resigned Thursday morning after an unmuted mic caught him mocking ethnic names during a virtual public committee meeting. Late Wednesday night after more than six hours into a school committee hearing, Loconto was overheard making fun of Asian people's names who had signed up to testify at the hearing. The hearing was about delaying exam school admissions tests for a year due to COVID-19, which the committee would vote unanimously in favor of. Loconto quickly apologized for what he said, and would apologize again on Thursday morning, as well as submit his resignation to Mayor Marty Walsh. The mayor said Loconto's comments were "hurtful and wrong," while accepting his resignation.
The last time I visited a Congressional office, I sat at the knee of the Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill. He gave me a Celtics pennant, which (rumor had it) was given to him by Red Auerbach following the Celtics championship run earlier that year. It was 1986, and I was eight years old. This past March, I returned to Capitol Hill with my Boston School Committee colleague, Jamaica Plain native Michael O’Neill, and representatives from the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and the city of Boston to ask our representatives and senators to preserve federal funding for our schools. Boston, like many other large urban districts around the country, has faced declining federal revenue streams during the last several years.