New Boston mayor promises to focus on crime, schools

BOSTON Mon Jan 6, 2014 10:03am EST

New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio (L) and Boston Mayor-elect Martin Walsh are pictured after speaking to the press outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, December 13, 2013, following their meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and other newly-elected mayors about job creation. REUTERS/Jason Reed

New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio (L) and Boston Mayor-elect Martin Walsh are pictured after speaking to the press outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, December 13, 2013, following their meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and other newly-elected mayors about job creation.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston's first new mayor in 20 years, former state representative Martin Walsh, vowed on Monday to focus on cutting the city's violent-crime rates and improving its school system.

The former teacher addressed the challenges of two big appointments that he will make after being sworn in as Boston's 54th mayor - the city's next police commissioner and school superintendent.

"No parent should worry that a bullet will stop a daughter or son from coming home," said Walsh, who succeeds Thomas Menino, the longest-serving mayor in Boston's long history. "We must find a way to provide our families and our communities with the help they need when they need it."

Boston's last police commissioner, Ed Davis, who rose to national prominence for his calm leadership following the April 15 bombing attack at the Boston Marathon, stepped aside last year to make room for Menino's successor to pick a new leader.

There were 40 murders in New England's largest city last year, the lowest in a decade, but that figure was still "40 grieving mothers too many," Walsh said.

Walsh, whose campaign focused on education, said he aimed to close the so-called achievement gap between low- and high-income students by expanding pre-school offerings, and to boost career-focused and technical training available at the city's high schools.

"These things cost money - but we must find a way," he said at Boston College, his alma mater, adding that he would begin a review of the city's spending on schools to ensure "it is being spent most effectively and efficiently."

Walsh, a former alcoholic who overcame cancer as a child, said he would reform licensing laws to smooth the way for the opening of new businesses and review the services provided to seniors and disabled residents of city-owned housing units.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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Comments (5)
“Recovering alcoholic” would be more accurate than “former alcoholic”. Once a pickle, never a cucumber….

Jan 06, 2014 10:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
Zeken wrote:
“… 40 grieving mothers too many …”

No grieving babydaddies, though. They gone done that rolling stone thing.

Jan 06, 2014 11:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mylena wrote:
Well, onwe thing he can do is release all the one’s that were hiring techers and professors. Looking for backgrounds, and no choosing same sex lovers for the environment.Another one rule putting scans like airports in any a school acces.

Jan 06, 2014 11:29am EST  --  Report as abuse
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