This week Boston lost their longest serving mayor, Thomas Menino, after his hard fought battle with Cancer. Mayor Menino won the hearts of this city when he began his tenure in 1994. He was known as a man of the neighborhoods due to his daily trips to the coffee shops to meet with his constituents and neighbors; ironically, he didn’t even drink coffee! In a poll at the end of his career, over 50% of the city had met him personally – that is a huge feat for any mayor! When he first took office in 1994 he ran on the platform of helping people. He was quoted saying, “I want to help people, help one individual a day. Just to make their life a little bit better.” and that he did!
Mayor “Mumbles” Menino was above politics and the true definition of a public servant. The Hyde Park native embraced his “mumbles” nickname recognizing that was not the most eloquent of speakers. A good speaker or not, he worked tirelessly to better this city with his ideas of innovation. He shaped the landscape and skyline of Boston with his foresight of the Seaport and innovation district.
One thing he will always be remembered for was his leadership during and after the 2013 Boston Marathon. Hours after the incident, he checked himself out of the hospital (two days after surgery) to address the city, nation and world, about what was going on. Days later at an interfaith service, he stepped up from his wheelchair to speak; these actions are the essence of ‘Boston Strong’.
He reluctantly announced his retirement in the middle of 2013 but that did not stop him. He knew that his job wasn’t over until his last day on the job. Even after a new mayor was elected, he proposed and implemented new policy to continue making the city better!
Thank you for your 20 years of service, Mayor – we salute you!