Op-Ed: Moving forward

By Mayor Martin Walsh

There’s no way around it: this has been a divisive national election. For many months, we have been following the presidential race, and in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, that race was finally decided.

As many of you know, I supported Secretary Clinton. Waking up on Wednesday wasn’t the first time I had been on the losing side of an election. Anyone who’s been an active campaigner knows the feeling: you put your heart and soul into a campaign. Losing always hurts.

A lot of our residents in Boston are wondering what the results of this election means for them. Whichever candidate you supported, uncertainty exists. Many are wondering where we go from here. I hope President-elect Trump takes seriously his pledge to move away from division, and towards unity. But as mayor of Boston, I have a message for our residents: we will not compromise our values as a city. That’s our sacred duty.

We are a city of smart, tough people. The road ahead may seem uncertain. But our values are unwavering, and our work is before us. Get involved in an organization you care about. Reach out to elected officials to see what you can accomplish. Now is the time for positive change.

Now is also the time for Boston to lead.

We will not stop being a city that values and respects immigrants, both documented and undocumented. Our Office for Immigrant Advancement will continue to nurture and support the foreign-born in Boston, with everything from citizenship classes to cultural celebrations to free legal advice. Boston was here for my parents when they came here. We will always be a city that welcomes newcomers.

We will double-down on our belief in gender equality, and we will not let up in the fight for pay equity led by our Office of Women’s Advancement. We’ll continue to lead the global fight against human trafficking and create safe spaces for victimized women to recover.

We’ll continue to embrace our LGBTQ neighbors. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, and City Hall will never turn away any couple based on gender identity. We’ll continue to listen to trans people and protect their rights, from health coverage to public facilities.

We’ll stay on our path to ending chronic homelessness in our city, and we’ll keep leading the fight against substance disorders and addiction with smarts and compassion.

We’ll keep showing how even a high-cost city can set records for creating affordable housing. Bostonians just adopted the Community Preservation Act by a large majority, giving us new resources to invest in our collective wellbeing.

We won’t stop demonstrating how a big-city police department can forge close bonds with the neighborhoods it serves, and cut crime, even while it reduces arrests. We’ll continue inviting people of all faiths to make their voices heard on our clergy and community task forces.

Finally, we’ll forge a deeper understanding of how racial disparities impact life and increase inequality in America. We held our first town hall meeting on race and equity in Boston on Nov. 19. That is going to be followed by group dialogues, action plans and public-private partnerships to expand opportunity for all. We’ll show how to confront the injustices of history head-on and end the cycles of division and resentment that color too much of our politics in America.

In other words, we’ll do the work that our history, our faith, and our conscience ask of us—and we’ll work even harder than before. Together, we’ll show a way forward for the rest of the country, just as Boston always has done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.