Since ELEVATE Boston formed in September, our coalition has worked tirelessly to put a spotlight on issues that we believe have never been focused on or included altogether in a Boston mayoral race before. The unique issues affecting women, girls and the LGBTQ community that the ELEVATE coalition member organizations address on a year-round basis are ones that are oftentimes sidelined in mainstream political discourse and ignored altogether during the midst of high-profile campaigns.
But we set out to change all of that.
As the first coalition of its kind in Boston’s history, ELEVATE Boston united a diverse group of organizations with one goal in mind: To engage candidates on issues uniquely affecting women, girls and the LGBTQ community of Boston, and to ensure the next mayor of our city continues to work in making Boston the best possible city it can be for all of its residents – no matter what their gender, sexuality, economic status or health condition may be.
This week, both Representative Marty Walsh and City Councilor John Connolly met with ELEVATE and signed a pledge to commit to the ELEVATE vision in their first 100 days in City Hall, with the assurance that they will continue to work with our coalition during their time in office.
"By signing the ELEVATE Boston pledge, John Connolly and Marty Walsh have shown voters that Boston’s next mayor will be committed to the health and equity of all city residents,” Tricia Wajda, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund, said.
City Councilor John Connolly with the ELEVATE Boston Coalition
Representative Marty Walsh with the ELEVATE Boston Coalition
For many of the organizations in the ELEVATE coalition, this is the first time they’ve seen the issues they work for publicly acknowledged by the city with a commitment to take action.
"The ELEVATE coalition represents an exciting step for Hollaback! Boston, as it’s the first time we’ve seen street harassment on the table in political discourse in Boston,” Kate Ziegler, Hollaback! Boston Co-Director said. “Street harassment and other gender-based violence have impacts in all areas of ELEVATE’s focus, and we look forward to continuing this conversation with coalition members and the next Mayor.”
For other members, ELEVATE’s success means a vital shift in dialogue imperative to moving forward with public policies that will address the issues uniquely impacting the communities they serve.
"Elevate Boston has been instrumental in shifting the public conversation about LGBTQ issues in Boston from inclusion in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to the many more urgent concerns - reducing disparate rates of youth homelessness, increasing access to inclusive school health curriculums, and dismantling barriers to health care for transgender people,” Kara S. Coredini, MassEquality Executive Director, said.
ELEVATE Boston is ecstatic to move forward with Boston’s next mayor post-Election Day.
“We want to thank John Connolly and Marty Walsh for their commitment to prioritize the issues of health equity, economic equity, and safe communities for all. We look forward to working with the next Mayor to address and prevent domestic violence so that all Boston residents can feel safe in their homes and communities, “ Jenny Efimova, SafeLink and Outreach Manager at Casa Myrna Vazquez, said.
“We hope this is the beginning of a long partnership with the City,” Megan Amundson, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, added. ”We are thrilled to work with whoever ends up being the future Mayor.”
On behalf of all ELEVATE Boston coalition members, we thank both candidates for their commitment to Elevate Boston for all residents, and look forward to working with the next administration of our city.
Join Elevate Boston coalition members, activists and fellow advocates on October 15th at 6:15pm to rally before the first Boston Mayoral Debate!
We will call attention to the issues we believe should be key discussions in the upcoming debates. Since ELEVATE’s launch on September 10th, we have been publicly calling on the candidates, releasing their answers to our questionnaire and asking them to address our vision. Now, it is time for ELEVATE to go to the candidates themselves to raise awareness, help spark this critical debate and show our united advocacy for the issues that matter most to the residents of our city.
WHAT: ELEVATE Boston Rally
WHO: ELEVATE Boston coalition members, advocates and activists
WHEN: Tuesday, October 15th at 6:15pm
WHERE: Outside of WBZ, 1170 Soldiers Field Road, Boston MA 02134
Elevate Boston coalition members applaud both Marty Walsh and John Connolly for commemorating National Coming Out Day on October 11th.
Both candidates publicly honored this day and released their official LGBTQ Platforms online.
Read Marty Walsh’s statement here.
Read John Connolly’s statement here:
How do you think the candidates should Elevate Boston for the LGBTQ community? Submit your suggestions and questions for the mayoral debate next Tuesday by tweeting at @akjohnson1922 using the hashtags #globewbzdebate and #ElevateBoston. Make your voice heard!