FOURTH TERM FOR MAYOR TOM MENINO OF BOSTON -- (Senate - December 21, 2005)
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I welcome this opportunity to congratulate our outstanding mayor in Boston, Tom Menino, on his reelection last month. The people of Boston love Tom, and for good reason.
Running for his fourth full term as mayor, Tom received an incredible 68 percent of the vote on election day, an extraordinary new mandate to continue his leadership that has meant so much to our city.
Tom is Boston's modern FDR, and at the end of this term he will become the longest serving mayor in Boston's 375-year history.
It is a distinction Tom Menino has earned through his unwavering dedication and commitment to the people of Boston.
For 12 years, Mayor Menino has worked day in and day out to unite our diverse city, make its neighborhoods and communities stronger, create fertile opportunities for businesses, and improve the quality of life for all the people of Boston.
He has fought to protect and expand housing for low-income families in the midst of the Nation's tightest housing market. He has never stopped working to meet the needs and protect the basic rights of every resident of our city--regardless of their race or background.
He has been a pioneer in education, creating Read Boston to help every child read at grade level by third grade and the Afterschool for All partnership so that learning doesn't end once school lets out for the day. He has fought to close the achievement gap for all of Boston's children and made Boston the first urban school district to have every school wired to the Internet.
Tom Menino has proven that America's great urban areas can succeed and thrive in this new economy, at a time when more and more of our Nation seems headed for the suburbs. Tom modestly describes himself as an urban mechanic, but it is far more accurate to say that he is an urban genius. Each day, he adds new proof that there are second and third acts for America's cities in our modern Nation.
Above all, Mayor Tom Menino has always worked tirelessly to ensure that Boston's brightest days lie ahead and that our city will continue to build on its incomparable history.
Tom has worked especially closely with our local colleges and universities to make certain that Boston remains the most prestigious destination in America for young men and women seeking excellence in higher education.
He has welcomed our burgeoning biotech and medical research sectors in order to guarantee that Boston stays at the cutting edge of these highly promising industries of the future. This new century may well be the century of the life sciences, and Tom Menino is making sure that Boston helps write that history.
Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of another visionary Mayor of Boston, my grandfather, John F. Fitzgerald, whose love of our city was legendary and whose commitment to progress was unchallenged.
Grampa Fitzgerald might not immediately recognize modern Boston as his beloved hometown, but he would be thoroughly at home with its vitality and its spirit of innovation, progress, and opportunity. Those qualities he fought so hard for a century ago are alive and well today, an he would be grateful that the city he loved so dearly is now in the capable hands of Mayor Tom Menino.
In the years ahead, I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Menino to find solutions to the real and often daunting challenges facing Boston and all of urban America. No one is more committed to solving the big issues than Tom Menino.
He and his extraordinary wife Angela have made a remarkable team for Boston, and all of us in the city look forward very much to more of the unique brand of Menino leadership in the years ahead.