Boston mayoral candidate and city councilor Michelle Wu said Sunday that fighting climate change would be a priority for her, calling for measures to convert the city’s school bus fleet to electric power.
Wu, speaking on WBZ’s “Keller at Large,” also called for police reform, affordable housing, and using taxpayer dollars more efficiently.
One of two finalists for the city’s top job who is seen as the progressive candidate in the mayoral election, Wu said Boston needs more resources invested in public safety and public health.
She stressed that in order to make streets safer, there needs to be a shift to a public health approach in the city’s crisis response. “As a mom, I will do whatever it takes to make sure our streets are safe. That means using our resources and reallocating dollars in the right way,” she said.
Addressing the need to respond to climate change, Wu noted that almost half of the 700 school buses in the city are diesel. If buses were converted to electric power, she said, it would clean the air and save money.
Wu also cited the growing housing crisis in the city, citing the need to keep rents affordable, implement paid parental leave, and invest city dollars in businesses started by Black and brown entrepreneurs.
“When we talk about the housing crisis or how much stress our schools are under, we can’t afford to just nibble around the edges of the status quo,” said Wu. “The pandemic heightened the stress that so many of our essential workers are under, like unsafe working conditions and lack of adequate pay and benefits. We need to take actions that’ll secure our neighborhoods and ensure people have opportunities.”
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