Boston Mayor Walsh On Harvey, DACA, Boston Police

Download Audio
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a news conference Monday about a planned free speech rally Saturday. Gov. Charlie Baker looks on. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a news conference Monday about a planned free speech rally Saturday. Gov. Charlie Baker looks on. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

As of Tuesday, in Houston, Harvey officially set a record for rainfall from a tropical system, and there is no sign that the rain is letting up.

Now, many people are asking what they can do to help — including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who has set up a program called "Help for Houston."

We also talk to Mayor Marty Walsh about other topics, including his reaction to reports that that President Trump is considering putting an end to DACA, and reporting from the Boston Globe showing that the Boston Police Department is disproportionately singling out black people for observation, interrogation and searches.


Mayor Marty Walsh, mayor of Boston. He tweets @marty_walsh.

Interview Highlights

This interview has been condensed and edited.

On 'Help for Houston,' an effort to provide aid to people impacted by Hurricane Harvey

We're collecting items here at City Hall and in a couple other buildings in the city. We're asking people to bring nonperishable food, baby diapers, nonperishable baby food, brand new clothes, socks, underwear, shorts, things like that. And we're going to be sending it off to Houston this week. This is something that they requested and that they need. They have about 50,000 people that have been displaced, and there is a great need in the city of Houston.

On Boston's preparedness for similar storms

It's something that we're going to take a look at. I wasn't the mayor when [Super-Storm] Sandy happened in New Jersey and New York. I know the city had done some work at that point to see how they would handle something like that. We're going to have to have conversations here just to make sure that we are prepared, God forbid, in the case of something like this. I don't know if anyone's ever truly prepared for this devastation that they're experiencing in Texas. Depending on the size of the storm and its impact. But you have to think about how you lay down the foundation for that.

On a Boston Globe analysis showing that black people make up a disproportionate share of people singled out for searches and observation by Boston police

I certainly think that in the report today as well, it said that the police department was talking about how a lot of the people were known gang members and that pushes the number up. So I think that the report is a little skewed, and I'm waiting to get a better explanation so I can give a better answer to that. I haven't seen the report myself but I know it's out. We're working on it to see to see to see exactly what that means. I think we have made a lot of movement in the city of Boston with our police department. And when you look at the complaints against officers, they're way down. When you look at the use of force against officers in Boston, it's way down. So I think some of that stuff is positive information that doesn't necessarily get reported all the time.

On whether free speech was limited during the protests on Boston Common

I love that this story is not going to go away. I guess people aren't satisfied unless we had someone get seriously hurt on the Common. Thank God we didn't. People got there at I think 10 or 11 o'clock to do their so-called free speech rally. They didn't have amplification. We're getting criticized because people didn't hear what they had to say. It's on them to bring amplification. We set up a safe barrier around there so reporters and people wouldn't get hurt. We didn't want to repeat what happened in Charlottesville, where a young woman got killed by a car going into the crowd and other people were seriously hurt. We didn't want that to happen in the city. You know, the Boston Police Department and the city is getting a lot of credit and praise for how it handled the situation in Boston. We had a group of anarchists that came into the city — about 200 of them. They were there not to express free speech but to cause problems. People don't seem too concerned about them, but they could have done a lot of damage to a lot of the innocent people that came in to express themselves against hate and bigotry and in support of Black Lives Matter and the Jewish community. So that's the group too that I am very disappointed in.

On his reaction to President Trump reportedly considering putting an end to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program

It's a sad situation. We have a lot of young people in our city that that are afraid already of their parents being taken away by the federal government. There's a fear out there. I don't know what the mindset in Washington is when it comes to immigration, but clearly they are on the wrong path in a lot of different ways, and I think this will just add more fear to our city of Boston, and our young people in the city of Boston.

This article was originally published on August 29, 2017.

This segment aired on August 29, 2017.



More from Radio Boston

Listen Live