The HEART Agenda

 I’m proud of the work we have done in the five months I’ve been Mayor. Crime is down, children are heading safely back to school, we’re keeping people in their homes and over 70% of Boston residents are vaccinated.  

But we are just getting started. Today, I am announcing my HEART Agenda: five tenets that have guided my time in City Hall and the policies that I plan to implement over the next four years. The HEART Agenda – Housing, Education, Accountability, Recovery/Resiliency, and Transportation – will deliver a more equitable and prosperous Boston for every resident.

This vision is driven by my deep love for my city and my focus on the people of Boston. As a daughter of Roxbury and the South End, I understand the challenges so many of our residents are facing – from structural racism, food, and housing insecurity, failing schools, and faltering public transportation, hurdles to homeownership, and fear for our family’s and neighbor’s safety – because I have lived them. And as a mother, grandmother, and longtime advocate for children, I know what it takes to make a better Boston for the generations to come. 

Those experiences inform how I govern, and how I lead our City, through a lens of equity, justice, and love for every resident of Boston. I’m looking forward to continuing this work, in partnership with you, during a full term.

Thank you, 

Mayor Kim Janey 

Housing is a top priority for Mayor Janey because she has experienced housing insecurity first-hand. Growing up, she spent time in a shelter and lived in Section 8 housing. Her great-grandparents were also forced to sell their home as the South End gentrified, robbing them of the ability to create generational wealth. As Mayor, Janey put in place a ban on evictions in Boston after the federal moratorium was overturned by conservatives on the Supreme Court and announced a Foreclosure Prevention Fund of $5 million. She launched the Boston Rental Relief Fund, a $50 million fund to prevent displacement of Boston residents impacted by the pandemic, earmarked $30 million to support the creation of housing for families, seniors and currently homeless residents and invested $2.4 million into the Boston Home Center’s First-Time Homebuyer Program. This commitment quadrupled the average amount of assistance previously offered by the City to income-eligible, first-time homebuyers – raising it from $10,000 to $40,000. Her 10-year “Housing Equity for All” plan will double the rate of affordable housing creation to meet the growing demand and address the racial wealth gap by increasing opportunities for homeownership.

Education has always been a core part of Mayor Janey’s life. She was born into a family of educators and knows first-hand the importance of quality education in lifting children out of poverty and preparing them to achieve all they can in life. As a single mom, Mayor Janey fought to ensure her daughter had access to quality education, then used those skills to help other parents do the same over three decades as an educational advocate and City Councilor. As Mayor, Kim designed a first-of-its-kind Boston Children’s and Youth Cabinet to serve all youth in the city aged 0-24. She allocated $4 million in her budget for 5,000 youth summer jobs, 1,000 school year jobs and $16.9 million to provide a social worker and family liaison in every school.  During the pandemic in the Spring, Mayor Janey safely got all students wanting and able to return back to in-person learning and was one of the first big-city Mayors to implement a mask mandate to protect students and teachers returning this fall. She also supported changes to the entrance requirements for Boston exam schools to make them more equitable and appointed two highly qualified Latina leaders to the Boston School Committee – including the first Spanish-only speaking member.

Accountability has been an important part of Kim Janey’s time in the mayor’s office.  She moved quickly to fire the police commissioner after an independent investigation of allegations of domestic violence arose, funded and launched the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency, and increased the cadet class to diversify the police force. Unlike previous administrations, Janey released internal affairs documents in the Patrick Rose case and provided additional resources to make City Hall more responsive to public records requests. Janey has also taken steps to address the city’s abysmal record of contracting with minority and women-owned firms. She’s moved aggressively to address the longstanding substance abuse and homelessness issues in the areas around Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, and in just one week, her team helped 55 people get shelter and other services, while making 34 drug-related arrests in the area.

Recovery/Resiliency has been a central focus of Mayor Janey’s work. She took over during a global pandemic and has worked with the city’s renowned healthcare leaders to ensure the health and safety of all Boston residents. Thanks to her leadership, Boston is one of the most vaccinated big cities in America with over 70% of residents having at least one shot. That did not happen by accident. It happened because she invested $3 million in a Vaccine Equity Grant initiative, launched the multi-lingual Hope Campaign encouraging residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and implemented priority and mobile vaccination clinics. She worked with employee unions and workers to implement a vaccine mandate for all City of Boston employees and worked with businesses to implement an indoor mask mandate. And she invested millions of dollars to support our small businesses and help them reopen and recover from the impacts of the pandemic. That includes recently announcing $10 million in new funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and the Small Business Relief Fund 2.0.

Boston is a coastal city, and we have an obligation to meet this moment and respond with urgency to the threat of climate change, as underscored by the IPCC report. With federal resources, we have an opportunity to act swiftly to protect our waterfront, map heat islands, increase tree canopies and reduce the use of fossil fuels. We must lead on climate resiliency and environmental justice. This is why Mayor Janey withdrew the Harbor Plan, and it is why she is also looking at action in other neighborhoods. She knows that we must embed climate resilience, equity and environmental justice into the City’s development process. We must increase waterfront resiliency in the face of more rapid sea-level rise and increase in storm threats, expand access to the waterfront for all residents, put forth zero-emissions requirements for any new development, maintain economic vitality during and after the proposed redevelopment and increase green space. We also know that buildings and cars are our biggest drivers of carbon emissions. We need to address this through emissions requirements, the inclusion of multi-modal transit and electric vehicle infrastructure. This planning is key to leading on environmental action and represents a turning point in the way Boston responds to the threats of climate change.

Transportation is an issue near and dear to Kim Janey’s heart. Mayor Janey doesn’t own a car, and has relied on buses – 14, 19, 23 and 28 – after the Orange Line was stolen from her community in the 1980s. As a single mother, she took those buses every day, struggling to get her stroller up and down the stairs. Mayor Janey believes transportation is an economic opportunity issue, a climate issue, and a racial justice issue. As Mayor, she announced a pilot program to support employees of five Main Street Districts by offering nearly 1,000 free Charlie Cards, and two free months of Blue Bikes passes. She has called on the MBTA to restore service to pre-pandemic levels, and to set a transparent schedule. Mayor Janey also dedicated more than $1 billion to improving streets and sidewalks all across the city. And as Mayor, Kim Janey has put her long record of standing up for transit equity into action by implementing a fare-free 28 bus that connects the important economic corridor of Mattapan Square, Grove Hall and Nubian Square. 

Kim Janey’s HEART Agenda for Boston

Housing

Mayor Janey’s 10-year Housing Equity for All plan will help build a Boston that is more affordable, equitable and increases opportunities for homeownership.

  1. Requiring new housing to be racially equitable and transit-accessible
  2. Re-envisioning and expanding public housing 
  3. Expanding funding for affordable housing
  4. Providing fair housing, tenant protections and landlord supports
  5. Reimagining the BPDA as an agency that puts affordability first

Education

Mayor Janey’s Educational Excellence plan will ensure that every child, regardless of neighborhood, has access to a high-quality public education.

  1. Supporting universal early education and affordable childcare
  2. Bringing our school facilities into the 21st Century
  3. Ensuring all students have access to mental and behavioral health services
  4. Supporting our teachers, including safely getting back into the classroom
  5. Closing the digital divide and opportunity gap

Accountability

Mayor Janey is committed to bringing accountability and access to City government by reimagining policing, ensuring equity in contracting, and increasing citizen engagement.

  1. Reimagining policing
  2. Increasing access to city contracts
  3. Ensuring citizen engagement is at the front of every City Hall action
  4. Delivering vital services to address the opioid crisis
  5. Making city government more transparent and accountable

Recovery/Resiliency

Mayor Janey’s five-point Covid Recovery plan has enabled Boston to be one of the most vaccinated big cities in the country, kept us safe, allowed our children and teachers to get back to school, and prepared Boston for an equitable economic resurgence.

  1. Getting vaccines to every neighborhood in Boston
  2. Ensuring our children and teachers can safely return to the classroom
  3. Helping businesses grow during the pandemic
  4. Working with our local hospitals and health experts to keep Boston safe
  5. Making the investments needed to fuel Boston’s economic resurgence

Mayor Janey’s Climate Resiliency plan will prepare Boston for a sustainable future and allow us to lead on environmental justice.

  1. Increase waterfront resiliency
  2. Put forth zero-emissions requirements for any new development
  3. Increase electric vehicle infrastructure
  4. Increase and protect green space
  5. Bolster multi-modal transit

Transportation

Mayor Janey’s Transportation Equity plan will transform Boston into a more accessible, affordable and climate-friendly City.

  1. Investing in fare-free transit service
  2. Working with our state partners to improve public transit
  3. Putting justice and climate concerns front and center
  4. Building safe and accessible streets and sidewalks
  5. Encouraging transit-oriented development
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