Montez Haywood Visits CAMH Meeting

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

During its meeting in September, the Community Alliance of Mission Hill (CAMH) hosted Montez Haywood, a candidate running for District 8 City Councilor.

Haywood, who fell short of current District 8 City Councilor Sharon Durkan in July’s special election, is still fighting for the position, which will be decided during the City’s Municipal Election on November 7.

During his time at the meeting, Haywood took the opportunity to speak to residents about his background and the platforms he is running on.

Haywood was born in Flint, Michigan, and moved to Tennessee before finding his way to New England when he attended Law School at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

He explained to residents how he had initially worked for a private firm after law school before being hired to be a prosecutor in the City of Boston, a position he has held for 17 and a half years.

After providing residents with a brief background, Haywood spoke about why he is running and also described his position on a plethora of issues.

In terms of why he is running, he told those in attendance, “I truly believe that we have some real needs in our neighborhood.”

One of the first topics Haywood discussed was getting help to those who are unhoused or facing substance use or mental health issues. “We should be offering more to them than merely a blanket and a pillow,” he said.

He also talked about needing to do something for these folks instead of waiting for things like the reopening of the Long Island Shelter and is pushing the idea of a floating hospital model where people can get needed services on a ship instead of being left on the streets.

“What we’re doing is, we’re identifying someone in need of services, and we’re placing them on the floating hospital ship,” said Haywood.

“We need to have a real conversation about how we address these individuals,” he later added.

Another priority Haywood touched on was education and discussed ways the city could support its students. Specifically, Haywood’s website identifies that he would like to transition to a fully elected school board.

“We are in one of the greatest cities in the world, with some of the greatest educational places in the world. Our public school system should be the diamond and should reflect the diamond that our city is,” said Haywood.

Additionally, Haywood discussed road and sidewalk maintenance. He spoke specifically about needing to keep in mind those who are in wheelchairs when repairing things like sidewalks.

“Instead of continuing to badly patch these things, the answer is coming through these areas and tearing them out and fixing them right. We have the resources to do it,” said Haywood.

He also spoke about how when driving, residents should not be driving over several potholes and that there should be a plan people can follow to see when certain roads will be fixed and more.

Rent control was another big topic that Haywood touched on, but he was of the opinion that it would not work. “We’ve had this experiment before in our city, and it failed,” he said.

He also made the point that with potential rent control looming, it has just caused landlords in the city to raise rates in anticipation. Haywood even mentioned first-hand experience with this as he is facing a 17% rent increase.

“This is a real issue that affects me, and I will sit back, and I will say to you we need to give people a different option,” said Haywood.

Other topics discussed during the meeting included ensuring food security for those on the margins and the need for more transparency from the Boston Planning and Development Agency.

While CAMH’s President Martin Beinborn indicated that the organization does not endorse candidates, he thanked Haywood for coming and talking with residents.

Although there were no formal endorsements from CAMH, at least one attendee voiced their support for Haywood.

“It’s refreshing to hear you speak, and I’m so grateful of your ideas, and I’m going to vote for you,” said the attendee.

If you want to learn more about Haywood’s background, his policy positions, and more, visit his website at

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