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Mass and Cass should have been on royals’ tour of Boston


It is fine that Boston Mayor Michelle Wu to promises to make Boston the “greenest” city in America.

It might be better if she made it the safest first.

The young mayor, 37, made that vow at the rainy welcoming ceremony for visiting British royals Prince William and Princess Kate Wednesday afternoon at Boston City Hall.

“Boston is committed to being the greenest city in America,” Wu said. “And we are infusing climate progress into everything we do.”

No doubt the royals were impressed.

After all the main goal of their visit to the U. S.—besides showing the world what a charismatic, pleasant, and attractive couple they are–was to present climate change innovation awards under his “Earthshot” initiative.

It also helped to show that they were not Harry and Meghan, who were demoted to lower-tier royals.

For Wu talking about the climate is all well and good. But try telling that to the Bostonians who must put up with all the misery and degradation surrounding the homeless drug addicts and drug dealers down at Mass and Cass.

Wu, Gov.-Elect Maura Healey and all the woke politicians around them would have some credibility on climate change and protecting the environment if they could first change the environment along the Methadone Mile.

Instead of handing out crack pipes, syringes, and tourniquets as part of Wu’s “wraparound” services for drug users to keep them functioning, how about arresting the drug dealers who sell them the drugs?

It is what an exasperated Gov. Charlie Baker, who has poured $40 million into Mass and Cass drug programming, suggested last week at an opioid task force meeting.

Wu previously clashed with Baker by accusing him of not providing more money to address the problem.

In words that Wu does not want to hear, Baker said,” The one thing we (the state) can’t do much about are some of the issues around dealers. That’s a city responsibility.

“As long as you have dealers who feel they can do their business in an open-air market in downtown Boston, it’s going to be hard for us to get as far as we need to get to deal with this,”. Baker said.

Wu is no doubt hoping that incoming Gov. Healey, a fellow progressive, will provide even more financial aid than Baker did.

Part of the attraction of Mass and Cass is that it is an open-air drug market that attracts users and dealers from other parts of the state. That is why Wu considers Mass and Cass a state-wide problem.

She may be right.  If so, she can thank former Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins for doing her part to attract scofflaws and lawbreakers to Boston when in 2018 she publicized a list of 15 crimes her office would not prosecute.

It was like an advertisement for criminals to come to Boston

Rollins’ non prosecutorial list ranged from shoplifting. breaking and entering an empty building to resisting arrest. They also included drug possession and drug possession with the intent to distribute or sell.

And while Wu talks about improvements in the services provided for the homeless drug addicts like threshold housing, for instance, nowhere does she talk about law enforcement.

It is too bad Wu could not take Prince William on a tour of Mass and Cass the way the late Boston Mayor Kevin White did for New York Mayor Ed Koch of Boston’s notorious Combat Zone, a generation ago. The crime ridden Zone was made up of dives, strip joints, porn shops, drunks, bums, thugs, and drug addicts.

After breezing through the Zone on Washington Street, which Koch had heard so much about, a disappointed but amazed Koch, mayor of the biggest city in the world, –and with the biggest problems– turned to White and said, “Is that it?”

That was funny.  This is not.

Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.


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