We are a major coalition of advocates, organizations, residents and community activists and we are calling on mayoral candidates to describe how they will ELEVATE Boston. // For all press inquiries, please contact James Chisholm: james.chisholm@resoluteconsulting.com, 617-763-0831.
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Thank you Marty Walsh and John Connolly for meeting with ELEVATE Boston.

We applaud your commitment of ensuring that, if elected, your administration will take action on issues often sidelined or ignored altogether in mainstream political discourse. By signing this pledge, you are showing that health equity, economic equity and safe communities are every resident’s right, no matter what their gender, sexuality, economic status or healthcare needs may be. 

From the pledge:"We envision a Boston where every person has the opportunity and resources to live healthy lives and thrive economically. We envision a Boston where all residents feel safe at home, in school, in our parks, and on the streets. We deserve a Mayor who will foster understanding across communities and who embraces the thinking that Boston will be at its best when every resident in every neighborhood is successful."

Read more, and see more photos from our meetings with the candidates on Facebook!

Image credits: Alia Gilbert

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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.

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"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. 

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City Councilor John Connolly with the ELEVATE Boston Coalition

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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. 

ELEVATE Boston is meeting with both candidates over the next week to discuss their plans to elevate our city, addressing health equity, economic equity and community safety. Be sure to read the ELEVATE pledge for candidates, to be presented at those meetings!

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

RSVP on Facebook, give us a Twitter shout-out and tell us how you think the next mayor should #ElevateBoston!

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! 

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Elevate Boston applauds Marty Walsh for his statement in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We thank him for addressing how he will take action against domestic and intimate partner violence in our city.

Read more on how Marty Walsh and John Connolly plan on Elevating Boston in regards to safety in all of our neighborhoods here

Have a question for both candidates on how they will address domestic and intimate partner violence? Ask here

Elevate Boston coalition member Hollaback! Boston just released the results of their report showing the state of street harassment in Boston.

Street harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence, but one of the least legislated against. There is no public education or funding to provide services around the issue. It causes people to feel unsafe on the streets, causes anxiety and stress, and decreases mobility as people become afraid to leave their homes or are forced to change their routes to avoid it.

We believe that it is the job of the next mayor to address this public safety issue. 

Have a question for the next mayor of Boston for how he will address public safety issues like street harassment? Read the final two candidates’ responses on safe communities for all here and submit your questions. 

As a health care provider, an educator of parents and young people, and an advocate for women, Planned Parenthood sees every day how health care access, economic equity, and public safety are interconnected.
Martha “Marty” Walz, President of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund

This infographic from Elevate Boston coalition member Connect 2 Protect shows rates of HIV infections among Boston youth and young adults, aged 12 to 24.

With the support of our next mayor, these alarming rates could be reduced or eliminated altogether with proper funding for comprehensive sex education and support services for young people struggling with HIV.

Read the answers of mayoral candidates Marty Walsh and John Connolly regarding health equity in Boston. How do you think the next mayor could improve healthy equity and work to reduce rates of HIV?

Street harassment negatively affects a significant number of Bostonians. Hollaback! Boston believes that harassment in public space is a community issue and that our community can work, with the support of the next Mayor, to bring it to an end. We envision a Boston where street harassment is not tolerated, a Boston where everyone can walk down the streets or ride the T in safety, without fear of unwanted comments, leering, whistling, or assault.
Britni de la Cretaz, Hollaback! Boston Co-Director