What Boston needs from Kim Janey as mayor

BOSTON — The transition is underway in Boston as current Mayor Marty Walsh heads to Washington and Boston City Council President Kim Janey takes office.

Janey will be the city’s first woman and person of color to lead the city.

“It will make a big difference because the fee, makes young people feel very good,” a local Dorchester man told us.

Dorchester’s Reverend Eugene River, who has pioneered help the city’s youth, believes Janey needs to exhibit decisive leadership.

“The symbolism is important, results are more important,” said Reverend Rivers.

Reverend Rivers says the number one priority needs to be fixing the police with effective reform.

“Because the instability hurts the poorest communities,” said Reverand Rivers.

Right out of the gate, Janey will have to respond to the pandemic, police reform, and questions about the current Boston Police leadership in the wake of former Police Commissioner William Gross’ retirement.

“Black leadership have to hold Kim to a high standard of performance,” said Reverand Rivers.

Business owners battling a pandemic like Cafe Zia Gianna owner Nino Barbalace say the city’s help over the past year has been so key. Barbalace hopes the new mayor continues to prioritize small business in the city.

“Taxes and utilities and licenses, they are killing us because we still have to pay utilities if we have one customer or a million customers. We have to pay licenses and sometimes it is overwhelming,” said Barbalace.

We did talk to the Retailer’s Association of Massachusetts who emphasized the need to get Boston employers to bring people back to work when it is absolutely safe to do so. The businesses created here in the city that rely on those workers have been closing at an alarming rate.