The following is Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s victory speech, as provided by his campaign:
Thank you, Boston!
Tonight, we commit once again to be a city for all of us: to bring opportunity to every community; to celebrate our immigrant heritage and welcome our immigrant neighbors; to light the way forward for our nation; and to make the greatest city in the world the greatest it’s ever been.
I’m so grateful to everyone who played a part in today’s election. I have to start by thanking my mother Mary [Walsh], Lorrie [Higgins], and Lauren [Campbell]. I would not be here without these strong women in my life. I love you.
To our campaign team—Campaign Manager John Laadt, Field Director Tom McKay, Communications Director Gabrielle Farrell, Digital Director Stefan Smith, and the entire staff at Mt. Vernon Street: I will never forget your hard work and dedication. You ran a positive campaign in every single community of our city. You made me proud and you made Boston proud.
To the more than 2,000 volunteers, who knocked over 200,000 doors; and made one million phone calls: whether we’ve been together for 20 years, or you just got involved this weekend, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You came from every neighborhood in our city. You are union members, housing advocates, artists, members of the LGBTQ community, young people, and seniors. You are Boston! Your passion for this city inspires me. Thank you!
To my colleagues in public office: thank you for the work we’ve done together and we’ll continue to do together.
And to Councilor [Tito] Jackson, thank you for a spirited campaign. To everyone who supported you and voted for you: thank you for making your voices heard. Let’s come together, to build a city that’s truly for all of us.
Four years ago, my dream came true: you chose this son of immigrants to serve the city we love. I said then: we are in this together. Every neighborhood. Every race and religion. Every woman, every man, and every child. I meant it, and we proved it!
We created 70,000 new jobs together. We built 22,000 new homes together. We expanded pre-kindergarten, added learning time, raised the graduation rate, and improved our schools—together. We made our neighborhoods safer together. And together we led the nation in women’s advancement, recovery services, arts policy, and protecting the environment.
After four years of hard work, I believe it more deeply than ever: when we come together, Boston, anything is possible.
Today we made a choice to move forward together: to continue the historic progress we’ve made in the last four years, and to work even harder, to achieve even more for the city we love.
The choices we make for Boston are not just on election day. The choices we make every day are what bring us together as a city. Across all our differences, we vote with our feet to come here, and we vote with our hearts to stay.
Immigrants seeking a better life choose Boston. They risk everything to come to our city. I will always have their back.
Every choice for Boston makes us stronger. Parents enrolling their children in the Boston Public Schools. Families in our neighborhoods who stayed through the difficult years while others were leaving. Seniors staying in the communities they built.
Francine Farrell is here, she’s a homeowner from Mattapan. She started out working in the cotton fields of Arkansas before choosing Boston 45 years ago. She knocked doors for our campaign and today she cast her vote proudly.
Every fall, thousands of college students choose Boston, to start a new chapter in their lives. Eddie Barretto is one of them. Our free community college program helped him become the first in his family to go to college.
Small business owners build dreams and jobs in Boston. Jack Wu is here. He came from China as a teenager. He committed to Boston again, when he co-founded Homestead bakery in Dorchester.
And, for the first time in a generation, big employers and global leaders are choosing Boston. They choose Boston because every day, across our city, we choose Boston. Every student, every worker, every senior, every family, every nonprofit, every business, one way or another, makes a decision: this is the place for us. This is a city we believe in. This is where we chase our dreams.
It’s the hope and faith behind all those choices, and the hard work behind all those dreams, that makes Boston great, and drives me forward every single day.
Today, I am more determined than ever to make Boston a city where everyone’s dream can come true—a city that’s a hub of opportunity for every individual in every neighborhood. A city for all of us. That’s what the next four years will be about.
We’re going to keep expanding opportunity in our schools. We’re going to invest more in our students than ever. We’re going to modernize school buildings, to unlock the skills and jobs of tomorrow. We’re going to move toward simpler grade configurations, with more consistency for students and more certainty for families. And we’re going to work with our partners to achieve universal, high-quality pre-kindergarten—a strong start for every single child. Tonight, I reach out to everyone who cares about the young people of our city. Whatever your views on education, let’s come together as one city united behind all our children.
I am deeply determined to keep expanding opportunities for housing. A city for all of us must be affordable for working families. So we’re going to keep building homes for all of us. Our Housing Plan is moving us in the right direction. But I heard it over and over on the campaign trail: whether at a community center in East Boston or a supermarket in West Roxbury: the cost of housing is a barrier for too many families. It’s making it hard for them to stay in Boston.
That’s why, in the last four years, we not only took on a historic housing shortage, we laid the groundwork to do even more. We secured millions of dollars in new revenue moving forward, to build affordable homes for families and seniors all across this city.
We’re also going to upgrade public housing for thousands of our most vulnerable families—even if Washington turns its back.
And we commit to ending chronic homelessness in our city. We know we can do it, because we housed 1,200 people already and we ended chronic veterans’ homelessness.
We’re going to keep expanding opportunity by being a safe and supportive city for all. And we’re going to keep doing it by lifting people up instead of locking people up. That means we must continue to build trust between the police and the community; keep providing trauma treatment to help families heal; keep forging regional collaborations to stop the flow of illegal guns; and keep offering second chances, from Operation Exit to our new Office of Returning Citizens.
We will keep working every single day to make our city safer and stronger.
We’re going to expand opportunity in our libraries, with new branch renovations in Dudley Square, Adams Street, Upham’s Corner, and many others.
We’re going to expand opportunities in our parks. We’ll make historic investments in Franklin Park and Boston Common. And a new park at Fort Point Channel will protect our city from flooding.
We’re going to expand transportation opportunities. We’re going to increase access to trains, and bike infrastructure, and we’re going to keep Boston one of the most walkable cities in the world.
Above all: we pledge tonight to keep expanding opportunity in every single neighborhood of Boston. Four years ago, we transformed Boston’s economic development strategy. Today, the same team that pitches global giants like Amazon is in all of our communities helping our 40,000 small businesses thrive. Job opportunities are growing in every single neighborhood.
In the next four years and beyond, our citywide plan will direct job growth and job access to the communities that need it the most. We’ll make sure Bostonians are first in line for the jobs of today and the jobs of the future.
We’ll continue to lead by making sure City agencies reflect the communities they serve. And we’ll continue to build the pipelines to leadership that are changing the face of City Hall for generations to come.
And, to make sure our entire city can move forward together, we will continue our citywide dialogues on race. We are one community in Boston.
We’re going to keep tackling all the national challenges that limit opportunity in our city. And we’re going to keep forging solutions that work for the people of Boston. On inequality, the environment, immigration, addiction: whatever happens in Washington, we’re going to move forward in Boston. We’re going to keep building a Boston for all of us. And we’re going to show what an America for all of us looks like.
So tonight, in memory of my father John, who chose Boston 61 years ago; and standing with my mother Mary, who chose Boston three years later; I join you in making a choice for Boston once again. We choose a city of neighborhoods with character; a city of healing and recovery, learning and innovation; a city of caring and culture; a city for all of us.
Most importantly, Boston, tonight and for the next four years: we choose each other. We choose to see each other. To hear each other. And to work with each other, side by side, to make the greatest city in the world the greatest it’s ever been.
Thank you. God Bless you. God Bless the City of Boston.