A national leader on neighborhood issues, Mayor Thomas M. Menino believes that government is about helping people. Elected five times as Mayor of Boston and five times as a City Councilor from Hyde Park, he has spent a lifetime building a better Boston for residents and businesses. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston with a degree in community planning, Mayor Menino and his wife, the former Angela Faletra, have two children, Susan and Thomas, Jr. and six grandchildren.
Nicknamed the “Urban Mechanic” early in his career for his tireless work ethic and attention to the basics that make for a thriving city, Mayor Menino is working to inspire a generation of New Urban Mechanics, rooted in the belief that citizens are the best civic entrepreneurs. Forging partnerships to revitalize neighborhoods, strengthening the economy through workforce investments, and innovating in education, his vision for Boston is based on strong, welcoming communities that provide unlimited opportunity for success.
Vibrant Neighborhoods: A lifelong resident of Hyde Park, Mayor Menino understands that a city is only as strong as its neighborhoods. He ushered in the nation’s first citywide Main Streets program to support small businesses and spur local economic development. Under the Mayor’s leadership, the city’s affordable housing supply has increased dramatically, and in the face of the foreclosure crisis, Boston has become a national model for foreclosure prevention and responsible homeownership opportunities. From investing in new parks, schoolyards, and green space to creating safer neighborhoods through community policing and neighborhood crime watch groups, Mayor Menino is constantly enhancing Boston for its 620,000 residents and millions of visitors.
Inclusive Opportunity: Despite Boston being more diverse than ever before, Mayor Menino’s administration is committed to bringing the city even closer together across varied backgrounds. An early advocate for same sex marriage and a vociferous proponent of CORI reform, social justice remains atop the Mayor’s priorities. After launching the Office of New Bostonians in 1998 to welcome immigrants and connect them to the cultural, economic, and academic fabric of the city, Mayor Menino continues to create opportunities for all residents. The Mayor’s commitment to social and economic advancement is evidenced by the city’s considerable investment in workforce development for adults, summer jobs for teens, and most recently, hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from the federal stimulus package to jumpstart the local economy and put people back to work.
A Healthy, Livable City: Whether it is through innovative public health programs or progressive environmental policy, Mayor Menino has put Boston at the national forefront of healthy, livable cities. To preserve health care access for some of the city’s most vulnerable people, Mayor Menino merged two hospitals to create Boston Medical Center, known for offering “exceptional care without exception.” Through targeted and aggressive outreach, Mayor Menino has fought to reduce ethnic health disparities, combat substance abuse, and promote healthy nutrition for children and adults alike. Having recently been named the 3rd greenest city in America, Boston is a leader in sustainability and environmental awareness. Hundreds of acres of new green space, thousands of new trees, miles of new bike lanes, single stream recycling, and first-in-the-nation green building standards are just a few ways that Mayor Menino is turning Beantown into Greentown.
Innovative Schools: Awarded the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education in 2006, the Boston Public Schools have transformed from chronically failing to one of the most respected urban districts in the nation. At every grade level, Boston has reduced class sizes and raised test scores. Mayor Menino’s recent work to ensure the passage of landmark education reform in the Commonwealth paves the way for innovative in-district charter schools and will provide urban districts across the state with the tools needed to turnaround their most underperforming schools. Through inventive programming and collaborative partnerships with local colleges, universities, and non-profits Mayor Menino continues to bolster resources for English language learners, increase high school and college graduation rates, reduce the achievement gap, and re-engage drop outs. By connecting schools, libraries, and community centers under the Community Learning Initiative, the Mayor aims to create a continuum of educational opportunities for the city’s youth – from dusk to dawn and from birth through college.
Note: This biographical sketch is to be used only for background information. Under no circumstances should it be read in its entirety to introduce the Mayor.