By Dan Murphy
Acting Mayor Kim Janey delivered a speech commemorating her first 100 days in office on Friday, July 2, at the Museum of African American History.
“It has been just over a 100 days since I took office,” said Mayor Janey, a lifelong Bostonian. “ As Mayor, I have an even deeper appreciation of our city, her people, and, above all, the work that goes into making Boston stronger every day. I must say that each and every day it has been a privilege to serve you and to lead this city. It is the honor of my lifetime.”
During her speech, Mayor Janey announced she has established the city’s Children’s and Youth Cabinet, which serves as a policy-making group that coordinates city-based programs and services to increase equity, create opportunities, as well as to reduce disparities for the children and youth citywide. It will also work to optimize the city’s partnerships with nonprofits, faith-based organizations, higher education institutions and employers.
According to the city, the cabinet’s initial efforts will include: the creation of an inventory of programs serving children, families, and youth ages 0 to 24 within the city; identifying coordination across departments and cabinets that leads to better services and outcomes; establishing baseline metrics to measure and track progress on the wellbeing of children, families, and youth in the city; and integrating strategic plans and performance metrics across departments.
The cabinet has already coordinated a recent collaboration between Boston Public Schools and the Boston Public Library to enable student ID cards to function as library cards, according to the city, while in June, its Policy and Planning team partnered with BPS, the Boston Planning and Development Agency, and the Office of Workforce Development to launch the College and Career Pathways initiative with Harvard University’s Project on Workforce. The Harvard team is scheduled to deliver a landscape analysis to the cabinet at the end of July.
Also, Mayor Janey said her transition committee, co-chaired by Linda Dorcena Forry, Betty Francisco, Steve Grossman, Quincy Miller, and Kate Walsh, and comprising 160 members of the public, drafted a set of recommendations on how the city can recover from this pandemic, which, she said, “lay the groundwork for a stronger city going forward” on topics ranging from public health to public education, from economic development to housing, from transportation and climate justice to safety and healing.
“We have made great strides in expanding equitable vaccine access, supporting businesses in reopening, and getting our children back to school safely,” she said. “We have stood up for climate and racial justice in proposed projects and we have worked to change how our community responds to mental health crises.”
As the city recovers from the pandemic, nearly 3,000 renters have used the City’s Rental Relief Fund to date, said Mayor Janey, while the city has allocated $1 million in job training for industries that were hit the hardest, as well as another $1 million dollars in job training for artists. On July 1, the city also hosted its first Community Advisory Board meeting, she added, with community partners in labor, environmental justice, and education “to shape $4 million dollars of investment in green jobs.”
Mayor Janey said the city has also created its Office of Participatory Budgeting, which will “allow even more people to directly impact how their tax dollars are invested.”