March 3, 2016
Mayor Martin J. Walsh
City of Boston
1 City Hall Square, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02201-2013
Dear Mr. Mayor:
We fully endorse and support the decision by the Mayor and our law enforcement officials to shorten the parade route in the context of safety. Commissioner Evans recently cited the following facts: Calls for police assistance dropped from 239 to 166 and requests for emergency assistance medical services dropped from 143 to 63 from 2014 to 2015.
Since the early 1980’s South Boston’s non-profits have supported and promoted the Annual St. Patrick’s/Evacuation Day Parade as a safe, family friendly event. We have worked in partnership with the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, our elected officials, neighborhood groups and the law enforcement community to support this effort.
In the early 1980’s, this effort was coordinated under the aegis of Pride in Prevention. In late 1980’s, these efforts were coordinated by SOBAD (South Boston Against Drugs). The most recent iteration of this effort is coordinated under the umbrella of South Boston CAN reduce underage drinking. Promoting and supporting the parade as a safe, family friendly event has been a consistent theme of the non-profits and our allies for four decades.
The partnership with the law enforcement community has been an important component of this effort. Working with parade organizers and in tandem with our SOBAD business partner, The Gillette Company, the staging area of the parade shifted from Andrew Square to Broadway, with the Gillette parking areas central to the effort. Over these many years, we have worked with officials from the BPD, Metropolitan Police, and MBTA Police to support a variety of strategies to ensure a safe, family friendly event.
As the international community deals with terrorism attacks, we in Boston are no strangers to the reach and impact of attacks here on our own soil. If our law enforcement and intelligence communities are telling us that a shorter parade route enhances the safety of all, then we defer and support their analysis and decisions.
Donna Brown, South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation
Kathy Lafferty, South Boston Neighborhood House
Bob Monahan, Julie’s Family Learning Program
Sr. Maryadele Robinson, Laboure
John McGahan, Gavin Foundation
Rev. Burns Stanfield, Fourth Presbyterian Church
Michael Dowling, Medicine Wheel
Kay Walsh, Chair of the SBANP Parade Committee and CANS (Can Reduce Underage Drinking)