- Our Shared Values
- The City Budget We Deserve
- Climate Resilience and Built Environment
- Community Safety
- Public Education Our Community Deserves
- Equitable and Welcoming City Government
- Fighting for People’s Basic Needs
- Housing Access and Stability
Our Shared Values
Our coalition of Medford residents, local community groups, elected officials, and candidates envisions an inclusive local government that genuinely meets the needs of everyone who calls Medford home. Our Revolution Medford is committed to local organizing to develop and advocate for a shared policy vision that centers working people and infuses anti-racism, anti-ableism, anti-austerity, and intersectionality throughout all policies and practices to combat structural oppression.
City government that enables everyone to thrive and take pride in calling Medford home must acknowledge the disproportionate impact of racial capitalism and economic injustice, especially on Black, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, disabled, low-income, immigrant, and LGBTQIA+ communities, among others. Justice and equity are the foundation of the 2021 Medford People’s Platform, which can be seen throughout all of the policy categories. We believe that a truly positive society is only possible when those who are most marginalized have their material needs met.
Medford benefits from being part of a productive and vibrant region, but Boston’s rapid growth and development also present significant challenges. We must stand up for a shared vision for our community’s future, not the interests of the highest bidder or biggest property developer. We want to live in a Medford that is collectively governed by and responsive to the community of people who truly call Medford home, and we recognize that we have a duty to share the opportunity to live in our community with others.
Our shared policy vision for Medford over the next two years (2021-2023) will bring people together to fight for a fully-funded City Budget, raise needed revenue, promote climate resiliency and an open walkable city, provide true community safety for all residents, fully fund public education, create an equitable and welcoming city government that supports residents’ basic needs, and improve housing access and stability for people of all incomes.
Candidates for office will be held accountable to this platform through the residents and community groups who have signed on to support the 2021 Medford People’s Platform.
The City Budget We Deserve
A budget is a statement of values. Right now, Medford’s revenues aren’t big enough to meet the needs of our community. We must thoroughly assess community needs for public schools, city services, and infrastructure. Then we need to make a plan to raise the money to meet those needs. Medford’s elected officials can verbally commit to anti-racism and equity, but without the proper funding, these commitments cannot become a reality. We envision a City Budget which prioritizes people over profit, fully funded public schools, infrastructure for all modes of travel, robust social programs that provide for community members’ basic needs and safety, housing affordability for all, and welcoming and effective city services.
- Increasing Revenue to Meet Community Needs – We commit to assessing the funding needs of our community and supporting a plan to raise needed revenue to provide the public schools, city services, and infrastructure Medford residents deserve. Options for raising revenue include a debt exclusion, a Prop 2½ override, progressive city taxation, increased commercial development, and increasing PILOTs (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) from large non-profits.
- Fully Funding Public Schools – We commit to fully funding public schools, providing much needed increases for educational services, and voting against any budget that cuts funding or services for students and schools.
- True Community Safety – We commit to ensuring that funding for community safety meets community needs, including significant reallocation of funding for emergency response to social workers, mental health support professionals, civilian traffic enforcement, and other non-police social support staffing and resources.
- Effective City Services and Infrastructure – We commit to a city budget that provides essential city services in a quick and effective manner and that improves and maintains our city’s buildings, sidewalks, roads, and other infrastructure for the long-term.
Climate Resilience and Built Environment
Medford residents deserve a built environment that is accessible to people with disabilities, open to all modes of transportation, resilient to climate change, and that is planned around environmental justice for residents and communities most impacted by poor environmental conditions and the impact of climate change.
- Climate Resiliency – We commit to support planning for resiliency from climate impacts and floods, creating a net-zero or carbon-neutral requirement for new developments (including City and school projects) that includes solar and renewable energy, supporting and encouraging green renovations of existing structures, and avoiding “green gentrification” by planning with a climate and environmental justice lens that prioritizes housing affordability.
- Expanding Transit Access – We commit to supporting more frequent MBTA bus and train service, more MBTA bus routes, eliminating fares for public transit beginning with routes most used by working-class residents, and expanding electric car infrastructure.
- Walkable and Bikeable Community – We commit to ensuring that our entire community is accessible to walkers, bikers, and people with disabilities by expanding our Complete Streets program to rebuild streets with safe walking and biking infrastructure, ensuring transit stops are accessible to people with disabilities, and creating a city team to clear priority sidewalks and crosswalks during and after snowstorms.
- Protecting Our Open Space – Medford’s open space is a treasure, and we commit to tripling the tree budget, designating a specific percentage of green/open space for new construction, and protecting existing parkland, trees, and open space.
We believe we keep us safe, not the police or any kind of carceral system and structure. True community safety is non-violent, actively opposes the potential for violence and escalation, and dismantles white supremacist systems and structures. We acknowledge that what is safe for one person may not be safe for another. Community safety is shared when people’s basic needs are met, we live in a safe built environment, and city government is welcoming and representative of the residents of the community.
- Civilian Review and Oversight – We commit to supporting a systematic review of Medford Police Department (MPD) policies and practices and the implementation of a civilian review board to provide greater community input and control over MPD. We commit to sharing the data collected via public records in community databases such as OpenOversight.
- Reallocation of Police Funds – We will push to fund city social programs that properly support residents in crisis and people from communities most affected by policing and the broken criminal legal system. We commit to advocating for a freeze on new police hires, holding employees accountable to civilian-reviewed policies and community complaints, and the realignment of staffing levels, such as traffic enforcement and social services, that fall within missions and goals of other city departments.
- Supporting Immigrant Residents – We commit to working with Safe Medford and other groups to maintain the existing non-cooperation policy between MPD and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), expand translation services, invest city resources in actively engaging immigrant residents and communities to understand their needs, and support the state Safe Communities Act.
- Community Control Over Surveillance – We commit to working with Medford People Power and other groups to pass an ordinance establishing community oversight of any public use of surveillance technology.
Public Education Our Community Deserves
Medford students and families deserve a fully-funded, antiracist, anti-ableist, vibrant, student-centered public school system. Our public schools must be hopeful, open, and safe spaces for students to learn and thrive. We can only achieve that by providing long-overdue resources, supporting students, and addressing racism and bigotry that negatively impacts many young people in our community.
- Pro-Public Schools – We commit to fighting for full and equitable funding for public schools, advocating for increases in the state budget for public education, and a permanent fix to the state charter school formula that negatively impacts Medford’s budget and reduces funding for Medford’s public schools.
- Anti-Racist Curriculum and Experience – We commit to implementing an anti-racist curriculum in all Medford Public Schools; increasing hiring and retention of Black, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Latinx educators and staff; addressing incidents of racism and white supremacist systems and structures faced by students; and removing police from schools while refocusing on restorative and transformative justice.
- Education Equity for All – We commit to ensuring equity for all students by reviewing and updating school policies and practices; eliminating fees for students to access arts, sports, or other extracurricular programs; focusing on equity for students with disabilities, lower family incomes, and English learners; reviewing equity of funding for elementary schools; and eliminating transportation costs for Medford High School students.
- Expand Student Supports and Early Education – We commit to expanding mental health and other support services for all students in response to the pandemic, connecting schools and families to city efforts to fight food insecurity, expanding the hours for pre-kindergarten and child care programs, and increasing funding for the Medford Family Network.
- Support Educators and Staff – We commit to valuing Medford’s educators and staff as experts and decision makers, increasing pay for substitute, paraprofessional, before-school, and after-school educators, and preventing any cuts in staff and services for Medford’s students.
Equitable and Welcoming City Government
We believe that Medford’s city government must welcome every resident and reflect the people it serves through the makeup of city staff and elected officials, equitable systems of participation and engagement, and the translation of information about all city services, resources, and benefits into the many languages used by Medford residents. Our community must make sure that every resident truly feels that they belong in Medford.
- Representative Leadership and City Charter Reform – We commit to building new systems and structures that prioritize elected and appointed leadership of Black, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, women, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and working-class residents while dismantling white supremacist systems and structures. We will do this by implementing a City Charter review process to change and expand the way Medford elects officials to ward representation instead of just at-large seats, increase powers of the City Council and School Committee relative to the Mayor, and ensure an open and transparent process for recruiting and confirming appointments to city boards, commissions, and task forces.
- Welcoming and Safe Public Engagement – We commit to creating a welcoming and equitable city government that invites and involves all residents, especially residents from marginalized communities, in determining how Medford provides city and school services. We commit to reforming and transforming the rules of city public meetings to reduce hostility and build safer, more inclusive public meeting spaces, as well as removing gender-assuming language from city ordinances and communications. We will continue to support full access to mail-in ballots and early voting for municipal elections.
- Communications and Technology Access – We commit to ensuring all residents can participate in public meetings via Zoom during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, childcare to allow residents to attend meetings in person, supporting the development of a modern, fully accessible city website, mandating that all public meeting postings and city communications are disability-friendly and translated, and creating an Open Data Policy for Medford.
Fighting for People’s Basic Needs
Medford must prevent displacement of working-class communities, support strong labor unions, and enact a robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fighting for economic justice for all residents, we will work to guarantee food security and basic needs.
- Economic Justice for All – We commit to making Medford hunger-free by 2028, supporting the City’s Food Security Taskforce and other community groups organizing around food security, creating anti-poverty policies and ordinances, and building housing that is affordable for working people and families. Large non-profit health and educational institutions should provide community health services to Medford residents. Medford should work to bring social service organizations into the city instead of relying on regional organizations outside of the city.
- Supporting Unions and Workers – We commit to supporting local labor unions, enacting a city Wage Theft Ordinance to protect Medford workers from the most common type of theft, pushing for a $15 minimum wage for city and school employees with a goal of reaching $20 per hour, educating the public on workers’ rights, and advocating for new collective bargaining units for city and private sector workers.
- Robust Pandemic Response – We will support residents and local businesses struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Medford needs a local eviction moratorium and increased rental and mortgage assistance for tenants and landlords. City government should expand local initiatives to support businesses and community groups, especially ensuring safe programming and community activities for seniors. Our Health Department needs additional support to keep fighting the pandemic, protecting residents, and preparing for the future.
Housing Access and Stability
The housing shortage in Medford is pushing residents of all incomes to move further away from the city and all of its benefits. Lower-income and working class residents risk being priced out entirely or have already left. Medford must welcome more new neighbors of every income level while actively minimizing displacement, not only through regulation but also through active government programs, especially the protection and empowerment of renters.
- Housing Access and Affordability for All – We commit to policies that match housing costs to a broad spectrum of incomes in Medford, creating a community land trust and/or Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund to create new affordable and senior housing and protect naturally affordable housing units, rethinking income restrictions to expand access to housing affordability to more residents, allowing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and housing and businesses without parking, enacting an Affordable Housing Overlay, and creating dedicated funding streams for affordable housing, such as linkage and transfer fees.
- Housing Stability and Preventing Displacement – We commit to the creation of an Office of Housing Stability to coordinate the efforts of existing city staff and departments and better protect residents, supporting tenant unions and reducing the power imbalance between renters and landlords, ensuring clear notification of and protection of tenant’s rights, improving health and safety code enforcement, increasing city outreach to the most vulnerable and housing-insecure residents, and pushing for state government to repeal its anti-tenant and anti-renter laws.
- City Planning for the Community – We commit to supporting city planning work that is clearly connected to community needs, encouraging mixed-use and new business development, reforming zoning laws to address the racist impacts of zoning in our region, passing district zoning plans for neighborhoods with transit access, and holding Tufts University and other large nonprofits accountable to institutional master plans and PILOT agreements.