During a visit to Upham's Corner after becoming governor, Charlie Baker on Thursday faced a third grader's call to stop racist law enforcement and promised to continue working with organizations in the community.
Baker touted his housing and economic development hires and said he would seek to replicate successful programs during his speech to the crowd at the Salvation Army Kroc Center of Boston.
Baker also said "one of the most frustrating days I had as a candidate" was when he opened a campaign office on Blue Hill Avenue and announced his urban agenda, only to receive no press coverage.
The trip to the Dorchester-Roxbury line was Baker's first public event outside the State House as governor.
After the speech, Baker addressed the appeal that had been made by a third-grader at the Dudley Street School who said she wants the homeless to have money for housing and said, "On the first day of being governor, I want you to make police officers stop being racist so I can grow up in a nice neighborhood."
"I think people in law enforcement have an incredibly difficult job. I also think people in neighborhoods sometimes view the police with questioning, with question marks," Baker told reporters. "One of the best ways to build trust is to spend time with people and hear them."
Baker wrote a promise on a piece of paper that said he would work with groups like the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative "to build . . . support affordable housing . . . expand on what works . . . create more great schools . . . bring economic opportunity to every section of the community."
Baker also wished the young girl well and noted the educational achievements she had described to the audience.
"That's a kid that's heading in the right direction, and I certainly hope that as she grows up she lives in a community where she believes it's a good place to be," Baker told reporters.
Baker told the crowd he hoped to bring a "spotlight" to programs that are working well, and seek to build on that success.
"We are going to root out these success stories," Baker said.