Boston Mayor Marty Walsh delivered his third "State of the City" address Tuesday at Symphony Hall.
During his address, Walsh said he'll file legislation this week to offer free pre-kindergarten to every 4-year-old for the first time, funded by tourism taxes. He said an upcoming 10-year school plan contains a $1 billion investment in school buildings.
Walsh says these initiatives will ensure Boston "lifts everyone up as it rises."
“We’ve made historic progress and we’re just getting started. Together, we’ve built a foundation. Now we’re ready to soar. For the first time in half a century, Boston is a city with a plan,” Walsh said.
The mayor said that schools are the foundation of equal opportunity and recalled barriers that faced students as recently as three years ago, including lack of pre-kindergarten seats, the shortest school day in the country and aging school facilities.
Walsh also announced Boston is bringing cutting-edge traffic light technology to its busiest streets and library services are returning to the Chinatown neighborhood.
He said in over three years, Boston added 60,000 jobs, cut unemployment and tackled a housing shortage by building 19,000 homes.
“We’re making great progress, but there’s plenty of room to improve. The gaps that remain come in the shapes of race, language and need,” he said
Walsh, 49, a Dorchester native, is running for re-election this fall. He was first elected mayor back in 2014, after long-time Mayor Thomas Menino chose not to seek re-election after two decades in office due ongoing to health problems.
Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, 41, announced last week the he will challenge Walsh in this year's mayoral election. A lifelong resident of Roxbury, his campaign recently brought on board Bill Hyers, the campaign manager for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In last year's address, Walsh touched on some of his accomplishments from 2015, including improvements to city schools, parks and playgrounds, and a greater focus on affordable housing and arts and culture.
You can watch a portion of last year's "State of the City" address and read the text of Walsh's 2016 and 2015 speeches here.