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Mayor Walsh Lays Groundwork for Boston's Next Chapter in Chamber of Commerce Speech

September 24, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

BOSTON - Thursday, September 24, 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today addressed the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, laying out how his Administration is strengthening the City's workforce, transportation system, and schools and creating a Boston that creates opportunity for all.

"We're finding out that Boston, as a city, can aim higher than we ever thought before," said Mayor Walsh in his remarks this morning. "I want us to seize this moment together. It's a time for drawing more deeply on our talent pool; for thinking bigger ideas; for making bolder plans. It's a time to start writing the next chapter in Boston's great history."

Mayor Walsh discussed several new and ongoing initiatives the City is focusing on to move Boston forward:

Creating Opportunity for Young People

Mayor Walsh will continue to prioritize the future of Boston's young people, as the key to the success of our City.

The Mayor announced today for that the City broke its youth summer jobs goal, working with partners in the private sector and government to hire 10,360 young people - 173 more than last year. He called on employers to continue and build on this success.

The Mayor is laying the groundwork to usher in a new era of public education. 380 pre-kindergarten seats have been added over the past two years, the school day has been extended, and Boston Public Schools (BPS) are better preparing Boston's students for college.

The Mayor announced he is building on the success of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) by creating the BPS Experience Lab at BPS headquarters in Roxbury to bring the spirit of creativity to solving the challenges of urban education. MONUM has spearheaded innovative projects to improve city services including smart parking meters and the 311 phone application, as well as the Discover BPS website.

And the Mayor called on businesses to join the City's commitment to public education by signing on to the Adopt-A-School program, to bring the program to new heights and create another national model in Boston.   Using Innovation to Create a Safe, Efficient Transportation System

Mayor Walsh reiterated his commitment to creating a transportation system that is reliable, safe and accessible. To ease traffic congestion, the City of Boston is welcoming a new class of Parking Traffic Enforcement Officers who will be charged with using data from Waze to enforce "Block the Box," as well as double-parking at key locations.

The City is also studying a plan to give parking meters flexible rates based on demand, a model proven to reduce search time for parking by 43 percent in San  Francisco.

And the Mayor will sign an executive order making "Complete Streets" the City's design process moving forward. Complete Streets is a nationally recognized approach for balancing public space among cars, transit, walkers and cyclists.

Growing Good Jobs in Boston

Mayor Walsh today announced that LEGO Education North America will relocate its headquarters from Kansas to Boston in March 2016, bringing 75 jobs to Boston.  This announcement builds on Mayor Walsh recently welcoming retailer Primark, healthcare innovator Iora and small business analyst Insight Squared. To better support small businesses, next month the City will roll-out a Small Business Plan and name the City's first Neighborhood Innovation District.

Leveling the Playing Field for Women

Through funding from the American Association of University Women, the Mayor announced today free salary workshops for women across the City.  An official announcement will be made and more information will be available on Monday, September 28. The workshops build on this week's announcement of Women's Entrepreneurs Boston, a new program to help women start businesses in high growth spaces where they are currently underrepresented.

The Mayor also called on employers to join the 100% Talent Compact, committing to closing the wage gap in their workplaces.

Modernizing City's Permitting Process

Today, Mayor Walsh announced the City will begin rolling out a new permitting platform in the month of October, advancing his commitment to make permitting in Boston easier, clearer and more predictable.  The new site, developed over the past year, is based on a modern tech platform and will focus on supporting businesses and homeowners through the permitting process. This follow on a series of interim improvements the Mayor has rolled out over the past several months, which stemmed from the City's first HubHacks event in August 2014.

New Leadership Committed to Moving Boston Forward:

Mayor Walsh today introduced many of his Administration's new leaders to theChamber, a strong talent pool of public employees who have demonstrated a commitment to creating a stronger Boston. They include:  

  • Tricia Lyons, as the City's new Director of Public Facilities. Lyons is a longtime Dorchester resident who has worked for the City for nearly 30 years;
  • Dion Irish, as the new Elections Commissioner, he has two decades of experience supporting fair housing in the City of Boston;
  • Chris Osgood, as the new Chief of Streets, who previously served co-chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics where he used innovative solutions to solve Boston's most challenging problems;
  • Giselle Sterling, the recently appointed Commissioner of Veterans' Affairs is a U.S. Marine Corp Veteran and the first Latina and woman to hold this position;
  • Atyia Martin, will advance the conversations and policies needed to strengthen the social fabric of Boston. She previously served the City in roles at Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Police Department, and the Office of Emergency Management.