BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Mayor Marty Walsh outlined his plans for Boston as he delivered his first State of the City address.
Walsh, a Dorchester Democrat who took office last year, gave his speech on Tuesday evening at Boston’s Symphony Hall.
The mayor boasted about improved job numbers during the address. He said 25,000 people went back to work last year, the highest figure since 2007.
“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Walsh said. “But I’m far from satisfied. We have a lot of work to do.”
Many were listening for what Walsh had to say about Boston’s schools and the search for a new superintendent, a topic he did address.
“My message will be clear and my orders will be clear. I am not satisfied. The Boston Public Schools have to do better for our kids. We have to do better. We will do better,” Walsh said about what he will tell the next person chosen as superintendent.
Boston’s bid for the 2024 Olympics was also a point of emphasis. Walsh credited what he called Boston’s vision of “a 21st century, affordable, sustainable” Olympics for winning over members of the U.S. Olympic Committee, who chose Boston over other American bidders for the 2024 games, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.
“Boston now competes against the world, as America’s city. Whatever the outcome, Boston will prove itself a global leader,” Walsh said. “The whole world will soon know what we have always known: Boston is exceptional.”
He again promised a transparent public review of the city’s Olympics bid, including a series of neighborhood meetings, and said even if Boston isn’t ultimately chosen to host the Olympics, the bid will give the city a chance to think big about what it wants to accomplish over the long term.
“We’ll take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk about our city’s future: in education, in housing, in transportation and more,” he said. “When we talk about 2024, we’ll be talking about what Boston needs today. And what Boston needs in 2030, 2040, and 2050.”
Web Extra: Mayor Walsh on the Olympics, Education
Walsh said that while the city is “strong and getting stronger,” too many residents continue to face hurdles to quality schools, affordable housing and a living wage. To address these problems, he said, the city is expanding full-day kindergarten and making $20 million available for affordable housing.
Walsh also announced the launch of a mobile app called ParkBoston.
The app will allow residents to pay their parking meter without using change. He said the app will be live at the conclusion of his address.
“Soon you won’t have to fumble for quarters to pay the parking meter,” Walsh said with a laugh.
Addressing the issue of homelessness, Walsh called the commitment to homeless and addiction clients displaced by the closing of the Long Island bridge “personal.”
“We are committed to sheltering everyone, every night – no matter what issues the bring, no matter where they arrive from,” said Walsh.
Walsh’s first State of the City address lasted about 30 minutes, with rounds of applause breaking out several times throughout.
The mayor closed his speech by saying “Thank you, and God bless the City of Boston.”
Walsh was elected in November 2013 to succeed Mayor Thomas Menino, the city’s longest serving executive, who did not seek re-election after two decades in office.
Menino died last fall after battling cancer.
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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