All in a day in Greater Mattapan
After the success of our previous blog we have partnered with the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council to talk about the day in the life for a Mattapan family!
Each and every day, the decisions made by our elected officials affect the residents of Greater Mattapan. Let’s put a lens to the daily activities of a family who calls Greater Mattapan home, the Jonas family.
“Beep beep beep,” Dad’s alarm goes off at 4:30 am, early enough for him to catch the 5:05 am Mattapan Trolley to Ashmont Station. An employee for Public Works, he is vital to keeping the city running, although, on this day, he wonders if he’ll be the one running to catch the 5:16 am out of Ashmont.
An hour later, Mom wakes the children and helps them prepare for their day at Mildred Ave. K-8. Uniforms on? Check. Bags packed? Check. Breakfast gobbled? Check. Teeth clean? Check. Lock up and out the door. It’s less than three blocks to the school bus stop, where Mom uses the Where’s My School Bus app to make sure she herself won’t be late for her bus.
Looking up, Mom quickly calculates as the sky opens up. Running the two blocks to Blue Hill Avenue, she catches the #28, which will take her to the Franklin Park Zoo, where she is being interviewed for a Keeper position. Feeling one with the other 20,000 riders on this daily MBTA commute, Mom re-calculates as the bus pulls to the side to allow the EMS ambulance from Station 12 on River Street go by. She has plenty of time.
By 10:00 am, the rain has ended, the interview went well, and Mom decides to complete some errands. First stop, Mattapan Square Post Office to pick up their mail which contains an informational letter from the Brooke High School, a charter school in Mattapan her son wants to attend next year. Next, Le Foyer Bakery for a celebratory cake. After all, the interview DID go well.
By 4:00 pm, Mom has picked up her daughter at the Mildred Ave Community Center, then heads to the Mattapan Branch Boston Public Library to get her son. The sun is low in the sky, and there is still a bit of warmth in the air, so the kids beg that instead of going straight home, if they could go a couple blocks the other way and get some smoothies at Cafe Juice Up.
“Only if you promise to bike with me after dinner.”
After dinner (and dessert), the Jonas family takes their bikes to Mattapan Station, and start biking the Neponset Greenway, stopping to read a sign near Ryan Park about the MattapanLove event on Sunday and chatting about all the activities and vendors that will be there.
By 7:00 PM, a successful day in the life of the Jonas family ends, a day dependent upon the services provided by various levels of government.
Let us count the ways:
(1) Buses, trains and trolleys in Boston are run by the MBTA (state).
(2) BPDA gave permits for the construction of the storefront (local).
(3) MCHC is a local health care center to provide healthcare to the community (state).
(4) The Boston Police Department and EMS keep us safe. (local)
(5) Dad works for Boston Public works to keep our city maintained. (local)
(6) The kids to go Mildred Elementary one of the Boston Public Schools (local, state and federally financed) to be educated.
(7) The Mattapan Branch BPL is a public library that receives government grants to serve the community. (federal, state).
(8) Their mail was delivered by USPS (federal).
(9) The Neponset Greenway is maintained by the DCR (state).
(10) Finally, they look forward to MattapanLove because their community cares. (community).
While all types of government (federal, state, and local), have a profound presence in our lives, local government has the most visible and immediate impact. For this impact to be positive, we must be a part of the process, helping to ensure that Greater Mattapan residents receive the goods and services we need and want.
Unfortunately, if we take turnout to local elections as a measuring stick, we pay hardly any attention to our local government. In 2015, the last time Boston held city council elections in a non-mayoral race year, only 7% of eligible voters showed up to vote. Moreover, so few candidates ran in 2015 that preliminary elections weren’t even required for most seats!
This time around, we will change those numbers, so our local government reflects our needs and concerns. The Jonas family will be voting local – will you?