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Mayor Menino Vows To Change School Assignment Plan, Reduce Crime

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Mayor Tom Menino delivers the State of the City Address.

Mayor Tom Menino delivers the State of the City Address.

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BOSTON (CBS) – Tom Menino, Boston’s longest-serving mayor, delivered his 19th State of the City address at Faneuil Hall Tuesday night.

Menino has an ambitious agenda for the year ahead.

“Over the last six years, we have reduced crime by 25 percent,” he said. “But we must drive it lower yet.”

He wants to make the city safer by creating 100 new crime watch groups.

Menino said, “I’ve always believed the crime watches are the perfect kind of community meetings, no egos, no fancy titles, just a job to get done.”

He plans to create jobs by forming a gaming advisory board to lure one of the state’s casinos to East Boston. The board will have a two-part mandate: Maximize job creation for Boston residents and provide transparency for residents into the process of casino review.

The mayor will also revamp the public school assignment plan. He says in a year the city will have a radical new plan that sends kids to schools closer to their homes.

“I know I have talked about changing the student assignment plan before,” said Menino. “We have made many improvements over the years. 2012 will be the year to finish the job.

Menino also plans to start a citywide anti-obesity program, saying weight is an issue that many people struggle with.

The mayor says, “My goal is to see all of us combine to shed a million pounds this year.”

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