When I watched Mayor Menino’s announcement that he would not seek reelection, I thought back to the city of violence and racial tension that I saw when I was a caseworker in Roxbury, Columbia Point, and the Combat Zone from 1972 to ’74. I remember, as a new homeowner in the South End, running down the middle of the street in 1979 so that I would not get jumped. And I sure remember the gang violence of the 1990s when I was head of the social service agency COMPASS and we buried 24 students. I also remember Tom Menino coming to COMPASS when he was a city councilor and then again as mayor (it is no surprise that 49 percent of Bostonians have met him).
Did he cure all the ills of the city? Well, I know this: Our great city is much better for his 20 years of service. From one who saw it up close, we are much better.
I think of his best moves — making Paul Evans police commissioner (great community policing), his commitment to the neighborhoods, his inclusiveness, his commitment to decreasing violence, and his work to end homelessness.
Thanks, Tom, and thank you, Angela, for sharing him with us.