Andrea knows firsthand the pain of losing a loved one to the criminal legal system and how our approach to policing and incarceration disproportionately harms people of color. Andrea grew up in and represents neighborhoods that see the highest rates of violence and homicide in Boston, and knows we cannot police our way out of these issues. As Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice, Andrea has led the fight to transform Boston’s approach to public safety to address root causes and treat violence as a public health crisis – working with community leaders and organizations on collective solutions, including establishing the Youth Development Fund, the first dedicated budget line item for youth development programs, and efforts to increase accountability, transparency, and justice in policing.
These efforts were too often met with resistance, dismissed as controversial or impractical, or completely ignored by the current administration. It should not have taken the public, painful murders of Black men and women by police for Boston to not only acknowledge the systemic racism in our policing and criminal legal systems, but also to take real action to transform these systems so they serve us all equally.
As Mayor, Andrea will:
Reimagine public safety and criminal justice to address root causes of violence and crime. Andrea has been a leader in pushing the City to reimagine the role of police in Boston and reallocating funding to mental health, youth development, re-entry programs, and other community-led violence prevention and intervention efforts that will break cycles of poverty, trauma, and abuse. As Mayor, she will shift our approach to school safety to a restorative justice model instead of a law enforcement one, and establish a new crisis response system to respond to non-violent 911 calls.
Establish an independent civilian review board to hold police accountable. Just this year, Andrea filed legislation that would create such a board – one with real independence from BPD and the Mayor’s office, and with the legal authority to enforce real change. As Mayor, she’ll make a Civilian Review Board an immediate priority.
Demilitarize our police. Andrea and her colleagues filed legislation to severely limit the use of military enforcement tactics like tear gas and rubber bullets by Boston police, tactics that have no place in peaceful protests.
Make Boston Police the most transparent law enforcement agency in the country. When Boston Police failed to release stop and frisk data for several years, Andrea subpoenaed the department, and exposed data that showed Bostonians of color are far more likely to be stopped, frisked, and arrested by police. As Mayor, Andrea will create an interactive dashboard of police data that allows any resident to access critical public safety data so we can hold ourselves accountable to reducing racial disparities in policing.