Boston has always been known as a strong city. A lot of our strength comes from our older residents, who represent a broad diversity of cultures and backgrounds, and who helped to make our city what it is today. That’s why we recently changed the name of the Elderly Commission to the Age Strong Commission. It better reflects the work we do, and the strong Bostonians we serve. We also launched the city’s first-ever Age Strong public awareness campaign.
The start of kindergarten marks the beginning of a child’s educational future and here in Boston we believe nothing should hinder a child’s path to success. That’s why, in 2016, and in collaboration with Boston Public Schools, we launched Boston Saves as a three-year pilot program. Our goal was to build strong career pathways by helping families of BPS kindergarteners save money for their children’s college or career training. Throughout those three years, our efforts worked. We provided children’s savings accounts to 1,600 students from eleven BPS schools for a total of $80,000.
Yellow buses, backpacks and excited kids are here: it’s back to school season. We’re lucky to live in Boston, a city with some of the smartest people in the world. I have a message for all our students heading into school this fall: nobody’s education is more important than yours, because nobody has the potential to change the world like you do. I’m proud of how hard you work and how brave you are in the face of all your different challenges. I know that this school year will be full of new opportunities, and new ways to learn and grow.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said that the city has hired a law firm to review how the Zoning Board of Appeals conducts business after a city employee pleaded guilty to accepting bribes to influence the ZBA. On August 30, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced that John M. Lynch, 66, a former Assistant Director of Real Estate at theEconomic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC), a division of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), pled guilty to accepting $50,000 in bribes from a Boston real estate developer. Lynch was supposed to use his official influence to secure a ZBA vote that favored the real estate developer on his federal tax return. The real estate development project was not in Jamaica Plain. Sullivan & Worcester LLP, a law firm outside of Boston, will conduct the review of the ZBA, starting with the rules and regulations in place that dictate how the board conducts business on behalf of residents, and those with matters before the board.
Last month, we welcomed the Boston Police Academy's newest recruits. These men and women had spent the last six months learning to serve and protect the people of Boston with the highest standards of excellence and professionalism. As each recruit crossed the stage, they stopped to shake hands with me and Commissioner Gross. It was a powerful experience meeting each and every new member of our city’s police department, which is the oldest — and the best — in the nation. Among these recruits are veterans, former teachers, and youth sports coaches.