Thank you, Mayor Menino

November 4, 2014 –

Thank you, Mayor Tom Menino for your tireless service to all of the people of Boston, and in particular your commitment to the City’s communities of color. Since moving to Boston in 2004, I have had the opportunity to live and work in many of Boston’s diverse neighborhoods and benefit from Mayor Menino’s leadership both personally and professionally.

I first met Mayor Menino in the summer of 2008 at an awards event recognizing architectural designers who had participated in a community charrette to reimagine the future of Dudley Square in Roxbury. I was awarded one of the honors that day and had the privilege of spending 15 minutes with the man who created the opportunity that allowed me to share my architectural vision. I was impressed by his approachability and genuine interest in getting to know me. I had heard about the Mayor’s manner from others who had similar encounters with him, and now I had an opportunity to experience it first-hand.

A couple years before, I wandered into Dudley Square one Saturday morning after leaving Tropical Foods and felt that an immediate connection to the place. I believe that connection is one that Mayor Menino felt as well. That meeting with the Mayor was a launchpad for my career and soon after I started my own business, DREAM Collaborative, focused on invigorating urban communities through sustainable development and imaginative design.

The Mayor’s commitment predated mine of course, and spanned many decades of working tirelessly to bring about the renaissance that was hoped for by many in the community.

With construction cranes and new businesses rising in Dudley Square, I know I am not alone in my gratitude to Mayor Menino for his forward thinking and practical approach that was able to get things done against a tide of skepticism.

He has left us with a legacy we can build on for the future, to realize a vibrant 24/7 neighborhood brimming with activity, diversity, and economic opportunity for all. We look forward to a bright future for Dudley Square and all of Boston’s neighborhoods, and recognize the key role of the late Mayor Tom Menino played to make that future possible. Thank you.

Gregory O. Minott