Every Bostonian has felt the impacts of COVID-19, but Boston’s communities of color — particularly Black and Latinx communities — have been hit the hardest.
These health disparities didn’t appear overnight. The average life expectancy for a Bostonian living in Back Bay is 92 years, while in Roxbury it is just 59 years. A 33-year difference in life expectancy, just a few miles apart. As the City Councilor representing much of Dorchester and Mattapan, and parts of Roslindale and Jamaica Plain, Andrea has seen these staggering health inequities first-hand, and will confront them head-on as Mayor, with a clear focus on social determinants of health including economic security, access to healthy food, quality jobs and housing, and equitable health care.
Boston is home to world class hospitals and health care organizations and is on the cutting edge of policy and practice across the spectrum of health. We must leverage the unparalleled expertise, innovation, and resources within our city so that all Bostonians can not only access quality, affordable care but also live in safe, healthy communities.
As Mayor, Andrea will:
Ensure access to quality health care for all Bostonians. Particularly in the era of COVID-19, it’s critical that Boston partner with community members and organizations to identify solutions and help us invest in our community health centers, build stronger partnerships with our leading hospitals, and scale up creative delivery models like telehealth and mobile solutions that make care more accessible to those who need it most.
Confront racism as a public health crisis. Boston’s health inequities are rooted in systemic racism. This is clear whether we are looking at life expectancies, the shockingly high rates of Black maternal mortality and complications during pregnancy, or that Black men are disproportionately more likely to die from gun-related violence. Andrea will be intentional about shifting policies, practices, and budgets to eradicate systemic inequities and systemic racism in partnership with communities most impacted.
Address food insecurity and food deserts. Access to food – and healthy food – is a significant driver of health inequities in Boston. Andrea will strengthen the Office of Food Access and ensure that the City is doing more to confront the critical importance of race, ethnicity and culture in food access, food quality, and the impact of food deserts on our communities.
Expand access to mental health and trauma-informed care and recovery services. Boston must develop and invest in new strategies to support residents suffering from the impacts of domestic violence, gun violence, or substance use, and experiencing homelessness often caused by these other issues. Andrea will reallocate funding from policing to these critical initiatives, decentralize recovery services from the South End so that they are accessible Citywide, and ensure that mental health services get the support they deserve from City Hall.