The corner lot, Sigel and Bigelow streets:
Worcester City Councilors, now is the time to ACT! Yesterday … pics: Rose T.
Would you care for a side of ghettodom with your gentrification?
IS D 4 DUMPSVILLE REFLECTIVE OF “A CITY ON THE MOVE”?
wanted to post this, too …
McGovern Calls on Trump to End Outsourcing
Urges Trade Rep to Fight for Strong Labor Standards During NAFTA Renegotiations
Congressman Jim McGovern joined this week 183 Members of Congress on a letter to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer expressing concern with the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Specifically, Congressman McGovern and the Members of Congress told Lighthizer to end the outsourcing of good-paying American jobs by negotiating for strong labor standards that end wage suppression and support increased labor rights for Mexican workers.
The letter was led by Representatives Sander Levin (MI-09), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), and Rosa DeLauro (CT-03).
“The suppression of wages and lack of labor rights continue to result in the outsourcing of U.S. manufacturing jobs and low wage growth,” wrote Congressman McGovern and the Members of Congress. “Low wages, a lack of independent unions and an inability for workers to collectively bargain in Mexico have hurt American workers and led to the outsourcing of jobs to Mexico. Increasing labor rights in Mexico will help workers there climb out of poverty, and also protect American jobs and wages from a race to the bottom.”
“Any new NAFTA must have strong, clear and binding provisions that address Mexico’s labor conditions,” continued McGovern and the Members of Congress. “Given the ingrained resistance to labor rights in Mexico, we must demand real and identifiable progress on labor reforms take place before Congress votes on a renegotiated NAFTA.”
Bipartisan Members of Congress launch Food is Medicine to Highlight Impacts of Hunger on Health
Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat and leading voice on agriculture and hunger policy, joined this week Republicans and Democrats to launch the new bipartisan Food is Medicine Working Group, within the House Hunger Caucus.
The new group will highlight the costs related to hunger and the importance of keeping U.S. agricultural and nutrition policy rooted in health-focused research that shows families and communities are healthier when they have access to nutritious food like fresh fruits and vegetables.
“When families don’t have access to nutritious food, their health suffers. Too many families struggle to put food on the table. It is imperative that Congress and other policymakers understand that food is medicine. “We simply cannot address hunger and health as two separate issues. They’re two sides of the same coin. Community organizations are already doing incredible work across the country to connect chronically-ill patients with the food they need,” Congressman Jim McGovern said. “With the launch of our new bipartisan Food is Medicine working group, we will work to elevate this issue and advance policy solutions that will help to ensure more chronically-ill people have access to medically tailored meals. Together, we can ensure food is seen as medicine and make real progress to end hunger across the country.”
In addition to McGovern, the new group will be led by Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Roger Marshall (R-KS).
Joining the lawmakers at the launch were leaders from Tufts University, the George Washington University Food Institute, Harvard Law School, and Feeding America.
JON BON JOVI – GREAT ON HUNGER! Finally BEING INDUCTED INTO THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME! … Jon Bon Jovi: still gorgeous! Songs STILL kick ass! … Those killer hooks! killer melodies! … killer hair = Immortality!💖🎵🎵
“I have a dream …”
Today is a national holiday, in honor of Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the greatest Americans.
Let’s honor his greatness – let’s make today truly “holy”! We are pleading with every American to reject the racist, toxic, EVIL Trumpism and President Donald Trump – a “sick white brother,” as MLK would no doubt say – and turn to Dr. King for answers! Read his work! Check out his sermons, speeches and activism on You Tube! See and hear how a REAL American leader lights the way for an entire nation! The world!! Follow Martin’s light TODAY! IT IS STILL SHINING!
– Rose T.
I have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr; August 28, 1963
Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Congressman McGovern (second from right) joins Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representatives Richard Neal and Seth Moulton in meeting with Massachusetts State Police officers volunteering to help with the recovery effort in Puerto Rico.
Lawmakers Survey Recovery Efforts, Highlight Need for More Aid
Congressman Jim McGovern, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and other lawmakers from the Massachusetts congressional delegation were in Puerto Rico yesterday to survey the damage from Hurricane Maria. They met with volunteers and rescue workers on the ground and highlighted the need for more aid to continue recovery efforts.
“Far too many of our fellow U.S. citizens are still without electricity and the resources they need to rebuild. Even before Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Massachusetts was the proud home of 300,000 Puerto Ricans – and thousands more have come to the Bay State since Hurricane Maria upended their lives,” said McGovern, Warren
and the delegation members in a statement.
The statement continues: “We’re [in] Puerto Rico to see firsthand the devastation on the island and how we can help our fellow citizens along the path to a full recovery. We have not forgotten our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico – they can count on us.”
Congressman McGovern and the Massachusetts lawmakers will visit Hospital de Niño in San Juan, which helps children with autism and special needs.
McGovern and the delegation will then receive a briefing from federal disaster and homeland security officials at the Joint Field Office in Guaynabo on relief efforts.
Additionally, the delegation will tour a health center in Loiza and a shelter in Canóvanas, before flying back to Washington.
By Edith Morgan
Prevention is always better and cheaper than trying to cure the disease, after the trouble has really begun. But, unfortunately, we seem to be reactive rather than preventive. That mindset is pretty evident when one looks at our budgets on the State and Local levels and it is worse at the National level.
As a retired school teacher, I can remember how, in Kindergarten, I could pretty accurately predict which students would have trouble mastering the basic skills needed to transition from “learning to read“ to “reading to learn,” which happens after fourth grade. And those children who do not make that transition at that time, seem doomed to years of remediation and often, ultimately, end up not graduating or in the “school-to-jail pipeline.” Remediation and jail are expensive for the taxpayers – and often go on for many years.
So it makes sense to try a variety of things to get our children started right, early. We now have full-day Kindergarten for all our Worcester public school pupils. That should help give many a good, early start. But there is still a great divide even that early between those children who have gone to pre-school and those who have not. Since pre-school is quite expensive, it does not take a genius to figure out who is able to take advantage of the early learnings offered by pre-school. (It is true that if a child has a disability, special education is available from age three on.)
There is now proposal before the Worcester Public Schools Administration to create a combination K-1 grade, which would enable those needing more time to master the skills needed to get into grade 2 to remain in this class another year and get a good foundation.
This proposal is in the hands of the school administration for study and will be presented to the Worcester School Committee for approval.
Whatever comes out of that study, we know it will mean additional costs at the beginning of school. This means that the State of Massachusetts will have to appropriate money for this plan, if accepted. We expect to be told that there is no money (what else is new?!), but there is always lots of money for remediation, and for jail …
Many years ago, when I was still active in the public schools north of here, the director of special education and I used to discuss just what could be done to avoid the great and increasing burden of special education and remediation. We both agreed that if every child entering our schools were to have an IEP (Individual Educational Plan) we could be ready to teach each child at the level he/she is upon entering school.
As it is now, we expect the student to be ready for school. What if the school were to be ready for the child – knowing at what level his/her skills were, and begin teaching there?
No failing, no repeating, just learning at the student’s comfort level, and no moving on until the child is ready. That, of course, would require drastic changes in the way we do things. But meeting each child at his/her level, teaching to the proper learning style, and not rushing things.
Many years ago I heard this conversation: Question: What is the best education system?
Answer: Mark Hopkins on one end of a log, the pupil on the other.
By Rosalie Tirella
… and tres influential top spot on the city council’s Economic Development subcommittee, we’re expecting great “developments”! We’re expecting Candy to stay true to her moral code and advance the working guy and gal’s economic we’ll being!
Cuz Candy is in love with/married to union leader and worker-political heavyweight Joe Carlson! True to her life, Candy has advocated on the city council floor for a living wage of $15/hour for ALL City of Worcester workers! The newest newbie, bottom-of-the-totem pole City of Worcester garbage guy or office clerk or teacher’s aide or substitute teacher must be able to AFFORD to live and shop and flourish in Woo!
As Worcester District 2 City councilor, Candy represents the city’s vibrant, always bustling restaurant row – Shrewsbury Street – and a good chunk of our ever evolving downtown. We know Candy’s smart on the economic development front, but we now have a new subcommittee head who is a bull dog (the Carlsons love and have always owned bull dogs😊) on workers’ rights and will push push push for the WORKERS who are literally rebuilding, brick by brick, our downtown! She knows their struggles and will not disappoint them. Candy WILL WORK TO GET LOCAL LABORERS, CONTRACTORS AND COMPANIES on all our city redevelopment projects! For GOOD WAGES for workers! She’s for union shops. NO EXPLOITATION OF DAY LABORERS! CONTRACTORS must have apprenticeship programs so our city kids can learn on the job and join our middle class!
Remember the days when unions were such a big part of Worcester and company heads worked with them so folks here, many immigrants, could realize the American Dream?
It can happen again!
We have a great and compassionate mayor, Joe Petty, and his trusted city manager, Ed Augustus, leading the way into the future! We are a huge fan of the smart but modest, inclusive, no-frills, GOOD-GUY Joe Petty. We are not close to the Augustus office, but we do know Ed works hand in hand with Joe, his life long friend. So we are hopeful …
Here’s to 2018! Cheers to a diverse, cool Worcester City Council that will reflect our unique …
… city, filled with so many good people!
Here are the rest of Mayor Petty’s city council member subcommittee assignments:
Economic Development: District 2 Councilor Candy Mero Carlson (chair), District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera, District 5 Councilor Matt Wally
Education: At-Large Councilor Moe Bergman (chair), At-Large Councilor Khrystian King, At-Large Councilor Gary Rosen
Municipal Operations: District 1 Councilor Sean Rose (chair), At-Large Councilor Kate Toomey, District 3 Councilor George Russell
Public Health and Human Services: Rivera (chair), Rose, Toomey
Public Safety: Toomey (chair), Bergman, Rivera
Public Service and Transportation: At-Large Councilor Konnie Lukes (chair), Russell, Rosen
Public Works: Russell (chair), Wally, Carlson
Rules and Legislative Affairs: King (chair), Bergman, Toomey
Traffic and Parking: Wally (chair), Carlson, Lukes
Veterans and Military Affairs: Bergman (chair), Lukes, Rose
Go, Worcester, go!
Mayor Joseph Petty’s Inaugural
speech – Mechanics Hall, 1/2/18:
Good evening everyone.
Thank you to the Worcester Youth Orchestra.
RECOGNIZE ELECTEDS. Recognize City Manager Augustus and Superintendent Binienda.
THANK you to my family.
I first stood on this stage twenty years ago. I am proud to be here tonight and of all the accomplishments that we have made over that time. The names and faces of those behind me have changed, but every class of city councilors and school committee members gives of themselves, takes hard votes every year, and sacrifices for this city to be where we are today. It’s not easy to be an elected official and every person on this stage and at every inauguration before that, deserves the recognition of everyone here tonight.
Today we greet a new year and a new legislative session with the most diverse and promising city council in recent memory and a new school committee; and the state of our city has never been stronger.
As elected officials, we have done our part and worked shoulder to shoulder with City Manager Augustus and his team, the department heads, the business community, and hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals and that work to move this city forward.
You see it in a new hotel in Washington Square and a new ice rink in the Canal District.
You see it along Main Street, where new restaurants are opening and old buildings are being given new life.
The word about Worcester is spreading. It is spreading across the Commonwealth and across New England.
As we look forward to what is next for our city it’s important to recognize how far we have come.
Much has been accomplished in the last two years but the ground breakings and ribbon cuttings were all years in the making. In my first inaugural six years ago, I called for a new Nelson Place Elementary School and last year we opened it.
In my first inaugural six years ago I announced the formation of the Route 20 Task Force that called for sewers in the last unserved part of our city. Because of the work of our state legislature and city administration and the Governor’s office, construction on this twenty million dollar project is underway leading to increased property values and cleaner water.
In 2012 Congressman Jim McGovern brought the U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood to Worcester and first discussed the CAT THREE landing system at Worcester airport.
This May, because of this new thirty-two million dollar system, we will be able to take daily roundtrip flights from Worcester to New York City.
Almost twenty years ago, Ed Augustus started working on the Blackstone Visitors Center and Gateway Park and this June we will be cutting the ribbon on that project.
After fifteen years the South Worcester Industrial Park is now full, every parcel sold and being developed. The old courthouse on Main Street, closed for almost a decade, will soon see over fifty-million dollars in investment, creating housing and retail space.
In 2003 Mayor Tim Murray envisioned the demolition of the Worcester Galleria and a mixed use development in its place. This year, fifteen years later, we will see the opening three-hundred-sixty apartments and the AC Marriot Hotel at City Square.
The courthouse project, along with the City Square apartments, and the Central Building will bring over five-hundred units of NEW housing online in our downtown core.
We have done all this while being fiscally responsible.
Our bond rating, property values, and graduation rates are at historic highs today even as our crime rate is at a historic low.
The state of our city is strong because we have stayed the course over many years. We have been conservative in our budgeting and prudent in our judgment. We move forward because we move forward together.
Beyond the growth that we’ve seen, the most noticeable change to our city has been the culture change from one of pessimism to positivity. The progress we have made is evident and undeniable.
The growth we have seen across our city must be a shared renaissance. We must ensure that we are not just creating jobs but good jobs. Not just building housing, but good housing because at the core of our city’s strength is strong families and strong neighborhoods.
As a city we need to have a conversation about housing.
We know this because of our seniors who are looking to downsize. We know this because of the growing number of young professionals who want to live, work, and play in our city.
With average rents in the city approaching the cost of average homeownership, now is the time to stabilize our families and build our neighborhoods through home ownership.
This is not just about affordable housing but about appropriate workforce housing. This is about giving our citizens the tools to build equity, stabilize families, and get some skin in the game. By moving families to homeownership we can free up units in the rental market for those who need them most.
Tonight I am calling for a comprehensive plan to address the disinvestment and deterioration in our triple-decker neighborhoods. In every city across the Commonwealth, triple-deckers are the most problematic properties for public safety, fire safety, public health, and code violations.
Our downtown core is coming to life, but our triple-decker neighborhoods have not seen a corresponding increase in investment. While the resale market for these properties is strong, there is no comprehensive program in place to encourage owner-occupancy, beautification, nor requirements around energy efficiency.
The goal of this plan is to build safer, more walkable and livable neighborhoods. We should focus on the creation of work-force housing as well as improving existing housing stock through incentives, to stabilize families and our entire city.
This will require a whole-of-government approach and the weight of our community and private sector partners to create these tools. I am confident that we can bring our strengths to bear and imagine smarter, cleaner, and more vibrant neighborhoods.
From the high point of over two-hundred thousand in 1950, our city’s population declined until 1980, increasing until today. And it is likely that in the 2020 census, our city will once again break the two-hundred thousand mark for the first time in seventy years.
Make no mistake, we are growing as a city. The question we need to ask is where and how we are growing.
City Manager Augustus and his team will be starting work on our city’s first master plan since the 1970s. This plan needs to include an element of architectural and design review.
We must beautify our city not just through cleaner streets, better trash collection, and investment in our parks but through the way our city appears.
The most valuable asset that a city has is space. We must be proactive in how that space is utilized and consider the impact of future development has on our neighbors and neighborhoods.
We have seen in our parks how smart investment creates positive activity. Our parks are more utilized and beautiful than ever.
I want to see continued investment in Green Hill Park, a true jewel in our park system.
This park already sees thousands of visitors every year but greater amenities will only attract more people to a public space that we should all be proud to call our own. I would like to see improvements in pavilions and the petting zoo to serve the hundreds of families who visit it every year.
I want to see the recreation offerings in our parks expanded to not just our children but our families and young professionals. This will include everything from making it easier to utilize these public spaces to improving our parks with amenities like canoes and kayaks as well as programmed activities.
We will continue to invest in our community policing. Our crime rates are at historic lows as we continue to see the benefits of a police department that builds bridges, not walls with the community. Chief Sargent and his team has been a more visible presence in our city, working to raise money for numerous organizations like the Boys and Girls Club that give our city’s children ways to stay safe and active after school. This is what true community policing looks like.
Our Chief knows that an afterschool basketball league or dance class not only keeps our kids active and healthy but safe and out of trouble.
In my last inaugural I announced the Blue Space Initiative that called for a refocused attention on our rivers, ponds, and Lake Quinsigamond as recreational, environmental, and economic resources that have been long gone ignored.
We’re seeing how we can enhance our blue space at Stearns Tavern on Coes Pond and at the Blackstone Gateway Park and the Visitor’s Center.
We cannot stop here. The great untapped resource for our city is the shore of Lake Quinsigamond. It is known across the country as the finest natural body of water for rowing sports. Every year our lake attracts tens of thousands of rowers, sailors, water skiers and boaters. We currently have plans for the Linear Park that provides jogging and biking paths from Brownie Beach to Lincoln Street and I want to see it finally funded.
Tonight I am calling on our state legislature to fund a master plan for Regatta Point to fully realize the recreational and economic impact that this truly special state park can provide for our city.
Programs like, Recreation Worcester and the Blue Space Initiative, are examples of how we can reimagine our public spaces.
A year and a half ago I spoke at a press conference in Boston about cultural investment in our cities and said that:
I said, for the continued success of our cities and our great institutions, we must turn them inside out and show the true value and great economic impact that these assets have on a city and on a region.”
We need to move arts and performances into our public spaces: our parks, our alleys, and our streets. All of these spaces are public and should be opened to the arts community for performances. We must move art out of the traditional cultural institutions and meet the public where they truly are every day.
The definition of what we consider a cultural asset is changing. I believe our city has a culture of work and of industry and this can be seen in our commitment to building newer and better schools that can educate our students for the next economy.
We will be building a new South High Community School and a new Doherty Memorial High School in the coming years and I will continue to push for a new Burncoat High School and Worcester East Middle School.
As we work to improve our facilities so too we should be expanding what is done in the classroom itself.
I would like to see expanded access to Worcester Technical High School during the after school hours for students who want to learn the trades but are unable to attend because of the long wait list. We need to open this school to not only more students, but to adults who are looking to be certified in the trades like HVAC and automotive repair.
We must care for the whole of the child. If we care about their time in school, we must care about the parks where they play, the homes where they live, and the safety of their neighborhoods. We must equip them with the tools necessary to succeed beyond the school day and beyond graduation.
While across the country teen pregnancy is at an all-time low, citywide our teen birthrate is almost double the state average. For our Latina students the birthrate is over three times the state average. Tonight I tell you that for a school system to have onsite daycare yet requires no comprehensive sexual education across the high schools, does our students and our city a disservice.
We are rightly proud of our academics, having the highest graduation rate of any urban school district. Teen mothers however are less likely to graduate and attend college than their peers and I will not let these girls think that their education and their success is worth less than those of other students.
I will not allow our students to go into the world ill-equipped because we are too embarrassed to have a tough conversation. I will not allow a young woman to forego her future because we did not give her the tools to succeed.
This issue has persisted because of the discomfort of some and has gone unaddressed by half-measures and the politeness of the well intentioned. And it stops now.
In closing I am calling on my fellow elected officials to join me and focus on the long term solutions to the problems that affect our city. We need to craft a vision of what we want our schools and our city to be now, and for decades to come. This is the work that is ahead of us.
The problems that face our city are not new. The problems that we face today are shaped by the forces of geography, of history, of industry and technology, and the actions and inactions of city, state, and federal governments. In short, there is no quick fix to the problems that affect our city. It can take years of work to do even a small amount of good.
The work we do is slow; it is methodical and it as long as our city’s history. Today and every day forward, we must build the city we want to leave to our children and our grandchildren.
Our city is changing and growing and the work that is ahead is how we will improve the City of Worcester. As long as I am the Mayor, Worcester will remain a welcoming city that provides opportunity for everyone willing to work.
We will build schools that are cathedrals of learning and our children will see around them a city whose history of industry and innovation is their birthright.
We will work on these issues and many more in the coming years and we will make progress no matter how small or how slow. We will move forward, working together.
We will work to build a city that lives up to our highest ideals.
I first stood on this stage in 1998 and for the last twenty years you’ve always known where I stand.
I am proud of our city and I am still proud to be your mayor. Now let’s get to work.
From the Mayor’s Office!💜
Mayor’s Office, room 305
455 Main St., Worcester
Worcester to Host Inauguration Ceremony for City Council and School Committee
The City of Worcester will be holding its inauguration and swearing in ceremony for the seating of the City Council and School Committee …
… at Mechanics Hall (321 Main St., Worcester), January 2 at 5:30 PM.
Mayor Joseph M. Petty will be sworn in for his fourth term as the Mayor of the City of Worcester.
He will be delivering his fourth inaugural address detailing his agenda for the upcoming city council and school committee session.
The inauguration is free and open to the press and public.
There is a dinner reception following the inauguration ceremony on the second floor of Mechanics Hall; that is a ticketed event.
Tickets are $35 per person.
They are available at the City Clerk’s Office on the second floor of Worcester City Hall, 455 Main St., Worcester.