We are a multi-racial, multi issue coalition
Right to the City Vote's platform is developed by a diverse set of working class community members across Boston, and hopes to speak to the current fights for justice, on the ground, in communities
2021 Right to the City Vote! (RTCV) Platform
Our Right to the City: Remain. Reclaim. Rebuild Boston. 2021 Platform
Right to the City Boston has a vision of our city that includes strong working class neighborhoods and communities of color.
We envision a Boston where there is equal access to quality education, affordable housing, economic opportunities, accessible transportation, a healthy environment, and public resources for all. We envision a Boston where we preserve the best aspects of the character of our neighborhoods. We envision a Boston where we celebrate the diverse backgrounds, languages, and cultures of our residents. We envision a Boston where young people have the resources to thrive, where working class families are stable, where immigrants are welcomed, and where community needs come before profit. We envision a city, state, and nation that invests in the public good. We envision a world where immigrants, Muslims and all religious minorities, and all hyper-policed and surveilled communities have the right to remain.
The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the long-standing inequities. The livelihoods of the people in our communities is deeply impacted, but our activist core has been working around the clock to support our communities in their day-to-day needs and in their most dire moments. We envision a People’s Recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in which equity is at the center of all levels of government. In the next period, the city has a critical and unique role in ensuring the vitality of neighborhoods of color and low-income communities, especially small businesses. We demand:
The Right to Stable Housing and Equitable Development:
To help families and individuals in Boston’s working class neighborhoods survive this pandemic and beyond, the city must enact an eviction moratorium, strengthen the rights of tenants and homeowner occupants, make community planning decisions participatory and transparent so those most affected can chart the path forward, preserve and develop affordable housing including expansion, and increase the share of permanently affordable housing that is removed from the private real estate market, and expanding community land trusts. Covid-19 has destroyed our economy, leaving many people jobless to no fault of their own. It is inhumane to force homelessness upon community members in the middle of a deadly virus.
End high displacement: Citywide Eviction/Foreclosure Moratorium, rent stabilization, condo conversion, short-term rental enforcement, and more.
Restructure Development and Planning: The time is now to make development conform with planning, and restructure the powers of the Boston Planning and Development Agency under the city’s authority to ensure a more equitable, democratic development of city-owned assets and citywide master planning.
Increasing Affordable Housing: Fund truly affordable housing construction and preservation. Emphasize permanently affordable housing that reflects the income level of our working class communities through development of public housing, the Inclusionary Development Policy, linkage and other funding mechanisms.
Community Control of Land: Establish a fund to support Community Land Trust projects, prioritize permanent affordability and community ownership in public land disposition, and establish a land bank for transparent and community-led disposition of all public land, across City departments.
The Right to Economic Justice and Good Jobs:
Good jobs make strong communities. To exercise our right to wealth and good jobs in the City, we must address long-term unemployment and underemployment, substandard work, and structural inequities of the economic system by ensuring access to job opportunities, improved job standards, support for community small businesses and alternative economic enterprises.
COVID devastated our communities even more. To have an equitable recovery, government need to place an even bigger role to address the structural inequities and to revive small businesses, prioritizing communities of color and help workers to be gainfully employed to good jobs
Strengthen job standards: End wage theft and fully fund the Office of Wage Enforcement, hold employers who rely on subcontracting and outsourcing accountable to their practices, Support good jobs with liveable wages
Increase job opportunities and contracts for communities of color: Support universal childcare, community-based alternatives to childcare, support worker owned cooperatives that create full employment, Support hiring agreements for minority businesses with enforceable contracts, Require government and institutions contract MBE small businesses and use the contracts to raise labor standards.
Workforce development leading to high-road jobs: Make sure that workforce development does not create a cheap-labor workforce for companies but programs to move people toward economic mobility and wealth.
Driver’s Licenses for All: Advocate to allow all people, including undocumented immigrants, to acquire a driver’s license to increase access to work, mobility, and safety
The Right to Participatory Democracy:
Our right to the city includes the right of every inhabitant to participate in decisions that shape our city—its budget, land, development, jobs, schools, services, and approach to public safety. It includes the right to information, transparency, popular participation, and equal representation and reform of the city charter to create mechanisms for accountability and balance legislative and executive powers, as well as more direct participatory models
Expand Democracy through Charter Reform: Amend the city budget process, establish an elected school committee, design and institute equitable neighborhood level decision making, public/community? procurement councils, police oversight with power
Inclusion of Residents in Decision-Making and Governance Structures: Create an advisory body on redistricting, citywide and district-level participatory budgeting, voting rights for non-citizen residents in municipal elections, create a PILOT commission to develop a framework for PILOT income use and community benefits, work toward full payment
Increased Access and Language Justice: Expand multilingual and the disabled access to all city departments, fully bilingual ballots and absentee ballot, voting for young people and Boston residents
The Right to the Public Good and Racial Justice:
Our right to the city includes the right of every inhabitant to have equitable access to public resources and services, a healthy, thriving quality of life, regardless of background.
Prioritize equity in our COVID response - Equitable access to vaccine distribution, rent relief, utility relief, support for small businesses, expanded digital access, initiatives to address education achievement gaps. Create a community-controlled resiliency fund for relief efforts.
Reform our approach to public safety – Alternatives for crisis intervention, such as social workers and health professionals, to over-policing Black, Brown, Inidgenous and immigrant communities. Ban teargas, rubber bullets, gang database, and ICE in public schools.
Fully fund the schools for a safe and equitable reopening - We have a right to use taxpayer money for fully funded, good schools that can open safely and protect students, teachers, staff and their extended families. Reorganization and reopening must prioritize racial equity and inclusion, in everything from transportation to curriculum.
Reorganize city government around equity standards – Empower the Office of Equity with the resources and access to embed equity as the driving force in all city departments and report regularly and transparently to our communities.
The Right to a Healthy Environment:
Our right to the city includes the right of every resident to live, work, play, and learn in an environment that supports our health, safety, and quality of life. Communities that bear a bigger environmental burden must have meaningful opportunities to speak for ourselves and should be primary decision makers in issues affecting our lives, health, and neighborhoods.
Prioritize Environmental Justice Communities – Increase benefits for the most impacted communities to programs that address energy efficiency, open space, traffic, and mitigation of climate change.
Advocate for Equitable and Affordable Public Transit - Ensure that public transit is affordable and accessible to the community members who depend on it most, especially low-income riders, and ensure that anti-displacement measures accompany all new transit infrastructure.
Community Choice Energy Policy to Increase Use of Renewable Energy - Prioritize equity and affordability for disproportionately impacted communities in climate mitigation, and establish a municipal commitment to power all publicly owned or operated facilities with 100% renewable energy.