The swift and shocking financial impact of COVID-19 has laid bare the economic inequities in our City. Particularly in communities of color, too many of our families have lost jobs, and are now being forced to put their health at risk to pay their bills.
Even before the pandemic, Boston was among the most profoundly unequal cities in the United States. Years ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston reported that the median net worth of a Black family in Greater Boston was just $8, and was as low as $0 for Dominicans, compared with a median net worth of $247,500 for white families.
As Mayor, Andrea will harness the leadership and innovation that is unique to Boston to tackle our City’s divides, and close this profound racial wealth gap. Andrea will champion industry leaders, non-profit organizations, and policies that place racial equity at the center of economic development and recovery, starting with how the City does business. She will create stronger mechanisms for families to access affordable rents, generate savings, and have a path to home ownership and economic security, particularly for households headed by women and women of color.
As Mayor, Andrea will:
Create the conditions for businesses to bounce back. Andrea will support businesses to swiftly and equitably rehire and rebuild in each and every neighborhood. That includes rewriting City regulations and approval processes, building private-public partnerships for investment, and providing capital and support to small businesses, with a particular focus on those in our hardest-hit neighborhoods and those owned by women and people of color.
Make city procurement equitable and inclusive. Today, Boston’s procurement process is profoundly inequitable – less than 5% of the City’s discretionary contracts have gone to Women and Minority Owned Businesses. Andrea has joined advocates to push for clear goals and accountability, to reach targets of 7 percent, 14 percent and 20 percent minority contracts over the next three years, and will make this a reality as Mayor.
Increase access to banking. Roxbury, Dorchester, and East Boston have 57% of the city’s check-cashing locations but only 12% of the city’s commercial bank branches, costing low-income families thousands of dollars per year that could be saved or invested. Andrea believes Boston must create more incentives to make sure that banks are serving Bostonians equitably.
Increase access to savings. Andrea believes City government must do more to help families generate savings, and supports a City-run savings program in partnership with the private sector for families who need it most. She also believes in enhancing and expanding the Boston Saves program, to help more students save for career pathways from the moment they enter our public schools.
Stand with workers. Organized labor has been under attack since the beginning of the Trump administration. Andrea believes city government should be a bulwark against these anti-labor attacks, supporting workers as they organize for a more just and equitable economy. Andrea supports paid family leave, a fair work week, paid sick time for workers, and living wages for every member of our community.