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‘People are looking for leadership that is fearless’

Excerpt from Andrea Campbell's mayoral campaign announcement

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‘People are looking for leadership that is fearless’
Andrea Campbell Banner photo

“In the history of this city being the best, Boston has not delivered on the promise of being the best. If you talk to people in my district — largely a district of color — they’ll tell you about the devastating impact of COVID-19 and the devastating impact it’s had on their families and communities. They’ll tell you that their fear of getting stopped and shot by police is just as real here as it is anywhere else. They’ll tell you that Boston has a reputation as a racist city. I love this city. I was born and raised here, as my father was before me. But it’s important to accept that this isn’t just a reputation nationally, it’s a reality locally.

“Plain and simple, Boston does not work for everybody equitably. The average life expectancy of someone living in Back Bay is 92 years old. In Roxbury, it’s 59. We have a profound racial wealth gap. The median net worth of a black family in Greater Boston is $8. For some Latinx families, it’s zero dollars. For white families it’s close to $250,000.

“Black people are disproportionately policed in this city, with data from the last decade showing racial disparities in police stops actually getting worse. In 2019, nearly 70% of police stops in the city of Boston were Black residents, even though we only make up a quarter of the population of the city. And COVID-19 has spread the fastest in communities of color and is the deadliest for Black and Latinx residents.

“This is not by accident. The inequities are partially created by government, so they can be solved and eradicated by government.

“This year systemic inequities, particularly racial inequities, have been revealed and acknowledged with renewed urgency and people are demanding change. Boston is facing a crucial moment. We can and must confront our own history of exclusion, segregation, marginalization if we are to transform systems so that they truly serve all of our residents equitably. To do that, we need new leadership.

“People are looking for leadership that is fearless for those who need it the most — people who have been overlooked and undervalued by their government. Leadership that is intentional about eradicating systemic inequities and systemic racism. That will break cycles of poverty, trauma and injustice in our communities. Leadership that understands what equity truly is and looks like in our community. Leadership that is and was born out of the struggle to survive, to make it and to do better for the next generation.

“I’m running for mayor to be that leader because I know a reputation to be a world class city with a growing economy, emerging industries and expanding neighborhoods means absolutely nothing if a child growing up in public housing, right here in this neighborhood of the South End and Roxbury or in Franklin Field in my district will never be able to access that opportunity.”

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