Earlier last month, a fifth grader from Dorchester named Fatoumata visited my office. She told me about her favorite types of ice cream, her favorite subjects in school, and her plans to go to college, become a human rights lawyer, and eventually run for U.S. Senate. She’s got big goals for her future, and I have every confidence that she will achieve her dreams. Fatoumata also told me about her support system. Her family loves her, she’s got great teachers at the Dever Elementary School, and she also has a mentor named Claire, a Boston College student who meets with Fatoumata every week. Mentorship can be an incredible resource for kids like Fatoumata.
February is Black History Month and, in Boston, we have a full series of events planned to celebrate the achievements of Black Bostonians -- the women and men, seniors and students, veterans and clergy, business owners and activists who have been at the heart of our city’s progress and success since the beginning. Honoring this history and progress is something we must do every day, all year round. That’s why Boston is helping to lead a national movement to recognize that Black history is #MoreThanAMonth. This year, Black History Month kicks off a year-round celebration, in partnership with Boston’s Black community, that we are calling a Year of Black Excellence. Black Excellence events will reach all ages and offer a range of activities including arts, sports, history, culture, job resources, and community programming.
Boston's Human Rights Commission had been inactive since 1996, but seeing the challenging times we live in, Mayor Marty Walsh decided to reactivate it. "As attacks on human rights continue from the highest levels of our country, here in Boston, we're committed to preserving and advancing human rights, including in our immigrant communities," said Mayor Marty Walsh via press release. "I'm proud to appoint these seven members to the Human Rights Commission. Their backgrounds and experiences make them uniquely qualified to serve in these roles, and they will make a real difference in the lives of our residents." Walsh specifically asked the commission, which was established by a city ordinance in 1984, to pay special attention to Boston's immigrant communities.
Mayor Marty Walsh and the Boston City Council were sworn into office on Monday, and nothing was more moving than At-Large City Councilor Julia Mejia adding to her American Dream. We'll just let Mejia tell it. And to think that Mejia was almost not elected, as she won a recount by one vote against Alexandra St. Guillen. Not only did Mejia make history, but this current Boston City Council also changed Boston history, which was pointed out by many people, including District 4 City Councilor Andrea Campbell.
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.