What to Expect During Mayor Walsh’s State of the City Speech

The mayor will focus on his accomplishments in economic development, housing, innovation, and education.

Photo by Olga Khvan

Photo by Olga Khvan

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will mark the midway point of his first term with a State of the City speech at Symphony Hall tonight that will touch on his administration’s accomplishments in economic development, housing, innovation, and education. Here’s a brief preview of what to expect:

  • Look for Walsh to champion the arrival of General Electric as part of his administration’s economic development vision. According to a synopsis of the speech, City Hall sees General’s Electric’s relocation to Boston as, “A move that further solidifies Boston’s place in the 21st century global economy, and empowers our workers and employers already here.”
  • One of the biggest problems facing Walsh when he arrived at Government Center was the lack of a central development plan for the entire city. Walsh is expected to highlight the city’s progress in developing a citywide master plan for the first time since 1965, highlight the city’s 2030 plan for housing, and touch on the reimagining of City Hall Plaza. Walsh will point to a record high number of permits for new affordable housing units in 2015. Look for Walsh to push back on the narrative that Boston is becoming a city for only the wealthy, as the city is ahead of the target it set for new affordable housing units.
  • City Hall loves its embrace of data, so Walsh will tout improvements to the Mayor’s hotline, the creation of a new ParkBoston app that improves how the public interacts with parking meters, and the launch of CityScore, a new system that measures the performance of city government. A passing reference to the city’s testing of a new website should be expected, too.
  • According to City Hall, “The mayor will recommit to lifting up Boston Public Schools so that every child has an opportunity to succeed. He will ask everyone to join him in a conversation on how we can best serve our students and create a stronger school system that works for every family.” Walsh will point out the hiring of new Superintendent Tommy Chang, 24 new principals, and the ongoing development of a 10-year facilities plan for schools in every neighborhood across the city. Walsh will highlight a partnership between software company SAP and Charlestown High School that is designed to foster STEM education.

If you can’t make it to Symphony Hall tonight, you can watch the 7 p.m. speech on WCVB or stream it on the city’s website.