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Elizabeth W.
Democrat MA

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  • Honoring Mayor Tom Menino

    by Senator Elizabeth Warren

    Posted on 2013-12-16

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    WARREN. Mr. President, I rise today to honor one of the great leaders in the history of Boston. It might seem odd to describe a man who is still with us today, alive and well, as a figure in history, but in the almost 400 years since Boston was founded, a history that is filled with names known across this country--Winthrop, Adams, Lowell, Lodge--in this 400-year history, few have done more for Boston than our mayor Tom Menino.

    Looking back at his 20 years in office, it is clear how much Tom Menino has done for our city. Mayor Menino revitalized Boston. From the waterfront and Innovation District to Dudley Square and Roxbury, Mayor Menino led the resurgence of our neighborhoods, expanded parks and livable spaces, and created a city whose innovative potential is unbounded.

    Mayor Menino worked for Boston. With firm convictions, he cautioned against predatory lenders, starting the ``Don't Borrow Trouble'' campaign long before the great recession. With political will and courage, he improved education for all our kids, creating full-day kindergarten and making Boston schools some of the best in the country. With foresight of the next frontiers, he fought for hospitals and scientific research, giving Boston the world's leading health care institutions. With fierce moral clarity, he stood firmly for equality-- equal opportunity for immigrants, equal rights and equal marriage for the LGBT community, equal pay for women.

    Perhaps most importantly, Mayor Menino has been there for Boston. It is often said that more than 50 percent of Boston residents have met Mayor Menino personally. I do not believe this is true. I believe the number must be much greater. It seems as if the mayor attends every community event, every potluck dinner, every school play, and every soccer game. From Grove Hall to the North End, Bowdoin to West Roxbury, we know Mayor Menino will be there for us in our moments of greatest triumph--ribbon cuttings for new buildings and parks, World Series victories, a new Bostonian's citizenship, a child's graduation--and we know he will be there for us in our moments of great tragedy--the death of a loved one, terror in Copley Square.

    Of course, Mayor Menino could not have done it alone. By his side for all these years he has had Angela Menino. Angela is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. To all of us in Boston, she was not just a first lady but a first friend. Angela championed causes that often went unheralded in the press, supporting women and children, employment and education, and fighting to end homelessness. Today we thank Angela as well for helping make our city into a warm and thriving community.

    Almost 400 years ago, on a ship sailing from England to the New World, John Winthrop declared that the new city they would found, Boston, would be a ``city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.'' And if that experiment, our city, was to succeed, he said ``we must be knit together . . . we must entertain each other in brotherly affection . . . we must rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body.'' For 20 years Mayor Menino has made Boston into a city that all eyes can see is a model for the country and for the world. He has succeeded because he knew all along that our fortunes depend on our work together--as one people, as one community, as one Boston.

    On behalf of a grateful people, Tom Menino, we thank you for your hard work, for your service, and most of all for your dedication to making Boston a better place.

    I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

    The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.

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