A national leader on neighborhood issues, Tom Menino believes that government is about helping people. Elected four times as Mayor of Boston and five times as a City Councilor from Hyde Park, Menino has spent a career building a better Boston for residents and businesses.
He has earned the reputation of an “urban mechanic” through his tireless work ethic and his strong financial management. He has brought partners together from throughout the city to revitalize our neighborhoods, expand our economy, and improve our schools. And, he has mobilized the city around a bold vision for Boston - a city of strong community and unlimited opportunity for everyone.
Vibrant Neighborhoods: A lifelong resident of Hyde Park, Mayor Tom Menino knows the importance of vibrant neighborhoods. Mayor Tom Menino launched the nation's first citywide Main Streets program, bringing support to small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Boston’s 19 neighborhood business districts. He has received national recognition for his administration’s work on affordable housing and foreclosure prevention. A graduate of University of Massachusetts with a degree in community planning, the Mayor has consistently prioritized investing in neighborhood infrastructure such as roads, sidewalks and parks. And, through his community policing and neighborhood crime watch programs, the Mayor has brought residents and police officers together, building trust and increasing public safety.
Inclusive City: Boston’s first Italian-American Mayor, Tom Menino has always been a champion for the city’s diversity. And, with the city’s population topping 600,000 for the first time in 30 years, Boston has never been more diverse. Mayor Menino created the Office of New Bostonians to help welcome new immigrants to the City and connect them with services they need. He has led by example, appointing representatives of all races to the city’s boards and commissions. Although he is not a fancy talker, Menino has never hesitated to speak up and to act on behalf of social justice causes such as same sex marriage.
Healthy Environment: Whether it is through innovative public health programs or progressive environmental policy, Mayor Menino has put Boston on the leading edge of livable, healthy cities. To preserve health care opportunities for some of the city’s poorest residents, Mayor Menino merged the Boston University Medical Center and Boston City Hospital, creating the Boston Medical Center. Through aggressive intervention programs, Mayor Menino has fought to reduce incidents of asthma and lead poisoning, which disproportionately impacted poor and minority communities. By adding hundreds of acres of new parks and miles of new bike lanes, he has made Boston a healthy place to be outside; and, by enacting a first-of-its-kind green building code, he has made Boston a healthier place to be inside.
Strong Schools Under Mayor Menino’s leadership Boston Public Schools have gone from a failing school district to one of the most notable urban pubic school systems in the country, earning the Broad Prize for Urban Education as the best school district in the nation in 2006. The establishment of “pilot” school has fostered innovation and been replicated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. At every grade level, Menino has reduced class sizes and raised test scores. With the Boston Public School Committee, he has developed a plan to improve the schools even more, increasing opportunities for advanced learning and decreasing the number of drop outs. To achieve these goals, the Mayor is marshalling the resources of community centers, libraries, and community organizations to provide a seamless network of educators and mentors for all children at all ages through his Thrive in Five and Community Learning programs. Mayor Menino and his wife, the former Angela Faletra, have two children, Susan and Thomas, Jr.; their six grandchildren all attend Boston Public Schools.
Good afternoon. By birth or by choice, 600 thousand people – and counting – make Boston their home. Newcomers choose our city over the suburbs. They move here from far-away nations. They come here for world-class universities. They are born into third-generation families in triple-deckers. Long time residents renovate old homes, start new businesses, and create non-profits. They launch community groups – many community groups.
A city, more than three centuries old, changes every day. Even as we keep our cobblestones and curvy streets, our Italian restaurants and our Irish pubs, our jazz clubs and our cultural festivals, we change.
We become doctors, engineers, scientists, artists, teachers, police officers, social workers, and entrepreneurs. We innovate, like our host today, Digitas, this creative new media agency. We work hard to improve the city around us. In these difficult times, we work especially hard. We make neighborhoods better today than they were the day before.
In government, we've been part of this innovation. Together, we've made our city greener, our streets safer, our schools better and housing more available...