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Meeting with the Mayor to improve senior housing in Boston

Posted: October 4, 2013

I was so pleased to attend the Mayor's Elder and Disabled Housing Service Coordinator Committee today.  Honestly, when I saw the invitation to participate, I imagined a large crowd and a staff briefing on all the things the City is doing for seniors.  I was utterly delighted to walk into a room with a table that seated maybe 15 people and to find Mayor Menino himself there to lead the meeting with a genuine interest in learning and brainstorming!

The Mayor clearly is not resting on his laurels, despite an extremely strong track record of caring about elders and about affordable housing.  He charged our group with coming up with immediate, intermediate-term and long-term options for how to provide services to seniors in Boston Public Housing.  He urged us to be creative and not be afraid to suggest unconventional ideas.  He gave us 2 ½ months to do so—he says we’ll meet 3 more times between now and the end of the year.

The discussion was wide-ranging and everyone promised to engage fully in the assigned task.  I have no doubt that we will devise some realistic and optimistic options for the BHA.

Several times during the meeting, JCHE was referred to as a best practice and a potential model.  That was gratifying!

Mostly, though, I was just struck once again by the power of leadership.  The Mayor asked and the rest of us felt honored by the calling.  We will all try our hardest to genuinely devise options and to help implement them.  Not one of us, including me, would even consider disappointing this mayor.

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