Boston has a new civic engagement czar.
In a statement, Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office on Monday said he’s appointed Aisha Miller as the city’s new chief of civic engagement, a position that’ll require her to work with a team to create “opportunities for Boston residents to participate with local government.”
Miller, the statement said, will join Walsh’s Civic Engagement Cabinet composed of his Office of Neighborhood Services, Office of Public Service and Community Outreach, Boston 311 and SPARK Boston, a group working to empower younger residents.
She’ll start her new position Dec. 7, the statement said, adding that Miller currently serves as assistant commissioner of constituent services for the Boston Inspectional Services Department.
Miller replaces Jerome Smith, who’s helmed the Office of Neighborhood Services and served as chief of civic engagement for over six years, according to the statement.
“I am excited and esteemed by this opportunity to lead one of the essential departments in the City of Boston that connects to all Boston residents. I look forward to continuing the initiatives spearheaded by Chief Jerome Smith and creating new initiatives under the leadership of Mayor Martin J. Walsh,” Miller said in the statement. “I was born and raised in Mattapan, enriched with families and hard-working parents like my mother that instilled values in their children.”
Moments like these, Miller continued, “prove to young people of color that opportunities are at their fingertips through hard work and dedication. For me, it’s simple; a girl from Mattapan has the chance to give back to the people who have prepared her for this moment.”
Walsh offered high praise for Miller in the statement.
“Aisha brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in civic engagement to this new role, and I am proud and excited to appoint her as my Chief of Civic Engagement,” Walsh said. “Managing the Constituent Services Division at ISD required building relationships with the community, outside stakeholders and various city agencies to ensure each Boston resident is afforded the best quality of life. I am confident that she will also excel in this new role and all City departments will benefit from having her as a Cabinet Chief.”
Smith was also quoted in the statement, calling his time working for the city, which officially comes to an end Friday, a “privilege.”
“I was dedicated to bridging the gaps between our communities and local government as I firmly believed that it is only by strengthening our neighborhoods that we can succeed as a city,” Smith said. “With the support of the Mayor, my excellent staff and I were able to improve the delivery of services to constituents and to find innovative and meaningful ways in which to engage the residents of Boston. I am confident that the Cabinet will continue to do incredible work.”
Walsh had kind words for Smith too.
“Jerome has been an integral part of my team for many years, and greatly contributed to the continual improvement of delivering City services,” Walsh said in the statement. “It has truly been a pleasure to work with him and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.