Last week, Mayor Michelle Wu appointed former Boston Chief Information Officer and Jamaica Plain resident Jascha Franklin-Hodge as Chief of Streets.
Wu said Franklin-Hodge will work to create a more sustainable and equitable City transportation system
“Safe, healthy, vibrant neighborhoods depend on connecting our communities to Boston’s opportunities and possibilities,” said Wu. “I’ve had the chance to work alongside Jascha in City Hall and in the community. I’m thrilled he’ll be returning to City Hall with his expansive vision, organizational expertise, and commitment to delivering change.”
Franklin-Hodge will support the Boston Transportation Department, Public Works Department, and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission to deliver \city services, and build a more efficient, safe, and environmentally-conscious transportation system throughout Boston.
“Under Mayor Wu’s leadership, we have the opportunity to reshape our transportation system to make getting around Boston more convenient, address historic and ongoing inequities, and improve safety, especially for our most vulnerable road users,” said Franklin-Hodge. “I’m honored and excited to rejoin the City as Mayor Wu’s Chief of Streets, and to serve alongside the talented teams at the Boston Transportation Department and Public Works as we do this important and urgent work.”
According to the city, the Chief of Streets oversees the City’s Public Works and Transportation Departments, which plan, design, maintain and manage Boston’s streets.
Franklin-Hodge will also serve as a liaison to the Boston Water & Sewer Commission, and will work closely with departments focused on housing, planning, and economic development.
Wu added that Franklin-Hodge will work to implement her administration’s transportation goals, including free-fares on MBTA bus routes, safer street design in every neighborhood, and a connected network of low-stress bicycle routes. He will officially join the Mayor’s cabinet in January.
Franklin-Hodge previously served as the City of Boston’s Chief Information Officer during the Walsh Administration from 2014 to 2018. There he led the City’s Department of Innovation and Technology. He managed a team responsible for the City’s efforts to build user-centered digital services, harness data to improve transportation and quality of life, deliver secure, reliable technology for every city department, and improve access to the Internet and technical skills training for city residents.
Franklin-Hodge attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study computer science but left during his sophomore year in 1987 to work full-time at Spinner in the Bay Area before the company was acquired by AOL and became AOL Music.
Franklin-Hodge left AOL in 2003 to join the presidential campaign for Howard Dean, heading to Vermont to lead the technology team powering the first new-media focused political campaign.
After the campaign folded in early 2004, he co-founded Blue State Digital (BSD), with offices in Boston and Washington, D.C. The mission was to replicate the new media success of the Howard Dean presidential campaign and provide the same technology to progressive and democratic political candidates across the country.
At Blue State Digital he oversaw the development and operation of the BSD Tools, a fundraising, email, and constituent relationship platform that raised over $1 billion and powered the digital presence of President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
Franklin-Hodge is an active board member of the LivableStreets Alliance, an advocacy organization dedicated to improving Boston’s transportation system, unlocking access and opportunity for the region’s residents, and creating streets that are vibrant, safe, people-centered public spaces.
He lives in Jamaica Plain with his husband and two young children and mostly travels by bike and public transit.