Councilor Andrea Campbell released a new policy plan for her mayoral campaign on Worcester Square last Friday that includes short-term and long-term strategies to address the public health crisis at Mass/Cass, including a short-term plan to use a ferry service to access services on Long Island.
“The public health crisis at Mass & Cass has been building for years, but has been exacerbated by COVID-19, threatening the health and safety of everyone in the neighborhood. It demands immediate leadership and action,” said Councilor Campbell. “My approach will establish dedicated leadership by appointing a cabinet-level Mass & Cass Chief to drive a coordinated, public health response and decentralization plan that will build sustainable paths to recovery citywide and ensure the health and safety of all who live, work, visit, and go to school in this neighborhood.”
Campbell’s plan includes the following key strategies:
•Appoint a Mass & Cass Chief. As mayor, Andrea will appoint a public health professional to her cabinet to drive a coordinated, public health response and service decentralization plan for the Mass & Cass area. Under Andrea’s leadership, the City will build a response team that coordinates resources and providers, streamlines service delivery, and creates sustainable pathways to care, health, and stability.
•Create a dedicated Mass & Cass first responder unit. Andrea will create a dedicated first responder unit, comprised of public health and recovery service professionals as well as first responders, that will streamline response efforts and better protect people living and working in the neighborhood, service providers working in the area, and vulnerable residents spending time at the intersection.
•Decentralize treatment and recovery services from Mass & Cass and make them accessible citywide. Andrea will decentralize services by:
*Providing more safe spaces, shelter, and supportive housing. Andrea will activate vacant and underutilized spaces currently available to the City of Boston to provide more safe spaces for residents, including shelter for people experiencing homelessness, permanent supportive housing, and other innovative treatment sites throughout the city and the region. Andrea’s plan involves expanding mobile treatment services, and converting structures such as underutilized hotels and the relocated Shattuck Hospital.
*Reactivating Long Island, with ferry service from Boston. Andrea recognizes the need for short-term as well as long-term solutions to challenges of accessibility. As mayor, Andrea will not only support construction of a new bridge to Long Island, but more immediately accelerate construction to reactivate Long Island infrastructure for docks, roads, waste removal, and transportation capabilities. Andrea will also leverage transit partnerships to begin ferry service from Boston for residents seeking recovery services.
*Partnering with the healthcare community, including hospitals and community health centers, to further scale services outside of Mass & Cass. As mayor, Andrea will lead a person-centered approach, coordinated with input from institutions of public health and recovery services, in order to provide feasible, accessible, and well-placed services to residents of Mass/Cass.
Campbell grew up in Roxbury and the South End and, for about 10 years, lived on Mass Ave just blocks from the intersection of Mass/Cass.