Mayor Michelle Wu’s Back Bay and Beacon Hill Coffee Hour was held on May 25 on the Commonwealth Ave. Mall, and many neighbors and community supporters turned out to mingle with one another and enjoy fresh fruit from Star Market and coffee from Dunkin.
Wu was joined by District 8 City Councilor Kenzie Bok, State Rep. Jon Santiago, and State Rep. Jay Livingstone, as well as other city officials and representatives.
Wu spoke about the school shooting that happened on May 24 in Uvalde, Texas.
“I can’t even begin to describe the fury and devastation of seeing yet again a major mass shooting at a school yesterday in Texas,” Wu said, before holding a moment of silence for the more than 20 people who were killed during the shooting.
“We’re not immune from challenges, and we’re working hard every day to tackle the housing crisis, and make sure that we can be the greenest city in America; to invest in our schools and build the school system that we can all be proud of, connect all of our neighborhoods with transportation and to come together when there are instances of hate or racism that we’ve seen, even right here in Boston,” Wu said.
Councilor Bok said that “it’s a pleasure to work with the mayor and her new administration and we are definitely all together trying to both get those small things right and also in this moment where we’re coming out of such a hard time for our city and the country, and we have one time federal money that is probably the most that were going to get in a generation, unfortunately, I would say.”
As the chair of the American Rescue Plan review committee, Bok said she is focusing on how to best allocate those federal funds to create lasting change in the city. Hearings on this are coming in the next few weeks, she said.
Rep. Santiago also spoke about the school shooting, saying that as an ER doctor who has treated patients affected by gun violence, “I was particularly disturbed; not shocked, from hearing about last night,” he said, adding that he kept in mind that he is also a new father.
“I hope that we will collectively continue to raise our voices and champion gun reform at the local and at the federal level,” Santiago said, “because, without a doubt, more is needed.”
He said that the legislature has been busy, and the legislative session is wrapping up on July 1. They’ve been working on such issues as protecting reproductive rights, economic development of the city, and housing, he said.
Rep. Jay Livingstone added that other topics the legislature has been busy with include the drivers license bill that allows undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses, voting laws to make voting easier for residents, food insecurity, and improving parks.