Editorial: Passing the political torch

With the New Year will come a new mayor for the first time in a generation.

We thank outgoing Mayor Thomas Menino for his tireless devotion to the city and its neighborhoods. Menino was a great promoter of the idea that Boston is only as strong as its neighborhoods, and he regularly looked to Jamaica Plain as a research laboratory of new civic improvements. Menino never sought other offices and did the job until he literally could not anymore. Few mayors can boast of such commitment.

We thank Menino’s staff, too. Effective, respected leaders on his cabinet included JP residents Daphne Griffin, head of Human Services, and Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. On the ground in JP, Menino was superbly represented by local resident Jullieanne Doherty of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services. Jullieanne once worked 24 hours straight while on crutches. Day in and day out, she helped hundreds of residents and business owners make peace and navigate City Hall—always with a smile.

We also welcome incoming Mayor Marty Walsh. In his impressive, broad-based campaign, Walsh highlighted many issues of crucial local interest: housing costs and the dwindling middle class; public transit improvements; small business development; better government transparency.

JP was a big part of Walsh’s campaign. JP resident Felix Arroyo, his former mayoral race foe, became one of his strongest allies. Walsh continues to pay attention to the neighborhood, holding several “transition team” public input meetings here.

JP earned and deserves the attention. We should keep the pressure on the new administration to continue to provide it. We hope that includes a key role for Arroyo, whose boundless energy and effective advocacy for the city’s underprivileged will be sorely missed on Boston City Council.

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