Speaking at Boston GreenFest, Sunday, August 22, 1:45 pm, on the Main Stage, near Rings Fountain at Rose Kennedy Greenway.
John is the proud son of immigrants from the Islands of Cabo Verde in West Africa. He is a lifelong resident of Roxbury and Dorchester, where he still lives today with his wife Tchintcia and his four young children.
John became a community organizer at the age of fourteen. He eventually became Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, where he led transformative, community-based efforts to build affordable homes and protect families from displacement; create schools and youth programs, and invest in public health and public safety in a way that had never been done before.
John has been an active member of the Boston community his entire life. He is a small business owner, an active member of his church, and a former member of the Boston School Committee. In 2014, he established the new Economic Development cabinet for the City of Boston, and served as a member of Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration for seven years.
John changed the way City Hall plans for growth and development, putting equity at the center of the economic agenda. He led efforts to create real opportunities for women, people of color, immigrants, and veterans. During his time as Chief of Economic Development, Boston added 140,000 new jobs, while also investing millions of dollars in job training for local residents. John led the City’s efforts to save small businesses and support their employees during COVID-19, directing more than $20 million to local businesses in the form of direct grants and fees waived.
John is proud of the progress Boston has made, but he knows that we can go further, and reach higher. He has a plan to lead Boston through the COVID-19 crisis, and to become a stronger and more equitable city than we were before. The next four years will be critical. Now is the time for Boston to move forward with urgency and bravery. John is ready to meet this moment.
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