On November 7, 2017, Boston residents will cast their votes for Mayor and City Council. In a city that continues to struggle with systemic racism, and in light of the Trump administration’s escalated threat to immigrant and communities of color in Boston, changing how the city is policed must be a priority for our leaders. Residents of Boston deserve to hear how candidates intend to use their power to ensure all of us are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.

That's why the ACLU of Massachusetts, along with eight other community organizations, sent a questionnaire to every general election candidate for Boston municipal office asking them where they stand on a range of important policing and criminal justice issues. To view the questionnaire sent to mayoral candidates, click here. For the questionnaire sent to city council candidates, click here. Boston residents can learn more about the issues using this toolkit.

Their responses are posted below. If you do not see a hyperlink on a candidate's name, it is because that candidate did not respond to the questionnaire. The coalition thanks the candidates who took time out of their busy schedules to inform Boston voters of their views on these critical issues.

Mayoral Candidates' Responses

City Council Candidates' Responses

The questionnaires were prepared by the ACLU of MassachusettsMuslim Justice LeagueFamilies for Justice as HealingDigital Fourth, Council on American-Islamic Relations – MassachusettsYoung AbolitionistsBoston Police Camera Action Team, and Boston Coalition for Police Accountability.
(Note: Rufus Faulk did not respond to our questionnaire, but he did respond to a questionnaire from allied organizations in a coalition led by Reclaim Roxbury, which included some similar questions about policing policy. Read Rufus Faulk's responses to the Reclaim Roxbury questionnaire here.)


Mayoral Candidates' Responses

Marty Walsh did not respond to the questionnaire.

Tito Jackson

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to limit the number of minor offenses arrests in the city?

"We will look to greatly reduce the number of minor arrests made by the BPD, and seek to end the practice of Boston police officers sharing personal data of people not suspected of criminal activity with federal agencies or agencies that work alongside ICE like the Boston Regional Intelligence Center."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you instruct your police commissioner to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses?  

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to restrict the Boston Police Department from collecting and sharing with the federal government information about people not suspected of criminal activity?

"I will prohibit the police department from surveilling or gathering information on anyone that is not suspected of a crime. Not only does the current data sharing with ICE infringe on the civil rights of Boston residents, but given the current federal administration's stance on immigration, it will likely increase the number of law abiding immigrants detained by ICE. Further, I will convene an interdepartmental task force to fully understand the data the City collects on individuals and families with the goal of minimizing data collection that could potentially be mined for use by ICE, federal and state agencies, and even by BPD."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you instruct your police commissioner to change BPD policy to prevent intelligence collection and sharing with the federal government absent articulable criminal suspicion?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to ensure funding is available to support social services for immigrant communities that is not tied to law enforcement?

"CVE is not a research-based program and there is no evidence that it makes our communities safer; in fact, it may do the opposite by creating tension between and among students, teachers, school administrators, and social service providers including mental health counselors.  I will strongly advocate for the Safe Communities Act and ensure that social service programs for our immigrant communities are just that -- services to improve the wellbeing of families, individuals, and communities, not intelligence gathering operations."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you instruct your police commissioner to end BPD's involvement in any community outreach programs that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence or "extremism," including Youth and Police Initiative Plus?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to protect Muslim Bostonians and activists from unwarranted federal harassment and surveillance?

"Given the current national political climate it is the duty of elected officials to stand against policies that contribute to stigmatizing our immigrant and Muslim residents. Activists and immigrants that are not suspected of criminal activity will not be filmed without their consent in a Jackson Administration. Additionally, law enforcement intelligence gathering, surveillance or intelligence sharing of Bostonians not suspected of a crime will be prohibited."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you instruct the police commissioner to cease BPD collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as the City of San Francisco has recently done?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to eliminate these significant racial disparities in street investigations, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more officers of color?

"Racial bias is a pervasive and persistent problem in police forces, including BPD. As Mayor, I will take multiple concrete actions to address racial disparities in policing including the following: 1) I will greatly reduce the number of stop and frisks; they do not reduce crime, lead to an erosion of trust of police officers, and unconstitutionally target communities of color. 2) I will require at least one police community liaison officer in each station. 3) I will fully implement the police body camera program. and 4) I will replicate innovative programs such as, Listening NYC a campaign that encourages communication across communities by creating dialogue about how policing differs between neighborhoods."

The number of Field Interrogations and Observations declined by 30% in 2016. If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you instruct your police commissioner to further reduce the number of FIOs?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, how will you leverage your position to shift the city from a law enforcement response to drugs to an equitable and effective public health approach?

"We will use a comprehensive public health approach to address the current opioid overdose crisis. Criminalization of people who use drugs increases stigma and creates unnecessary barriers to harm reduction strategies, necessary health care, and treatment. We will make meaningful investments in public health through a multi-pronged approach: 1) increasing the number of beds for both detox and long-term treatment 2) improving existing and developing new referral systems to remove gaps in care and barriers to access through linkages between and among harm reduction services, treatment providers, and wraparound services 3) increasing affordable housing units in the City that use a 'housing first' approach paired with necessary supportive services 4) advocating at the state level to provide narcan for those transitioning from incarceration to the community and 5) advocating at both the state and federal level for policies and funding that support public health solutions rather than criminalization. This will decrease the criminalization of community members with substance use disorders and increase access to evidence-based treatment and harm reduction services. The anticipated result is improved long-term health outcomes and a decrease in the the number of non-fatal and fatal opioid overdoses."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you instruct your police commissioner to institute a pre-arrest diversion program for drug-related offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to end racial bias in drug policing in our city?

"Punitive public policy has inflicted decades of harm on communities of color. I supported Question 4 because research shows that criminalizing marijuana disproportionately hurts poor people and people of color. "Punitive public policy has inflicted decades of harm on communities of color. I supported Question 4 because research shows that criminalizing marijuana disproportionately hurts poor people and people of color. As Mayor I will reduce the number of stop and frisks, work to eliminate pre-contextual traffic stops, and implement pre-arrest diversion programs.  At the state level, I will advocate to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drug arrests."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you actively support the repeal of all drug mandatory minimums this legislative session?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to address police militarization?

"I will introduce legislation that will require local law enforcement to commit to transparent process and gaining democratic approval if the Boston Police Department wants to acquire weapons of war."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you prevent the Boston Police Department from obtaining military weaponry such as machine guns, armored vehicles, drones, bayonets, or grenade launchers from the US military?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent, and independent investigation whenever an officer kills a Boston resident?

"As Mayor I will pursue creation of an adequately-resourced Independent Civilian Review Board (ICRB) with the power to investigate and subpoena. It is necessary for an impartial Board, located outside of the police department,  to investigate instances where deadly force is used.  The ICRB, headed by a skilled attorney and appropriately staffed to handle complaints in a timely fashion and conduct outreach to underserved communities, would report to the Mayor's Office."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you enact a policy requiring independent, impartial investigations whenever the BPD uses deadly force?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to ensure transparency and assess the impact of tactical units on community wellbeing?

"We will begin by collecting and publishing data regarding spending, equipment used, complaints against, stops and arrests for all plain clothes tactical units. We will evaluate post data collection how best these tactical units can effectively serve the communities they patrol and whether plain clothed policing is the best practice to employ."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you instruct your police commissioner to abolish the practice of plain clothes policing?

No response.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston what will you do to curb excessive overtime spending, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more police officers?

"No BPD officer should work more than 10 hours a day or for more that 5 days in a row. Excessive overtime is neither good for officers nor for taxpayers. Police overtime can cause officer exhaustion, lower moral, and expectation of overtime pay. To curb overtime expenses, I will strengthen internal controls (e.g. proper authorization of overtime, accurate payment for time worked, and a strong commitment to reducing overtime) staff an overnight detective shift (currently an overtime position), look at cost efficiencies including sharing resources between districts, and thoroughly explore implementing a civilianization policy."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what data will you use to evaluate police performance?

"We must measure what we value. In a Jackson Administration we will value and measure true community policing. This means, that in addition to traditional measures of reduction in crime, clearance rates, and response times, we will look to innovate by measuring the ways in which BPD as an organization and officers as public servants work to strengthen the quality of life in our City. We will find ways to gather qualitative and quantitative data that will help us to see if we are preventing crime, protecting the constitutional guarantees of citizens, assisting those who can't care for themselves, and using resources wisely (i.e. not overusing overtime or purchasing unnecessary equipment). Citizen satisfaction surveys are one way to do this. Reports of use of force will also be taken into account during evaluations. FIO and arrest data would be public. This data would help us to understand, address, and move toward eliminating racial bias/profiling. If we don't have data we can't improve. A Jackson Administration will be transparent and accountable to the public. "

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you instruct your police commissioner to make arrest data and stop and frisk data, including race data, available to the public in real time?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what will you do to ensure transparency and democratic accountability around new surveillance technology acquisitions?

"Working in concert with the Boston City Council, I will examine, propose, and implement policies requiring democratic process as a precursor to BPD's purchase of surveillance equipment. Citizens should not be surveilled without their permission or knowledge and should be informed by public hearing if the BPD is seeking to acquire new surveillance technology."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you enact a policy to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

Yes.

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, what steps will you take to increase community control over policing in our neighborhoods?

"I will require at least one community liaison officer in every station, and create an independent civilian review board located outside of the police department. We will also look at implementing citizen satisfaction surveys so that citizens can give input about policing in their communities."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you support replacing the CO-OP with an independent community-based complaint review body with the power to subpoena, investigate, discipline, and fire police officers?

Yes.

Please describe the role you think body cameras should play at the Boston Police Department.

"I will implement a police body camera program without delay because cameras are a crucial part of transparent and accountable policing. I am proud to have worked with members of the community to sponsor the legislation pushing for the adoption of a body camera program that the Walsh Administration has dragged its feet on. Research indicates that camera use can reduce use of force as well as civilian complaints."

If elected or reelected Mayor of Boston, will you work with advocacy groups to implement a body worn camera program, along with a policy that mandates public transparency and personal privacy? 

Yes.


City Council Candidates' Responses




Brandon Bowser (District 9)

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to limit the number of minor offenses arrests in the city?

"I think that looking into ways to work with the Boston Police Department to limit the number of arrests for minor offenses is a good step toward building trust with Black and Latinx communities. It is difficult to ignore the fact that the majority of offenses logged are impacting these communities.
"Furthermore, I think we should be working toward limiting the connection between the Boston police department and ICE. I am confident that a number of situations do not go reported due to the very real fear of undocumented Bostonians fearing detention and possible deportation. We need to take the rhetoric coming from the White House very seriously and work to protect undocumented folks in Boston. Mayor Walsh has declared Boston to be a sanctuary city, a position I wholeheartedly support, and I believe we need to work to make sure that Boston Police Department does not become an appendage of federal law enforcement agencies such as ICE."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you encourage the police commissioner to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to restrict the Boston Police Department from collecting and sharing with the federal government information about people not suspected of criminal activity?

"I do not believe it is appropriate for the Boston Police Department to work as in proxy of ICE or other federal government agencies who are actively working to deport undocumented citizens. It is not acceptable for the private information of people to be willingly shared with agencies who pose a threat to their way of life. No human being is illegal, and I think that Boston should lead the country in standing up against deportations and detention of undocumented people."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support changing BPD policy to prevent intelligence collection and sharing with the federal government absent articulable criminal suspicion?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure funding is available to support social services for immigrant communities that is not tied to law enforcement?

"When a broad based coalition of community, religious, and social justice organizations work together and sign off on a document such as the letter penned to the Boston Police Department, I listen. When the community comes together and lays out common sense demands such as those in the letter, it is the responsibility of elected officials to work to supporting the message. We should be working to build trust between the city and marginalized communities, not distrust and separation. If elected I will have an open door to community organizations working toward social justice and reconciliation. I want to work to amplify the voices of communities that are being muffled and not taken seriously. Activists, organizers, and just regular citizens fight everyday to be heard, and I believe that it is time to listen."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support ending BPD's involvement in any community outreach programs that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence or "extremism," including Youth and Police Initiative Plus?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to protect Muslim Bostonians and activists from unwarranted federal harassment and surveillance?

"If the Federal government or Boston police believe that there is need to gather information on an individual they should acquire a warrant to do so. Under the Trump administration I am concerned about a trend of acting outside of the legal protections of the constitution. Muslims in the city of Boston should not have to fear discrimination from their own government, and I will work with community members and civic leaders to build a city that challenges racism and xenophobia. Having worked as a teacher in the Boston public schools, I have taught many Muslim students and worked with their families. I plan to continue working closely with the Muslim community as a city council member. We are doing our city and country a disservice if we allow the Trump administration to lead a campaign of scare tactics meant on building distrust and division within our society. In regards to political activism; many folks have committed their lives working for a more just and equitable world. It is, in my opinion, counter-productive for a police force to carry out surveillance on non-violent activists when their primary purpose should be to build a safe and lawful community. If Boston police feel that there is credible evidence that an individual is committing a violent crime then they can, and must, file for a warrant from a judge and carry out surveillance in a legal manner."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support efforts to end BPD collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as the City of San Francisco has recently done?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to eliminate these significant racial disparities in street investigations, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more officers of color?

"I have always operated under the logic that crimes happen where they are recorded by police. It is clear that the Boston police department focuses a great deal of energy on certain sections of our city, largely the districts which have higher concentrations of non-white citizens. We should be working to build trust between members of the community, and the police department, and developing a true community policing system, rather than a system of communities being policed. While I believe that having police officers that reflect the community is a good start, it is not enough. If elected I would like to have a relationship with the ACLU in order to make sure that I am continually aware of any disparities within policing in our city. We need to be working toward reconciliation and trying to build trust where it is lacking. Having officers who are both culturally competent with the community as well as fluent in language are important steps to working together."

The number of Field Interrogations and Observations declined by 30% in 2016. If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to further reduce the number of FIOs?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, how will you leverage your position to shift the city from a law enforcement response to drugs to an equitable and effective public health approach?

"I think that it is important to acknowledge that the opioid crisis is one of the most serious crises facing our country. This is a public health crisis that cuts across racial, gender, and socioeconomic lines. Family members and neighbors are dying, and we need leaders to step up and think about measures we need to enact that creates positive steps forward. I support the idea of working with the Boston police to change the way in which folks with addiction are prosecuted for possession of opioids. There is no easy answer for solving this health crisis. We need a wide reaching approach to helping people trying to get clean. It is easy to say we need more space in detox facilities, and need more beds in sober houses; but the issue is deeper. We need to rethink the stigma of opioid issue and addiction. The AMA of Massachusetts are supportive of piloting Safe Injection Facilities (SIFs), and I think that it is a great step toward keeping folks safe from overdosing. Regardless of whether Boston embraces SIFs, people will continue to use Fentanyl, Heroin and other opioids. I believe that SIFs will substantially reduce the number of deaths from IV drug use, which needs to be our primary focus as public officials facing a public health crisis. We need to get beyond stigmatizing, and work to create opportunities for transformative recovery. This means working with community organizations and the city of Boston, to work with the police to reconsider how folks experience addiction are dealt with when their life is in crisis. We need to meet people where they are at, not where we think they should be. This is a public health crisis and such a crisis demands solutions, not stigmatization and criminalization."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a pre-arrest diversion program for drug-related offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to end racial bias in drug policing in our city?

"I support the end of mandatory minimums for possession of controlled substances for personal consumption, in part because I believe non-white persons experience disproportionate levels of policing and receive disproportionate sentences for such offenses. I also support a restructuring of plain-clothes policing, which I believe is frequently a tactic used to incarcerate folks for non-violent drug offenses. I also support the use of body cameras on all BPD officers while on duty. I believe that with these three reforms we can do some serious work towards challenging the racial bias in drug policing in Boston."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you actively support the repeal of all drug mandatory minimums this legislative session?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to address police militarization?

"I do not feel that military grade weapons should be necessary in police forces. I feel that the connection between the department of defense and local police forces is a frightening message sent to the citizens of our country. We need to be building trust between police and communities, and excessive use of military-grade weaponry hardly accomplishes that goal. We should be working to take guns off our streets, not adding them. I would prefer to live in a society where guns are obsolete. I understand that this is not something that will happen overnight, but should be the guiding ethic of our approach towards weaponry on the streets of Boston, regardless of who is wielding it. Furthermore, the militarization of police in our country since the last several decades has involved a shift in the approach towards policing itself, and the training processes of police departments. Police should be trained to be servants of their communities. I fear that the possession and wielding of military-class weaponry can be regarded by some as an occupying military force, and broaden distrust and fear by certain populations."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to prevent the Boston Police Department from obtaining military weaponry such as machine guns, armored vehicles, drones, bayonets, or grenade launchers from the US military?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent, and independent investigation whenever an officer kills a Boston resident?

"When talking about matters of transparency dealing with investigations resulting from deadly force it is important to frame the conversation the lack of an independent third party. With an operating budget of more than $370 million, the BPD should have a universal body camera program. Body cameras provide protection for both the police as well as the community. Body cameras provide an independent and unbiased account of events which would allow for a more clear and transparent process when it comes to dealing with police actions. I would work to make sure that the fiscal budget included body cameras for all police officers that patrol our communities."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the institution of a policy requiring independent, impartial investigations whenever the BPD uses deadly force?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and assess the impact of tactical units on community wellbeing?

"It should be the intention of police to build bridges with the community, and not operate under the veil of secrecy. I do not purport to understand the inner workings or the rationale of why the police patrol our cities youth in plain clothes, but I will say that we need to be working to build trust rather than operating in plain clothes. It is important for communities most affected by police action to be able to not worry about feeling misled by individuals they do not know are police. I feel that this sends the wrong message to the greater community that are not engaging in alleged criminal activity. The reality of the situation is that plain-clothed officers operate under the understanding that the traditional police tactics would not be effective in a given situation."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the abolition of plain clothes policing?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council what will you do to curb excessive overtime spending, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more police officers?

"I think that it is important to delineate/define the role of police officers in our city. I perceive police to be civil servants who work to provide general safety to citizens of the City of Boston. As Bostonians, we collectively pay for the wages of officers. And as such, we need to take a serious look at how taxpayer money is spent. I feel that it makes sense for individual officers to reach a cap for overtime. I do not think that it is healthy for an officer to work excessive hours. Being on duty for hours beyond the typical shift may create a stress that is not necessary for an individual to experience on the job. This is particularly true when it comes to a workforce of civil servants in charge of protecting the community. As a city councilor, I would be interested in discussing with the Boston Police Department how overtime affects the functionality, and the efficiency of police, statistically speaking."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what data will you use to evaluate police performance?

"If elected to City Council I would look for guidance when it comes to evaluating police officers. I am not well educated on manners of evaluating police, so I do not want to make promises that are based without information. From the basic framing of this question, I would like to know more about how information could be publicly shared in a way that does not create public records of individuals alleged criminal activity. That being said, I think that it is important for the public to have access to police activity and interactions. I think that there should be a forum where information is shared that is done in an anonymous way so that an incident is logged, but identities are protected."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to make Boston Police arrest data and stop and frisk data, including race data, available to the public in real time?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and democratic accountability around new surveillance technology acquisitions?

"I think that it is important for the general population to have a conceptual framework of the technology being used by government agencies and police forces. I feel that when the public is kept in the dark with regard to surveillance it does not make us safer. Rather it makes us more vulnerable or distrustful of one another. I think that if the City of Boston, or a governing agency therein wishes to use surveillance technology to watch our streets, our cell data, or our emails, the community should know that these technologies are being exercised in the city limits. The city of Boston should be working to build trust with citizens, and being open with the surveillance apparatus we use is part of that."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a municipal law to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what steps will you take to increase community control over policing in our neighborhoods?

"The community needs to be part of the conversation with keeping our streets safe. I believe that it makes more sense to have a community board that at least meets with CO-OP panel. I believe that community elders, religious leaders and parents could form a powerful coalition in order to bring the voice of the community to this panel. I am a strong proponent in the power of community. By bringing together leaders from across the neighborhood, I think we could truly elevate the conversation and elevate serious issues facing neighborhoods around Boston."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support replacing the CO-OP with an independent community-based complaint review body with the power to subpoena, investigate, discipline, and fire police officers?

Yes.

Please describe the role you think body cameras should play at the Boston Police Department.

"I completely support a universal body camera roll out across the city. The camera provides an unbiased third party perspective to interactions between law enforcement and civilians. I think that a major hurdle to overcome is the storage of this data. Logistically speaking, we need a practical method of storing potentially hundreds of terabytes of data on a fairly regular basis. I believe that body cameras protect both the civilian as well as the police officer, but creating a living document that tells its own truth when it comes to how events occurred during a police interaction."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work with advocacy groups to implement a body worn camera program, along with a policy that mandates public transparency and personal privacy?

Yes.


Mark Ciommo (District 9)

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to limit the number of minor offenses arrests in the city?

"Providing BPD with the tools to continue to foster relationships in the community is key in limiting the number of minor offenses in communities across Boston."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you encourage the police commissioner to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to restrict the Boston Police Department from collecting and sharing with the federal government information about people not suspected of criminal activity?

"I support and voted in favor of the Trust Act in 2014, and will continue to support the policies it put in place."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support changing BPD policy to prevent intelligence collection and sharing with the federal government absent articulable criminal suspicion?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure funding is available to support social services for immigrant communities that is not tied to law enforcement?

"I have been supportive of the creation of the Office of Immigrant Advancement in Boston, and as Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, have been committed to ensuring they have the resources needed to advocate for Bostonians of all backgrounds, outside of the purview of BPD."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support ending BPD's involvement in any community outreach programs that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence or "extremism," including Youth and Police Initiative Plus?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to protect Muslim Bostonians and activists from unwarranted federal harassment and surveillance?

"The civil liberties of all Bostonians needs to be respected, and no law enforcement official should ever go beyond their legal limit when conducting surveillance."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support efforts to end BPD collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as the City of San Francisco has recently done?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to eliminate these significant racial disparities in street investigations, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more officers of color?

"Racial profiling and bias training provided to officers should be reviewed on a regular basis to address its possible impact on this disparity."

The number of Field Interrogations and Observations declined by 30% in 2016. If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to further reduce the number of FIOs?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, how will you leverage your position to shift the city from a law enforcement response to drugs to an equitable and effective public health approach?

"We need to continue to address the opioid crisis as a public health crisis. As Chair of Ways and Means, I have been supportive of additional funding for treatment and intervention programs and the implementation of the Office of Recovery."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a pre-arrest diversion program for drug-related offenses?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to end racial bias in drug policing in our city?

"I will continue to support a treatment-first approach to drug use in Boston. I supported the creation of the Office of Recovery to help provide intervention and referral to treatment."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you actively support the repeal of all drug mandatory minimums this legislative session?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to address police militarization?

"I will not support any proposal for the Boston Police Department to acquire equipment that is incompatible with their goal of community policing."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to prevent the Boston Police Department from obtaining military weaponry such as machine guns, armored vehicles, drones, bayonets, or grenade launchers from the US military?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent, and independent investigation whenever an officer kills a Boston resident?

"I support the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel, which is a civilian committee to review police investigations to ensure they occur in a fair, timely and unbiased manner."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the institution of a policy requiring independent, impartial investigations whenever the BPD uses deadly force?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and assess the impact of tactical units on community wellbeing?

"I support the community policing policies of BPD, and support efforts to encourage civilian-police relationships and dialogue."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the abolition of plain clothes policing?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council what will you do to curb excessive overtime spending, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more police officers?

"The hiring of more officers needs to be part of the conversation about reducing overtime costs."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what data will you use to evaluate police performance?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to make Boston Police arrest data and stop and frisk data, including race data, available to the public in real time?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and democratic accountability around new surveillance technology acquisitions?

"There is a public hearing process that would accompany any large acquisition made by BPD to find out why the new technology is needed to ensure the safety of Bostonians."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a municipal law to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what steps will you take to increase community control over policing in our neighborhoods?

"I support the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel as a tool for the community to oversee police actions in our neighborhoods, as well as all efforts to increase the communication between police and the community."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support replacing the CO-OP with an independent community-based complaint review body with the power to subpoena, investigate, discipline, and fire police officers?

No response.

Please describe the role you think body cameras should play at the Boston Police Department.

"All Boston Police Officers should wear body cameras, and BPD should work with civil rights experts to ensure the storage and transmittal of audio, video, and data from the cameras is done in a way that is transparent and respectful to the privacy of all Bostonians."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work with advocacy groups to implement a body worn camera program, along with a policy that mandates public transparency and personal privacy?

No response.


Lydia Edwards (District 1)

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to limit the number of minor offenses arrests in the city?

"I have been a supporter of drivers licenses. Though at the city level it may not be a program I can implement."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you encourage the police commissioner to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to restrict the Boston Police Department from collecting and sharing with the federal government information about people not suspected of criminal activity?

"I am happy to explore ways to assure that the BPD is focused on protecting Bostonians and are not being used as immigration officers. I think we need to build bridges with the our immigrant community and secure communities actually breaks down trust with law enforcement."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support changing BPD policy to prevent intelligence collection and sharing with the federal government absent articulable criminal suspicion?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure funding is available to support social services for immigrant communities that is not tied to law enforcement?

"I actually think safer communities are those that invest heavily in assuring the mental, emotional and physical health of children and individuals that have been through trauma. I would hope to have academic institutions, hospitals, foundation and the city government come together to help increase social services. At this time, I am not prepared to take a immediate stance on the YPIP program. I do reserve the right to review more data and make a decision later."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support ending BPD's involvement in any community outreach programs that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence or "extremism," including Youth and Police Initiative Plus?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to protect Muslim Bostonians and activists from unwarranted federal harassment and surveillance?

"Muslim Americans have faced an increase in violence suspicion and harassment throughout the United States. I think Boston should be leading the way in how to protect and build bridges. With that in mind I think there needs to be intensive education about the Islamic faith and diversity training. I also would want a full audit of any case or individual referred to the JTTF. If JTTF is a program with low standards for surveillance and only results in harassment of Muslim American and protesters, then I would like to separate it from the BPD."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support efforts to end BPD collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as the City of San Francisco has recently done?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to eliminate these significant racial disparities in street investigations, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more officers of color?

"Beyond hiring more officers of color I think we should also assess the training and education we require of BPD officers. The City might examine the education requirement to include more college classes on race and history of Boston. I would want officers who want to be part of a solution to better race relations to also feel empowered and supported by the commissioner and the city of Boston. We also need to make sure that we hold officers accountable when they make racist remarks on social media. I do think we should consider our own stop and frisk policies."

The number of Field Interrogations and Observations declined by 30% in 2016. If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to further reduce the number of FIOs?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, how will you leverage your position to shift the city from a law enforcement response to drugs to an equitable and effective public health approach?

"I think the city law enforcement could look to the city of Gloucester's police program that emphasizes treatment over punishment."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a pre-arrest diversion program for drug-related offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to end racial bias in drug policing in our city?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you actively support the repeal of all drug mandatory minimums this legislative session?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to address police militarization?

"I think dealing with police militarization requires extensive investment in upstream programs that have been proven to reduce crime and better police relationships. I think one of the biggest problems is that we have reduced community policing (i.e. police officer being present and walking around the neighborhood) and people often don't know the officers who are policing their neighborhood. The fact that police only come in crisis is a problem. I would prefer that police be volunteering more at soup kitchens, as coaches etc. I think increasing the weapons police have at the time of responding to crises does not reduce crises."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to prevent the Boston Police Department from obtaining military weaponry such as machine guns, armored vehicles, drones, bayonets, or grenade launchers from the US military?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent, and independent investigation whenever an officer kills a Boston resident?

"I would like to see a citizens review board that includes some officers and some community members. I would like for the majority of voting members to be from the community and in cases of death this independent review board should have sole jurisdiction."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the institution of a policy requiring independent, impartial investigations whenever the BPD uses deadly force?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and assess the impact of tactical units on community wellbeing?

"I would require as part of the budget approval process a full transparent report on the tactical units. I am not ready to abolition plain clothes policing until we have a full report on the burdens and benefits of such police tactics therefore I reserve the right to say yes or no in the following question."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the abolition of plain clothes policing?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council what will you do to curb excessive overtime spending, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more police officers?

"There is actually a need for more officers and as such could be one of the reasons why officers are earning so much more overtime. I would hope to hire not just police officers but social workers and youth workers that work within the police department. As for the current hours being spent in overtime I would like the city redirect some of that compensated time to paying officers for coaching sports, working in soup kitchens, working with our elderly, tutoring our youth, learning foreign languages and serving our community in other ways. I dont think I would impose stricter limits on overtime but try to redefine the use altogether."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what data will you use to evaluate police performance?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to make Boston Police arrest data and stop and frisk data, including race data, available to the public in real time?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and democratic accountability around new surveillance technology acquisitions?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a municipal law to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what steps will you take to increase community control over policing in our neighborhoods?

"I fully support an independent community-based complaint review board. Before pushing for replacement of CO-OP I would like to review more data but the goal should be a community based review board."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support replacing the CO-OP with an independent community-based complaint review body with the power to subpoena, investigate, discipline, and fire police officers?

No response.

Please describe the role you think body cameras should play at the Boston Police Department.

"I think that cameras are for everyone's benefit. They however are not the only solution and are certainly not a perfect guarantee for accountability. I think we start with cameras and invest heavily in revamping the definition of protection and service to our communities. I would like to see police forces including social workers for example and trauma specialists that stay with communities and families that have suffered trauma."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work with advocacy groups to implement a body worn camera program, along with a policy that mandates public transparency and personal privacy?

Yes.


William King (At-large)

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to limit the number of minor offenses arrests in the city?

"Minor offenses are just that minor. They should not rise to the level as to damage the individual. The first thing we must do to limit these number of minor offenses which affects and harms blacks and Latinos at a greater rate, first is to direct our police force to direct their attention to more serious crimes around the city. We should also call upon a special commission to look at getting rid of some of these minor "crimes" which are not crimes at all."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you encourage the police commissioner to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to restrict the Boston Police Department from collecting and sharing with the federal government information about people not suspected of criminal activity?

"If elected I would direct the Boston Police Department not share any data collected to the federal government regarding a persons immigration status absent of criminal suspicion. Any information shared otherwise would be a violation to the persons civil liberties and would pose a safety risk for residents."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support changing BPD policy to prevent intelligence collection and sharing with the federal government absent articulable criminal suspicion?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure funding is available to support social services for immigrant communities that is not tied to law enforcement?

"If elected I would ensure funding is available to our immigrant communities through their house of worship, working with these organizations to provide and help insure continued funding and support. Also working with the local communities that work with the immigrant population to make sure funding and help is being provided and not tied to law enforcement."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support ending BPD's involvement in any community outreach programs that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence or "extremism," including Youth and Police Initiative Plus?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to protect Muslim Bostonians and activists from unwarranted federal harassment and surveillance?

"If elected, freedom of speech must be taking paramount in protecting our Muslim Bostonians and activists. No court in the city of Boston should use their power to harass or surveil any Muslim house of worship or organization that speak out in protecting their rights. I would fight in the council to pass ordinance not work with or help in any unconstitutional surveillance or unwarranted Federal harassment when it comes to our Muslim Neighbors. Also to direct the city to file suit against any institution or federal agency that looks to harass our cities residents."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support efforts to end BPD collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as the City of San Francisco has recently done?

No.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to eliminate these significant racial disparities in street investigations, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more officers of color?

"If elected to the city council, what I would do to eliminate these significant racial disparities is focus on education. We must rid the city of the institutionalized racism that is present today. More funding in our urban public schools is step one. Increasing funding in regards to teachers, updated books and technology for each urban schools and also an increase in vocational programs. These education reforms will go along way in helping eliminate racial disparities. Education uplifts and provides key aspects for success in each individuals lives and this is need especially with our minority students."

The number of Field Interrogations and Observations declined by 30% in 2016. If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to further reduce the number of FIOs?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, how will you leverage your position to shift the city from a law enforcement response to drugs to an equitable and effective public health approach?

"If elected to the City Council, I would leverage my position to provide help instead of harsh punishment for victims. We must look at this issue as a health issue not a criminal issue. The City should end minor drug offenses; replace it with fines. Using this money to help the individual through various programs. The government would provide funding to particular organizations that help these individuals. This can be through supervised injection sites, and various detox programs throughout the city."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a pre-arrest diversion program for drug-related offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to end racial bias in drug policing in our city?

"I will work to end drug mandatory minimums."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you actively support the repeal of all drug mandatory minimums this legislative session?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to address police militarization?

"I will make sure that BPD does not get access to this types of weapons, our police department will not participate in this program with the Department of Defense. We don't want these weapons in our city period!"

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to prevent the Boston Police Department from obtaining military weaponry such as machine guns, armored vehicles, drones, bayonets, or grenade launchers from the US military?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent, and independent investigation whenever an officer kills a Boston resident?

"I absolutely would make sure this happens, we need transparency to hold our leaders accountable and make sure justice is being served fairly."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the institution of a policy requiring independent, impartial investigations whenever the BPD uses deadly force?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and assess the impact of tactical units on community wellbeing?

"I would explore having an independent agency look into how our tactical units operate. Based on the results I will work to come up with a way on how we can become more transparent without harming our residents and officers. I believe having plain clothes officers can be a strategic advantage when it comes to protecting our residents, but I will look for ways to improve the unit so that residents rights are not violated."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the abolition of plain clothes policing?

No.

If elected or reelected to the City Council what will you do to curb excessive overtime spending, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more police officers?

"I would like to look at having construction companies hire civilian flaggers work details. We can then free up money in the city budget and allocate funds where they are needed."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what data will you use to evaluate police performance?

"If elected to the City Council the data I would use to evaluate police performance would be to look at both incident reports and also the FIO to inform the pubic and I."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to make Boston Police arrest data and stop and frisk data, including race data, available to the public in real time?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and democratic accountability around new surveillance technology acquisitions?

"Yes, the public must be involved in determining if surveillance technology in the city is accountable in the data they collect."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a municipal law to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what steps will you take to increase community control over policing in our neighborhoods?

"If elected to the City Council, a few steps I would take to increase community control over policing would be more community policing and also having and encouraging each community to have an organization that will meet with the police force policing their neighborhoods monthly. Having both community leaders and the police force meeting monthly would provide the needed oversight and accountability for the police force in each neighborhood."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support replacing the CO-OP with an independent community-based complaint review body with the power to subpoena, investigate, discipline, and fire police officers?

No.

Please describe the role you think body cameras should play at the Boston Police Department.

"The role body cameras should be is a big one. This is not an indictment on Boston Police, but accountability for both the officer and for the individual on the other side of the camera."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work with advocacy groups to implement a body worn camera program, along with a policy that mandates public transparency and personal privacy?

Yes.


Kristen Mobilia (District 8)

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to limit the number of minor offenses arrests in the city?

"Given that the Boston Police Department (BPD) is currently understaffed and fewer residents are applying to the BPD each year, we need to be sure that the reduced police force is focusing on major criminal offenses. The percentage of minority police officers is actually declining, as a large portion of officers are reaching retirement status. This needs to be reversed so that the BPD reflects the same diversity as the population that it serves. Cultural and language skills are extremely helpful in defusing potentially violent situations. I will strongly support city-wide initiatives that address these issues."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you encourage the police commissioner to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to restrict the Boston Police Department from collecting and sharing with the federal government information about people not suspected of criminal activity?

"The United States is built on freedoms that would be severely compromised by unwarranted surveillance. We are living in risky and uncertain times. I will fight to protect the rights of immigrants and others unfairly targeted by ICE and other agencies."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support changing BPD policy to prevent intelligence collection and sharing with the federal government absent articulable criminal suspicion?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure funding is available to support social services for immigrant communities that is not tied to law enforcement?

"I will work to identify resources offered by the many non-government agencies that have and will continue to provide support to immigrant communities. Religious and nonreligious groups do not track personal information while providing services. I have personally written many grants for nonprofit projects and know that they do not require tracking as a condition of funding."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support ending BPD's involvement in any community outreach programs that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence or "extremism," including Youth and Police Initiative Plus?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to protect Muslim Bostonians and activists from unwarranted federal harassment and surveillance?

"All lawful residents should be protected from unwarranted city, state, and federal harassment and surveillance. I will fight for this. We all have privacy rights that should be protected."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support efforts to end BPD collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as the City of San Francisco has recently done?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to eliminate these significant racial disparities in street investigations, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more officers of color?

"I will work to promote city initiatives and take part in community outreach programs to help ensure that the Boston Police Department mirrors the diverse population it serves. I will work to publicly highlight success stories that can help to diminish negative stereotyping. Additionally, I am in support of the recent push for criminal justice reform in Massachusetts, a goal of which is to reduce the incarceration rate for minor offenses, often a disproportionate rate due to unjust racial profiling."

The number of Field Interrogations and Observations declined by 30% in 2016. If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to further reduce the number of FIOs?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, how will you leverage your position to shift the city from a law enforcement response to drugs to an equitable and effective public health approach?

"The opioid crisis touches all families and all neighborhoods in our city. It has taken some time, but more are beginning to see this crisis as a serious public health issue as opposed to a strictly criminal issue. Currently, we do not have enough health professionals to address the volume of opioid cases. We need to increase opportunities and training for short-term and long-term treatment programs versus filling more prison cells. I am in support of channeling more upfront dollars into health services programs instead of paying the price for increased incarcerations."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a pre-arrest diversion program for drug-related offenses?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to end racial bias in drug policing in our city?

"As I mentioned before, I am in support of the recent push for criminal justice reform, which would reduce incarceration rates for minor offenses. Due to racial profiling, minorities have a higher rate of arrest. The pending legislation will have a significant effect on reduction of related arrest rates."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you actively support the repeal of all drug mandatory minimums this legislative session?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to address police militarization?

"I do not believe that military weaponry has a role in community policing. As a city, we should not accept military weapons or allow them to be stored within police departments. Studies show that when police are militarized they are more likely to enter high risk situations and to be attacked as well. Situations escalate more quickly when military dress and weaponry are introduced. I will work to bring together police officers, community leaders and fellow citizens to amplify a unified voice against militarization of our police force."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to prevent the Boston Police Department from obtaining military weaponry such as machine guns, armored vehicles, drones, bayonets, or grenade launchers from the US military?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent, and independent investigation whenever an officer kills a Boston resident?

"I will support a standardized timely and transparent procedure for Boston Police departments to follow when a resident is killed by an officer. An independent investigation should always occur to avoid any conflict of interest. Annually, a review of all fatalities should be conducted to track any negative or questionable trends in specific police units or with particular officers. I believe that this level of oversight is critical. Checks and balances are essential to our daily freedoms."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the institution of a policy requiring independent, impartial investigations whenever the BPD uses deadly force?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and assess the impact of tactical units on community wellbeing?

"Transparency is essential to create trust between the police and the public. This is the case for any strong and lasting relationship. Police statistics should be made public to determine the effectiveness of plain clothes police officers and to evaluate if there are any systemic discriminatory practices."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the abolition of plain clothes policing?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council what will you do to curb excessive overtime spending, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more police officers?

"Currently, the Boston Police Department is understaffed. We have many officers reaching retirement age, and we have shrinking application numbers. This is not only a budgeting problem but one of safety as well, given that increased overtime can lead to fatigue. Many overtime situations come from the increase in large public events within city limits and the amount of construction projects we now have. I would advocate that major event hosts pay more of their share and that we have any underutilized city employees cross-trained to cover construction details."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what data will you use to evaluate police performance?

"I will review police data from current and prior years to identify short-term and long-term trends related to incident reports in order to better inform policy and resource allocation in our communities. It is important to understand if there are any systemic issues such as racial profiling and gender discrimination, just as it is important to pinpoint positive trends and replicate them. Day-to-day data collection raises concerns about privacy and potential for misuse. The Boston Police Department somewhat recently converted to a new 911 dispatch system. As a longtime neighborhood and parks advocate, I often meet with police officers regarding community safety. In this capacity I have spoken with officers about the new 911 software and have reviewed information on it as well. Reports are that the system is cumbersome, data entry takes more time than previously, and the search functionality often results in errors. This all needs to be reviewed and improved upon before I would support online automated postings of potentially private information."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to make Boston Police arrest data and stop and frisk data, including race data, available to the public in real time?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and democratic accountability around new surveillance technology acquisitions?

"The public should be notified of any potential addition of new surveillance technology. I will insist on a community review process. There should be community meetings to gather input before any city approvals of installation."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a municipal law to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what steps will you take to increase community control over policing in our neighborhoods?

"For years I have regularly attended neighborhood community police meetings. It is important that the Boston Police Department conduct a percentage of their patrols on foot and participate in regular public meetings so that community relationships can be formed and strengthened. Mutual trust and good communication is an essential foundation for our police and community. I will work to promote and facilitate this. In the event of a discriminatory situation, there should be a full impartial investigation process. I will stand up for anyone who is discriminated against."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support replacing the CO-OP with an independent community-based complaint review body with the power to subpoena, investigate, discipline, and fire police officers?

No response.

Please describe the role you think body cameras should play at the Boston Police Department.

"The intent of body cameras worn by police officers is to increase trust and transparency and lead to a reduction in use of force. There are still some questions as to privacy protections and determination as to when and if recordings should be made public. While body cameras have the potential to provide very valuable evidence, we need to make sure that they do not compromise privacy rights. As with all of the issues raised in this candidate survey, there are many points to consider in order to evaluate the full range of policy implications as well as identify opportunities for strengthening our shared community goals. I look forward to discussing these and other issues with residents of District 8."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work with advocacy groups to implement a body worn camera program, along with a policy that mandates public transparency and personal privacy?

No response.


Ayanna Pressley (At-large)

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to limit the number of minor offenses arrests in the city?

"If re-elected, I will encourage the police commissioner to direct BPD to refocus the priorities of the BPD to investigating and acting to prevent and solve major crimes, as well as to build bonds with the communities they police by urging that discretion be used when considering making arrests for minor offenses."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you encourage the police commissioner to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to restrict the Boston Police Department from collecting and sharing with the federal government information about people not suspected of criminal activity?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support changing BPD policy to prevent intelligence collection and sharing with the federal government absent articulable criminal suspicion?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure funding is available to support social services for immigrant communities that is not tied to law enforcement?

"Over my eight years on the council, I have advocated for equitable and expanded access to social services, including school programming, holistic trauma response and recovery services, and funding for community groups working to aid in keeping our neighborhoods safe. I will continue to work to ensure that Boston's immigrant communities are eligible and have equitable access to social services outside the nexus of law enforcement."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support ending BPD's involvement in any community outreach programs that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence or "extremism," including Youth and Police Initiative Plus?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to protect Muslim Bostonians and activists from unwarranted federal harassment and surveillance?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support efforts to end BPD collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as the City of San Francisco has recently done?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to eliminate these significant racial disparities in street investigations, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more officers of color?

No response.

The number of Field Interrogations and Observations declined by 30% in 2016. If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to further reduce the number of FIOs?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, how will you leverage your position to shift the city from a law enforcement response to drugs to an equitable and effective public health approach?

"I support a pre-arrest diversion program for drug related offenses, as well as increasing funding and support for residential treatment options for those suffering from addiction."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a pre-arrest diversion program for drug-related offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to end racial bias in drug policing in our city?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you actively support the repeal of all drug mandatory minimums this legislative session?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to address police militarization?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to prevent the Boston Police Department from obtaining military weaponry such as machine guns, armored vehicles, drones, bayonets, or grenade launchers from the US military?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent, and independent investigation whenever an officer kills a Boston resident?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the institution of a policy requiring independent, impartial investigations whenever the BPD uses deadly force?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and assess the impact of tactical units on community wellbeing?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the abolition of plain clothes policing?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council what will you do to curb excessive overtime spending, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more police officers?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what data will you use to evaluate police performance?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to make Boston Police arrest data and stop and frisk data, including race data, available to the public in real time?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and democratic accountability around new surveillance technology acquisitions?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a municipal law to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what steps will you take to increase community control over policing in our neighborhoods?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support replacing the CO-OP with an independent community-based complaint review body with the power to subpoena, investigate, discipline, and fire police officers?

Yes.

Please describe the role you think body cameras should play at the Boston Police Department.

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work with advocacy groups to implement a body worn camera program, along with a policy that mandates public transparency and personal privacy?

Yes.


Michelle Wu (At-large)

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to limit the number of minor offenses arrests in the city?

"I support efforts to encourage BPD to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses. Particularly for students, minor offense arrests are counterproductive and lead to higher rates of drop-outs. For all residents, minor offense arrests trigger interactions with the criminal justice system that can lead to disproportionate outcomes for immigrants and persons of color. I would be open to looking into changes such as those implemented in other jurisdictions to create a civil process for minor offenses or otherwise limit court interaction for the individuals involved."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you encourage the police commissioner to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to restrict the Boston Police Department from collecting and sharing with the federal government information about people not suspected of criminal activity?

"No one should be under police surveillance absent a warrant or a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. I was proud to be part of a unanimous City Council vote in passing the Trust Act, prohibiting BPD from enforcing ICE civil detainer requests. I would support similar efforts to restrict information sharing through local legislation. I have also been vocal about supporting the Safe Communities Act at the state level that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from participating in any discriminatory registry and enhance due process for immigrants."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support changing BPD policy to prevent intelligence collection and sharing with the federal government absent articulable criminal suspicion?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure funding is available to support social services for immigrant communities that is not tied to law enforcement?

"I am committed to continuing to improve the ways in which we support immigrant communities. I will continue to advocate for resources for the Office of Immigrant Advancement and for public-private partnerships with organizations such as MIRA and the AACA who have a track record for providing social services. I support the push to adjust the rate at which Boston assesses 'linkage fees' on development for job training, for example, that can be used by many of these organizations, so that we are leveraging the growth in the city to support service organizations. I need more information about the application process for federal funds about YPIP to make a decision about BPD involvement in such community outreach programs."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support ending BPD's involvement in any community outreach programs that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence or "extremism," including Youth and Police Initiative Plus?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to protect Muslim Bostonians and activists from unwarranted federal harassment and surveillance?

"Local police officers should not be conducting or assisting with unwarranted surveillance on behalf of federal officials. In addition to the lack of a legal basis for doing so, we have safety concerns within the city that are in our jurisdiction and should be our first priority. If re-elected I would support requiring the BPD to report to the Council all federal programs such as JTTF in which they are currently involved. Having all the information before us would allow the Council to draft appropriate legislation to protect the civil liberties of all our residents, regardless of their religious or political beliefs."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support efforts to end BPD collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as the City of San Francisco has recently done?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to eliminate these significant racial disparities in street investigations, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more officers of color?

"Implicit and explicit bias in policing is evident in police departments across the country and Boston is not immune. Education is one of the first ways to change attitudes and therefore actions. Additionally, body cameras have a documented impact on improving police-community interactions. I am also committed to advocating for strict policies for disciplining officers who are found to have targeted persons of color. Every member of the Boston community should feel safe and protected by law enforcement, and they should feel confident that if an officer abuses his/her authority, he/she will face the appropriate consequences."

The number of Field Interrogations and Observations declined by 30% in 2016. If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to further reduce the number of FIOs?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, how will you leverage your position to shift the city from a law enforcement response to drugs to an equitable and effective public health approach?

"For nearly every person struggling with drug addiction, the criminal justice system is not the right place to find the resources needed to enter recovery. We should expand efforts to divert people away from jails and into treatment programs, with partnerships with the court system such as Homeless Court. We desperately need increased funding to ensure that treatment on-demand options are available, as well as training and staff within BPD to accurately identify and direct such people in need. We must continue to support and expand the B.E.S.T. team and other first responders who are on the frontlines of this epidemic. We need to fund treatment on-demand, work with health-care providers to prescribe pain medications safely, and ensure that everyone has access to Narcan to prevent overdose and save lives."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a pre-arrest diversion program for drug-related offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to end racial bias in drug policing in our city?

"I supported legalization of adult use marijuana to address the disparate outcomes in drug policing even after decriminalization and will work to ensure that implementation of policies achieves this goal. Similar policies to those listed above for eliminating racial biases in street investigations will also have an impact on the discrepancies around drug related arrests. Additionally, advocacy is needed at the state and federal level to amend and overturn laws that set up disparate punishments and mandatory minimums that disproportionately impact people of color."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you actively support the repeal of all drug mandatory minimums this legislative session?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to address police militarization?

"Our city streets are not a war zone, and our police officers should not be equipped as if they are. I would support holding a hearing for BPD to report what military style equipment, if any, they currently own and how they obtained them. This would allow us to evaluate what regulations are necessary to keep our streets free of such weapons."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to prevent the Boston Police Department from obtaining military weaponry such as machine guns, armored vehicles, drones, bayonets, or grenade launchers from the US military?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent, and independent investigation whenever an officer kills a Boston resident?

"I support establishing an independent commission to investigate each and every instance of deadly use of force by a Boston police officer, including legal experts and community members."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the institution of a policy requiring independent, impartial investigations whenever the BPD uses deadly force?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and assess the impact of tactical units on community wellbeing?

"I need more information on the goals and data of plain clothes policing units, and would request such data on budget, complaints, and arrests."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the abolition of plain clothes policing?

No.

If elected or reelected to the City Council what will you do to curb excessive overtime spending, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more police officers?

"Every City department should be responsibly allocating taxpayer dollars. As the City Council reviews the budget each year we have the ability to push for more transparency and efficiency from the BPD on the reasons for the overtime costs, and I will advocate for overtime spending to continue coming down."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what data will you use to evaluate police performance?

"Increased transparency of data reporting helps both community accountability and officers' ability to manage outcomes effectively. I will ask for arrest data and stop and frisk data to be released along with other statistics."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to make Boston Police arrest data and stop and frisk data, including race data, available to the public in real time?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and democratic accountability around new surveillance technology acquisitions?

"The City should be transparent in its use of surveillance technology and balance public safety with citizens' right to privacy. For full accountability, law enforcement should have written policies developed with community process in place before implementing any new technology."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a municipal law to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what steps will you take to increase community control over policing in our neighborhoods?

"I believe that community input and community insight is a critical part of every City department and their processes. I support increasing the budget of the CO-OP in order to do better outreach so that residents know that it is a viable option for reporting concern, as well as the resources they need in order to make the strongest possible recommendations for holding officers accountable."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support replacing the CO-OP with an independent community-based complaint review body with the power to subpoena, investigate, discipline, and fire police officers?

No response.

Please describe the role you think body cameras should play at the Boston Police Department.

"I believe body cameras are a tool to increase trust and accountability for police and community by creating an unbiased record of interactions. I believe footage should be reviewed regularly, stored securely, and made public in ways that protect residents' privacy. I look forward to a policy established with all stakeholders at the table and determining the proper details of implementation."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work with advocacy groups to implement a body worn camera program, along with a policy that mandates public transparency and personal privacy?

Yes.


Annissa Essaibi George (At-large)

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to limit the number of minor offenses arrests in the city?

"As a City Councilor I will continue to use my role to encourage effective policing policies that do not lead to arrest of individuals for minor offenses. I will continue to support efforts that improve relations between residents and police and improve our community policing practices. I have worked specifically to increase the capacity of the BEST team and their work with BPD to support individuals who need mental health services and not police interventions."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you encourage the police commissioner to use discretion to stop making arrests for minor offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to restrict the Boston Police Department from collecting and sharing with the federal government information about people not suspected of criminal activity?

"Our residents, regardless of immigration status, should feel safe in our City. Unfortunately they often don't. We need to continue to work on their behalf, in partnership with the BPD, to reassure them of our efforts. The Council previously passed, without opposition, the Trust Act and restated its support for it during this term. Our residents should also not fear that information about them is collected and shared when they are not suspected of criminal activity and the Council should continue to work to support efforts to ensure those practices are not happening."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support changing BPD policy to prevent intelligence collection and sharing with the federal government absent articulable criminal suspicion?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure funding is available to support social services for immigrant communities that is not tied to law enforcement?

"In Boston we have a wealth of organizations that offer support services for our immigrant community with and without religious affiliation and without ties to law enforcement. These efforts need to be continued and enhanced, especially for students new to our school system and require language services."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support ending BPD's involvement in any community outreach programs that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence or "extremism," including Youth and Police Initiative Plus?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to protect Muslim Bostonians and activists from unwarranted federal harassment and surveillance?

"As a City Councilor and an Arab, I will never support unwarranted federal harassment and/or surveillance of Muslim Bostonians and activists. As a City we need to make sure that our police department does not participate in any activity that may violate any individual's right without warrant."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support efforts to end BPD collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as the City of San Francisco has recently done?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to eliminate these significant racial disparities in street investigations, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more officers of color?

"We need to continue efforts to improve broken relationships between our communities and the police and support programs that have improved those relationships. As a City Councilor I will continue to support efforts to improve those relationships, provide additional opportunities for training and create more opportunities for collaboration between our law enforcement officers and the residents of the City."

The number of Field Interrogations and Observations declined by 30% in 2016. If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to further reduce the number of FIOs?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, how will you leverage your position to shift the city from a law enforcement response to drugs to an equitable and effective public health approach?

"As a City Councilor I have used my work on homelessness, mental health and recovery to improve services e provide in the City. I have worked specifically to increase the capacity of the BEST team and their work with BPD to support individuals who need mental health services and not police interventions. As we continue to the face the crisis of addiction in our City, we need to build capacity for public health providers and not the police to respond. I will continue to raise awareness and build capacity for public health providers to do this work."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a pre-arrest diversion program for drug-related offenses?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to end racial bias in drug policing in our city?

"We need stop treating addicted individuals like criminals and instead offer the services medical and otherwise that support long term recovery from substance use disorder. We need to be aware of racial and gender disparities in access to treatment. When we stop arresting those in active addiction and start connecting them with appropriate services in a more widespread way, we will see a decrease to the noted racial disparities."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you actively support the repeal of all drug mandatory minimums this legislative session?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to address police militarization?

"As a City we need to find balance in our desire to protect our residents and our police officers (who are often in harms way), be prepared for a large,-scale violent event and not have a militarized police department. As a former high school teacher I know we need to be prepared for incidents that could require appropriate response to neutralize threats and protect our residents."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to prevent the Boston Police Department from obtaining military weaponry such as machine guns, armored vehicles, drones, bayonets, or grenade launchers from the US military?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent, and independent investigation whenever an officer kills a Boston resident?

"During my term the Commissioner, the police department and the DA have always quickly reached out and discussed openly with me and other elected officials when there has been an incident of a police-involved shooting death of a civilian. I will continue to support this process and encourage this dialog under any future Commissioner and DA. I will continue to support the investigation of the District Attorney when there is a police involved shooting death of a civilian."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the institution of a policy requiring independent, impartial investigations whenever the BPD uses deadly force?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and assess the impact of tactical units on community wellbeing?

"It is important that the Council is aware of any improper actions of BPD but the role of plain clothes officers is critical in the discovery and investigation of criminal activity, the intervention of an act in the process and the protection of our residents."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support the abolition of plain clothes policing?

No.

If elected or reelected to the City Council what will you do to curb excessive overtime spending, besides previously proposed plans of hiring more police officers?

"As a Council we need to be aware of any overtime trends that might require us to adapt the way we utilize our officers and their time. Yes we need to increase the size of our force to limit overtime spending but we also need to be more aware of why we need that addition time and perform an analysis to discover trends and correct inefficiencies and improve staffing patterns and decrease cost."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what data will you use to evaluate police performance?

"Police performance is measured in a number of different ways and include data related to safety perception, statistics of crime data and the decrease of all crime in all neighborhoods and improved relations with our residents. All data relative to crime and arrest data should be available for review."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to make Boston Police arrest data and stop and frisk data, including race data, available to the public in real time?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what will you do to ensure transparency and democratic accountability around new surveillance technology acquisitions?

"The Council authorizes spending and should continue to evaluate acquisitions as mandated in the City's Charter."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support a municipal law to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

Yes.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, what steps will you take to increase community control over policing in our neighborhoods?

No response.

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support replacing the CO-OP with an independent community-based complaint review body with the power to subpoena, investigate, discipline, and fire police officers?

No response.

Please describe the role you think body cameras should play at the Boston Police Department.

"Although I await the results of the pilot program, I anticipate body worn cameras will be an added resource in police work and community relations and demonstrate improved relations in all our neighborhoods. I am most interested in any negative impact the body-worn cameras may have had on witness reports and how we can mitigate those challenges going forward."

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work with advocacy groups to implement a body worn camera program, along with a policy that mandates public transparency and personal privacy?

Yes.

Stay informed

ACLU of Massachusetts is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National