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A path forward on civil rights for Mayor Kim Janey

Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal

Lawyers for Civil Rights congratulates and applauds Mayor Kim Janey for her historic leadership as Boston’s first Black woman Mayor! For many years, LCR has tirelessly advocated for the City of Boston to make critical changes to improve widespread access to equal opportunities, to eliminate discriminatory practices, and to address a lack of transparency between the city and its diverse constituencies. Unfortunately, much of this racial justice advocacy has remained unaddressed and unresolved by prior administrations. LCR welcomes an opportunity to work with the Janey administration to finally address long-standing race and equity issues.

As we move into this new chapter in Boston history, LCR is eager to work collaboratively with the city on some of the most pressing racial justice and immigration issues. Specifically, LCR urges the city to:

Take bold steps to dismantle entrenched “old boys networks” that for decades have unfairly and unlawfully deprived minority-owned businesses of equal contacting opportunity,

Reform police practices, including increasing transparency and de-coupling policing from mental health services in light of Terrence Coleman’s fatal shooting.

Create a municipal ID program to help integrate and empower vulnerable communities — as the City promised to study back in 2017.

Take concrete steps to ensure diversity in public employment, so that our public institutions — including but not limited to the Boston Police Department and Boston Fire Department — truly reflect the communities they serve.

Resolve civil rights lawsuits — some of which the City has been fighting for years, including Coleman v. Boston, Figueroa v. Boston, Smith v. Boston, and De La Rosa — and stand on the side of justice.

With Mayor Janey’s expertise and leadership, and with support from a bold and courageous City Council, immediate action on each of these issues can expedite resolutions for longstanding discriminatory conduct and unfair practices.

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Esq. is executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights.