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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

馬丁華殊告別市情咨文 會把波士頓帶著跟他去華府

 

  (Boston Orange 周菊子波士頓綜合報導)波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin J. Walsh)(12)7點半,在洛士百利Nubian廣場,市府從2017年起斥資1720萬元翻修重建的圖書館中,花大約20分鐘,說3000多字,發表了他離任赴華府當勞工部部長前的最後一次市情咨文。

由於新冠病毒(Covid-19)疫情,他一個人對著鏡頭發言,現場沒有嘉賓,也沒有觀眾,雖然報告的成就也很多,卻因為一切遙距進行,於是也沒有了掌聲。觀眾們看到的是他略顯嚴肅的神情,聽到的是他略帶傷感的聲音。強調著他將把波士頓帶在心中,跟著他一起去白宮。

馬丁華殊在他發表這最後一場市情咨文的一開始就指出,去年他在波士頓交響樂廳發表市情咨文時,有2000人出席。今年卻那麼不同,不過大家雖然不能同處一室,卻都相信波士頓而團結一致,也會攜手向前。

馬丁華殊直言,2020年是艱苦的一年,2021年將是療傷的一年。大家必須 保護彼此的安全,渡過這新冠病毒大流行的最後階段,鋪陳能夠推動所有鄰里向前的復原。

他說大家都知道,美國候任總統拜登(Joe Biden)已提名他擔任勞工部部長,一旦參議院通過,他將會卸任市長,由波士頓市議會議長Kim Janey出任代理市長。

在綜述過去7年來的政績之前,馬丁華殊先放了一段影片,簡述新冠病毒期間,波市府做過的許多事,正式發言時,也先悼念在新冠病毒疫情中辭世的1060名波士頓人,感謝參與抗疫,防疫的所有人,幫助了4000多名新冠病毒患者,再指波士頓市府4月時還締造了5天建成一所田野醫院的神話般紀錄,強調人們必須互相把彼此最好的一面帶出來,因為要從疫情中恢復將不是件容易的事,病毒恐怕會和人們共處一段時間,但他相信每個人最終都將得到正義與機會。

              馬丁華殊也提及,過去一年,波士頓市從街頭收回800支槍。

他說,做為市長,在2020年中,他做了許多他從來沒想到自己會做的決定,包括關閉學校,停止施工,把波士頓會議展覽中心變成了田野醫院,還讓波士頓馬拉松有史以來第一次的取消舉行。這些都是非常不容易做的決定,但是為了拯救人們的生命,大家必須做這些決定,一天一天的攜手向前。

他說波士頓最重要事始於保護人們的安全,意味著依據科學做決定,戴口罩,採取所有的措施來延緩病毒的擴散,提供免費的病毒檢測,幫助市民取得疫苗,並借助民眾自己的語言來分享資訊,以增強地方民眾的因應能力。

為了彌平在醫療上的族裔差距,馬丁華殊設立了新冠病毒健康不平等工作小組,為波士頓市的家庭,兒童,老兵及耆英提供了600萬份餐食,發出4萬台膝上型電腦給學生,為家境困難或者無家可歸的1000戶有小孩家庭,提供租金援助。他還成立了波士頓彈性基金,籌得3410萬元,發出3030萬元給366個非牟利機構,以及25萬戶波士頓家庭,其中56%收受者市有色人種,58%負責人是女性。

談及波士頓公校時,馬丁華殊強調他的承諾,會繼續發膝上型電腦給學生,擴大民眾在市內上網的能力,同時他也誓言波士頓公校會確保每所學校都有社工及支持家長的人,擴大公校為學童及其家庭提供的食物,衣服及住屋方面支援。

            他說,在2020年中,儘管有新冠病毒疫情,波士頓市卻批准了85億元的新投資,創造出35,000個新工作機會。今年麻州議會還批准了波士頓市有史以來的第一個消防學員計畫。

            在新冠病毒期間,波士頓市府撥出2600萬元補助款,幫助4000多家小企業。紐約時報還點名波士頓市是個為從新冠病毒疫情中恢復過來做了最好準備的城市。

            在馬丁華殊任內,住宅一直是他的關注重點之一,任內迄今已建成35,984個住宅單位,其中20為可負擔房屋。明天113日,在土地規劃局通過後,波士頓將成為全美第一個推出公平住宅規定(fair housing requirements) 的大城市。

            波士頓擴大了中止青年及家庭流離失所的努力,設立了有史以來的第一個由市府資助的租金補助券,讓更多家庭可以住在他們喜愛的鄰里中,還安置了2300名流浪漢。

            波士頓也維持了為苦於使用藥物不協調者所提供的支援服務,贏得法院勝利可繼續重建通往波士頓海港上之長島的橋樑,朝向使那個地方成為恢復園區又更接近了一步。

            波士頓還在處理氣候變化上領先全美,已發行有史以來的第一個綠債券,以支持波士頓市內的能源效率及對環境友善的項目。下個月,波士頓將實施社區選擇電力方案,從對氣候友善的來源提供可負擔能源。波士頓也會繼續大規模投資,在為居民建造開放空間之際,保護波士頓免於淹水。

            馬丁華殊也談到了化解系統性的種族歧視。去年他宣佈了種族歧視是公共衛生危機,並致力於中止差距的醫療平等計畫。波士頓還指派了有史以來的第一位公平長,馬丁華殊也簽署了歷史性的警察改革計畫,帶來全新的監管與問責模式。

            在社區投資方面,波士頓市在全市各個鄰里共投資了13000萬元,翻修更新了許多公園,以及社區空間,還在東波士頓新建了一座耆英中心,翻修南波士頓的社區中心,重振了查理士城的公屋,在芬衛區蓋世界級的波士頓藝術高中。市民還將會看到新的急救學校,在洛士百利的新急救車停洎站,30年來首見的全新消防局,在洛士百利的42分局(Engine 42)

            新的巴士站和自行車道,將使遊逛波士頓更加安全。波士頓市府大樓的翻修工程也在進行中,估計2022年可以完工。

            馬丁華殊相信,波士頓的市政營運,包括處理新冠病毒都將會繼續平順。他要大家知道,過去7年來,大家已一起把波士頓打造得比以往都好了。

MAYOR WALSH DELIVERS HIS FINAL STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS AT NEWLY REBUILT ROXBURY BRANCH OF THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

"In 2021, Boston will rise up again. We will leave no one behind. And our city

will be stronger than ever."

 


BOSTON - Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh tonight delivered his final State of the City address as the 54th Mayor of Boston at the new Roxbury branch of the Boston Public Library in Nubian Square, a $17.2 million total reconstruction that began in November 2017. Mayor Walsh, who was nominated by President-elect Joe Biden on January 8 to serve as the United States Secretary of Labor, reflected on the work of his Administration over the last seven years, the City's collective accomplishments, and the vital work that will continue to expand equity and opportunity in the City of Boston. 

 In his speech,

Mayor Walsh recognized the health care workers, essential workers, first responders, community partners, residents, small businesses, elected officials, and everyone who contributed to Boston's COVID-19 response, and the ongoing work to respond to the virus, and provide support for Boston's most-impacted communities. Mayor Walsh's speech opened with a short-form documentary highlighting the resilience and strength of Boston's communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We must keep drawing on our strength -- and on each other. Recovery won't be easy. The virus will be with us for much of the year. The economic impacts will continue as well. There will be more hard decisions to make. Whatever happens, I know one thing: Boston will stay true to our values. We believe in keeping each other safe. We believe in caring for those who are vulnerable. We believe justice and opportunity are for everyone." - Mayor Walsh

2021 State of the City Documentary

2021 State of the City Documentary

 

Mayor Walsh began his State of the City speech by paying tribute to the 1,060 Bostonians lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, and encouraged anyone feeling overwhelmed to reach out to the City through 311, which is able to connect residents to relief resources, mental health counseling, and recovery services. He also discussed the ways that Boston's public servants have risen to the occasion this year. Since the pandemic began, Boston EMTs have helped 4,000 COVID patients. Firefighters have brought recovery coaches to calls, helping those struggling with substance use. Police officers have taken 800 guns off the streets. Boston built a field hospital in five days in April. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has focused on the most vulnerable communities. Mayor Walsh created a COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force to close racial and ethnic health disparities, and the City provided over six million meals to children, families, veterans, and seniors. Boston Public Schools distributed 40,000 laptops to students, and Boston provided permanent rental vouchers to over 1,000 families with children at risk of homelessness. At the start of the pandemic, Mayor Walsh created the Boston Resiliency Fund. The Fund has raised $34.1 million for COVID-19 relief efforts. Of that, $30.3 million has already supported 366 nonprofits and more than 250,000 Boston families. 56 percent of Resiliency Fund grantees identify as being led by a person of color, and 58 percent of grantees identify as woman-led.

Through the work of the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston's community health centers, the City of Boston continues making COVID-19 testing available for Bostonians, including at free, mobile testing sites.

"We may be hurting, but the state of our city is resilient; the state of our city is united; the state of our city is hopeful; and the state of our city is deep-down Boston strong." - Mayor Walsh

Mayor Walsh also spoke about his commitment to the Boston Public Schools (BPS). Yesterday, BPS announced a plan to safely reopen all remaining schools for hybrid and in-person learning. Boston will continue to provide a laptop for every student and work to expand internet access citywide. Mayor Walsh has also pledged BPS will ensure there is a social worker and family advocate in every school, and expand on the food, clothing and housing supports BPS is committed to providing.

"I want to thank our Superintendent and teachers for working together. And I want to thank all our school leaders and staff; as well as students, families, and administrators, for doing an incredible job this year. This is a community committed to learning. And we are ready to do more than ever to close the opportunity gaps that COVID further exposed." - Mayor Walsh

During his speech, Mayor Walsh highlighted the importance of economic recovery in Boston as the City looks forward to helping businesses rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. For seven years, the Walsh Administration fostered one of the most dynamic and resilient economies in the world. In 2020, despite the pandemic, the City of Boston approved $8.5 billion of new investments, creating a potential for 35,000 new jobs. This year, the State Legislature approved Boston's plan for the first-ever Fire Cadet program, a new pathway into firefighting careers for Boston's diverse residents. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Boston has provided a total of $26 million in grants, fee waivers and other resources to 4,000 small businesses. The City will continue working with business owners to build back restaurants and bars, stores and salons, gyms and art studios that make Boston's neighborhoods special, along with the hotels, museums, and theaters that highlight Boston's diverse communities and cultures and bring visitors to the city. A national study reported in the New York Times named Boston the city best prepared to come back strong from COVID-19.

"I want to say a word to small business owners. You are the soul of our economy, and you sacrificed so much for the safety of our city. I will never forget it." - Mayor Walsh 

Under Mayor Walsh's leadership, the City of Boston has focused on creating affordable housing for all residents. In the last seven years, the Walsh Administration has overseen the construction of 35,984 housing units, of which 20 percent is deemed affordable, including homes for seniors, veterans and families. Tomorrow, following a vote by the Zoning Commission, Boston is expected to become the first major city in the United States with fair housing requirements built into the City's zoning code, a powerful tool to protect residents from displacement. During the most recent legislative session, the Mayor successfully advocated at the Massachusetts State House for legislation that will build more housing, create additional opportunities for affordable housing, and stabilize vulnerable households. 

The Walsh Administration has also expanded its work to end youth and family homelessness. Boston created the first-ever City-funded rental vouchers, so more families can live in the neighborhoods they love. Boston has housed over 2,300 formerly homeless individuals, and will continue to build permanent, supportive housing in the City. 

During the pandemic, the City has also maintained supportive services for residents suffering from substance use disorder. Boston has maintained in-person recovery services and telehealth counseling since March. The city has also continued to advocate for a rebuilt bridge to and a regional recovery campus on Long Island in Boston Harbor. After court victories, Boston is closer than ever to making this recovery campus a reality. 

Boston has also led the nation in addressing climate change, and has already issued its first-ever Green Bonds to support  energy-efficient and environmentally friendly projects in  Boston. Next month, the City will begin implementing Community Choice Electricity, which will provide affordable energy from climate-friendly sources. The City will also continue the major investments it has already made in resilient parks, protecting Boston from flooding while building open spaces for residents to enjoy.

"The climate crisis requires the same decisive action: based in facts, working as a community, protecting our city. That's why I made sure that Boston never strayed from the Paris agreement -- even when the White House did. As chair of the U.S. Climate Mayors, I've led a national coalition of cities ready to work with the Biden-Harris Administration and bring America back to the fight." - Mayor Walsh

Mayor Walsh also dedicated his speech to Boston and the nation's urgent work to recognize and dismantle systemic racism. In 2020, Mayor Walsh declared racism a public health crisis, and began work on a Health Equity plan to end disparities. Boston shifted millions of dollars from the Boston Police Department overtime budget into programs for youth, trauma recovery services, and mental health, and reorganized City government, appointing Boston's first-ever Chief of Equity. Mayor Walsh signed historic police reforms, led by the Boston Police Reform Task Force. The result is a new model for oversight and accountability. 

"The pandemic made it clear: a community crisis demands a community-wide response. So I'm asking all of us to accept this responsibility as our own -- and commit to fighting racism. It's our deepest moral obligation. And it's our greatest opportunity for growth." - Mayor Walsh

During his final State of the City speech, Mayor Walsh spoke about the historic investments his administration has made in Boston's communities, including a $130 million citywide investment in libraries across neighborhoods. Under Mayor Walsh's leadership, the City has also invested more in Boston's parks than at any time since the Emerald Necklace was created in the 1800s. Major updates will move forward at the City's cherished parks, including the Boston Common and Franklin Park. The Walsh Administration has also invested in community spaces that will serve residents for decades to come, including a new senior center in East Boston; a fully renovated community center in South Boston; revitalized public housing in Charlestown; and a world-class Boston Arts Academy high school in the Fenway. Residents will also see a renovated EMS Academy, a new ambulance bay in West Roxbury for quicker response times, and Boston's first brand-new firehouse in 30 years, Engine 42 in Roxbury.

As Bostonians and visitors travel throughout the city, they will experience miles of resurfaced roads and rebuilt sidewalks, with new bus and bike lanes to make traveling around Boston safer. Work is also underway on a renovated City Hall Plaza, designed to best serve residents, a project that is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

"I am confident that the operations of City government -- including our COVID response -- will continue smoothly. And I want you to know: the work we have done together for the past seven years has prepared Boston to build back stronger than ever." - Mayor Walsh

Mayor Walsh's State of the City remarks as prepared for delivery are available here. 

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