On Saturday, October 7, 2023, the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council (GMNC) held a District 5 and At-Large City Council candidates forum. Residents had submitted questions prior to the forum. These questions plus additional questions submitted at the event in the chat have been forwarded to the candidates. We have asked them to complete them online, and to submit their responses electronically. We will post them as they are returned.

Representation requires resident participation. In the September primary, less than 300 registered Mattapan voters cast ballots – this includes both mail-in and in-person casting of ballots. No one can represent us but us. We have to show up. We have to let all candidates know that we want an equitable piece of the city’s budget; we want equitable funding for our schools; we want to see positive health outcomes for our residents; we want fiscal accountability; we want safe streets; we want an excellent public transportation system.

District 5 Candidates Questions
What do you believe are the top needs of Mattapan’s small businesses and their owners? What policies will you implement to support those needs?

District 5 and At-Large Candidates Questions
This year Boston will pilot its participatory budgeting process with $4 million. Will you advocate increasing it to $10M in next years’ budget?
One new power of Boston City Councilors is their ability to amend the Mayor’s budget. How do you plan to engage residents and advocate for constituent priorities during the annual budget process?
Madison Park High School – What is your knowledge regarding Madison Park High School? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the city’s only vocational tech school.
Boston Public Schools – if you became a city councilor what would you do to improve BPS?
Public Safety – City councilors voted to slash the Boston Police Department budget by $31 million what is your insight regarding Public Safety
Blue Hill Ave MBTA project – What is your insight regarding this major project that will encompass several of Boston’s inner-city neighborhoods directly and others indirectly because Blue Hill Ave is a main thoroughfare.
Housing and development they go hand in hand what is your insight in this regard because affordable housing versus market and development on getting minority contractors their equal share and access to the city and private developments.
What are your plans to find qualified contractors to fix facilities used by the public? Suggestion, the Mildred Avenue Community Center gym floor was reported with pictures in March 2022. In April 2022 the damaged floor and stadium seats were removed. The Community Center had to cordon off the area with a barrier and padding to protect the children in their programs. During the early election in 2022, it was reported again to elected officials, the mayor’s office and to the Chief of Operations. Each said they would report it to BPS. To make a long story short to date – the floor has not been fixed. Residents coming to vote and children in programs are still not presented with a safe floor to be used. What would you do to prevent such lengthy waiting to provide a safe facility?
Basic city services – What would be your plan working with the mayor and the city agencies to improve basic city services in Mattapan?
Mass & Cass – What is your take or insight on this major problem? What would be your remedies or your recommendations for dealing with this major problem?
What would you do to bring back an elected school committee?
Years ago, neighborhood associations and Councils asked the Liquor Licensing Board to support the communities when requests for new licenses were made. At that time the number of licenses were numerous among the neighborhoods. Now it seems like the City Council is answering the merchants by pushing through licenses without community input. Where do you stand?
Would you consider vetoing the sale of more schools to developers and try to have them renovated into updated Boston Public schools in the neighborhoods?
How would you maintain the policy of the PILOT program?
Where do you stand on BTD’s plan to put a bus service down the middle of Blue Hill Avenue?
What are your thoughts of the new plans for the renovations of White Stadium? How does BPS maintain control of the stadium and events?
What are you going to do to help get more programs for the kids & teens? To stop crime? And to help with affordable housing?
Please discuss where you stand on the Shattuck project?
What would your plan be if elected to solve the problem of low voter turnout, and low graduation rates in District 5 compared to the rest of the city? Is there a correlation between high crime rates in D5 with the fact there is no public high school? How would you solve these issues if elected?
80% of the community voted for an elected school committee. Boston is the only municipality out of 351 that does not have an elected school committee. This is a major issue. Do you believe that the city council should follow the will of the voters? What would you do to bring back an elected school committee?
What to build on open lands, whether that be green spaces or homes or etc. – as an example the Starbucks that opened a little while ago on River St. Do you feel like this was helpful and effective for the community or, as some have argued it, a sign towards gentrification and land use in unnecessary ways.
Mattapan has the largest teen population in Boston; but we do not have a public high school. This has affected our local economy and local workforce. Would you support building a public high school in Mattapan? If so, what would be your plan of action and implementation strategies.