Wu meets neighbors for coffee at renewed Mother’s Rest Park

As the sun beat down on the recently renovated park, Mayor Wu spoke with community members and little kids cooled off in the newly opened splash pad.

“This is the last coffee hour of our two-month-plus season of going to every single neighborhood. The best for last,” said Mayor Wu last Wednesday morning (June 26) at the newly renovated Mother’s Rest Park near Four Corners in Dorchester, where she talked about her priorities as constituents sampled donated iced coffee and donuts from Dunkin’ and checked out the new look for the city-owned park as kids played in a newly opened splash pad nearby.

“We appreciate all of our city departments helping us make this possible,” the mayor said. “There’s a lot to celebrate in Boston right now.”
A crowd of about 100 people, some stationed between a ping-pong table and work-out equipment, others perched in new stadium seating, attended the session.

Ryan Woods, the city’s commissioner of Parks and Recreation, explained that the rehabilitation of the Washington Street park was a community-driven process.

“We heard loud and clear from the community that they wanted water play, they wanted room for spoken word, they wanted table tennis, they wanted areas to work out, and I think this $1.99 million renovation hit the mark and we were able to have all those features the community wants,” said Woods. “We want the community to be in this park with positive activity and push negative activity and behavior away. We want people to come to this park.”

Residents had the opportunity to submit questions about their concerns online, only one did so, with an inquiry about what the city can do about litter in the neighborhood. But Wu and her team fielded plenty of spontaneous questions on the spot.

Wu talked about some of the latter, telling The Reporter: “There were some very specific situations today. One was on several homes near the Shawmut station that wanted curb cuts for driveways and had been denied, so were going to look into that. There were some on different traffic informant issues. It’s a whole gambit of issues.”

She expressed gratitude to all who showed up. “First of all, I just wanted to welcome everyone, and say we are okay. … we welcome everyone here to express their views on the budget and different policies. We appreciate your advocacy.”

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Mayor Wu with a group of young athletes from the Boston Lions track team. Cassidy McNeeley photos

She added: “To everyone else that is here we appreciate all that you do and the many hats you wear, the values you stand up for, what you are fighting for. This park is here because of you.”

“​​You get to see young people, seniors, and everybody comes with questions for our departments or suggestions that they have for the city, so it’s really the best version of democracy in Boston all mixed together.”

During the event, a small group of protestors held signs that were critical of Wu. One protestor who approached the mayor was Alec MacLean, of Dedham, who said he was injured by Boston Police during a protest at Emerson College this past spring. MacLean identified himself as a member of the Muslim Justice League. Fatema Ahmad, who lives in Dorchester, told The Reporter that the league was there to oppose Wu’s policing policies.

“There are concerns both about [her] unwillingness to ban the Boston Police from ever again training with Israeli military forces or police and there are concerns about her increasing the policing budget,” said Ahmad. “I live down the street, I want to make sure that community members actually know what stances she has on policing policies.” 

Still, most of the attendees offered positive reinforcement to the mayor, lining up under the hot sun to hug her, take a photo, and thank her for her work. 

Also on hand at the event were City Councillor At-Large Erin Murphy, state Rep. Christopher Worrell, and District 4 City Council Brian Worrell.
“A big shout out to Mayor Wu and her administration for always being so responsive and invested in our community,” said Councillor Worrell, who grew up just down the street from the park, 

“We have said from day one we want to be the city that is home for everyone. Every generation, every culture, every background,” said Wu in a summation. “That means being the safest city in America, the greenest city in America, and the most family-friendly city. Those are our goals and our north star that we move toward.”

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