It’s been a busy, dysfunctional year for the Boston City Council, one marked by budget bickering, fractious meetings and continued potshots against police.
The council is split between those who use their position to serve the people of Boston, and those who leverage the public podium to advance an agenda.
As the Nov. 7 election for At-Large seats looms, the Herald will be endorsing candidates who align with public service and policies that keep the city safe and growing.
First up, Councilor Erin Murphy.
Murphy, 53, has been a steady voice of support for the Boston Police Department and the vital work they do, Murphy was one of five on the council who voted in favor of grant funding for the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, first in September and again at the beginning of this month.
As Boston has been besieged by gun violence, especially this summer, it would seem that boosting the BPD’s intelligence arm with improved tech aimed at fighting crime, gangs and terrorism would be a shoo-in. It wasn’t, at least for five of the councilors. The seven who carried the motion, including Murphy, however, saw the opportunity to make our communities safer and took it.
Murphy was also against cutting the BPD budget by some $31M back in June. A common-sense move, but these days, espousing such views is swimming against the progressive tide.
We need such voices of reason at the table.
Murphy was also among a quartet of councilors who urged last month that a state of emergency be declared for the morass that is Mass and Cass. The Methadone Mile has devolved from a crisis into a humanitarian catastrophe, and substantive action remains elusive.
As the chaos continues, people suffer – from those caught in the throes of addiction to neighboring businesses and residents.
In August, Murphy proposed a property tax abatement to Newmarket-area businesses adversely affected by the open-air drug dealing and violence occurring around Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue, as the Herald reported.
“We know they’re struggling through none of their own doing, and we’ve failed them in not providing a safe environment,” Murphy said. “Many have been adversely impacted by the deteriorating conditions of the neighborhood that aren’t accurately reflected in their property tax valuation.”
It’s great to see a leader who views businesses abutting Mass and Cass as more than just collateral damage in the war on opioids.
In seeking that state of the emergency declaration, Murphy said that “The committee is hopeful that this hearing will illuminate for the people of Boston how their tax dollars are being spent to clean up this crisis in a humane, safe manner.”
There’s the rub – Mass and Cass, the BPD budget, city programs – it’s all paid for by taxpayers.
Murphy gets it.
The campaign season is awash in promises from candidates – they’ll be accountable, transparent, they’ll fight for constituents. The incumbents running for re-election have had ample time to show the city what they bring to the table. Or not.
Erin Murphy brings a solid record of working to make Boston better.
The Herald endorses Erin Murphy for City Councilor At-Large.