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I thought I'd write you a happy note today, after all the coronavirus news and updates. I turned in my last nomination papers to Boston City Hall last week. With those sheets, plus the ones I turned in at Brookline, we collected 263 signatures. That's significantly over the required amount, so plenty to account for illegible signatures and such.
I'll tell you, this was no small feat in the season of social distancing. But thanks to the incredible support and enthusiasm of 15th Suffolk/Norfolk neighbors, we safely collected more than enough signatures in 3 weeks.
My stop at City Hall was bittersweet. Normally bustling with vitality, it felt a bit heavy and concerned. Vast empty space spanned like thick fingers throughout the plaza at Government Center, normally populated with every kind of crazy mix of activity one finds at the epicenter of all great cities.
The welling in my eyes caught me by surprise. I expected to be giddy. Donning my double face protection, including a beautiful orange and teal sewn just for me by a most thoughtful constituent, I stared out at the city I love. People were sparsely scattered, all, like me, breathing unnaturally through cloth protectants. A police officer slowed his cruiser to stare at me, rolling down his window as if he were about to ask what business I had there. (He seemed to notice my clipboard bulging with forms and said, "Good morning," instead).
It just doesn't feel like who we are. Boston Strong is not sick and lonely, empty or suspect. And then I realized, yes. We are all those things. Our shared suffering is an important part of who we are. Boston Strong is not so because of a lack of pain, but because we move through our pain together. Healing, encouraging, lively and generous-- this is also us.
This was supposed to be a happy note. Nothing about COVID-19 or isolation. But the reality is that's all around us now. It's part of that great pattern that stitches our lives together, here in Boston and now across the globe. I can confidently say that in all the world, there is no place I'd rather be than serving here with you and my incredible colleagues in local government. In times like this we can all be heroes for each other. I am so deeply grateful to each of you for being mine.