As the new City Council President, District 2 Councilor Ed Flynn is looking forward to serving in the role during the dawn of Mayor Michelle Wu’s new administration, as well as amid an influx of new blood into the City Council.
“I’m really proud of my new colleagues who just started and are off to a strong start. They really care about the city and their neighborhoods. And I’m equally proud of the current councilors and look forward to a productive term working with Mayor Wu,” said Flynn, who was unanimously voted in as the new council president for a two-year term by his fellow councilors during the City Council’s first meeting of the new year on Jan. 3 at City Hall’s Christopher A. Iannella Chamber.
The Council’s five new members, District 4 Councilor Brian Worrell, At-Large Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune, District 6 Councilor Kendra Hicks, District 7 Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson, and At-Large Councilor Erin Murphy, who filled Michelle Wu’s vacancy on the Council after Wu was elected mayor, were on hand for their first City Council meeting after being sworn in only hours earlier at City Hall.
“The new City Councilors coming in are highly educated and have great experience,” said Flynn. “I’m looking forward to working with my new council colleagues and giving them the support necessary to serve their constituents in the city.”
In the Nov. 2 election, Boston voters also voted overwhelmingly in favor of Ballot Question 1 to adopt a charter amendment calling for an overhaul of the city’s budget process; this mandates the creation by the City Council and Mayor of the new Office of Participatory Budgeting, which would allow residents to weigh in on how their tax dollars are spent for the first time and would also release an annual report detailing how much of the city’s budget needs to be set aside to ensure fiscal responsibility. The charter amendment allows the City Council to amend or even override the Mayor’s proposed budget as well.
“I think during this difficult period in our and in our country, it’s important to continue to listen to and work with residents,” said Flynn. “Residents voted strongly in support of the ballot initiative, and with this City Council working on the incoming budget and listening to the concerns and recommendations of residents, I know we’ll [be able to accomplish this] working closely with Mayor Wu’s administration.”
As Council President, Flynn also plans to continue committing himself to an issue that has topped his agenda since he was sworn into office as the District 2 Councilor in January of 2018: pedestrian safety in the city.
Flynn, who has called “speeding cars a public health emergency,” has already drafted a 12-step plan to address pedestrian safety via traffic-calming improvements, as well as slower speed limits and enforcement, while working closely with the Transportation Department to also address concurrent signals. Now, he’s hoping in his new role as Council President, he can help the city secure much-needed funds for pedestrian improvements via the $9 billion Massachusetts in federal funds is reportedly set to receive from President Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“The City of Boston is also getting of money from the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and I’m asking that a portion of that goes to address pedestrian safety in Boston,” said Council President Flynn.