Reporters for the Malden Blue and Gold sat down with the Mayor of Malden and went over some new issues from the community. Here’s what the Mayor had to say.

So what’s something a voter or a youth in Malden should know about you?

That I’m passionate, proud, and I want to do everything I possibly can to make people feel good about Malden.

What is one quote from a book, philosopher, or family member that resonates with you most?

I would say that I wake up every day thinking about what Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” Sometimes we tend to forget that in this fast-paced world we live in. But for me, that is how I try to live, each and every day.

This question came from a student. It says “Why are there a lot of traffic lights from the train station to the high school?”

Simple, to keep people safe. As you know, this is the heart of the city. This is where everybody comes together. So I think we are doing what we can, to make sure that people who are traveling by different means and in different directions can all coexist in a safe manner.

In your own words, what are the fundamentals of education?

Read, read, and read. That’s what my family told me early on. And that’s what my teachers did as well. And I am certain that because of it, I’m now Mayor of Malden. I read everything I could when I was a kid – books, newspapers, nonfiction – anything I could get my hands on. I know now by doing that, it helped me in all facets of life, whether it was science, whether it was math, whether it was the other subjects that I was learning, it all came back to being able to read. I just read to a kindergarten class Friday the 10th. That was the message I gave them, to just try to take in everything you can because those become building blocks in being able to be successful later on in life. So to me, the heart and soul of education is to read, read, and read.

What are your thoughts on restorative practices?

We’ve been supportive of those. And we’ve been involved over the years in some funding aspects of it. And I think we’ve always felt that whatever we can do to help people come together, we’re supportive of them. So we do get periodically updated by the principal at Malden High School as to some of those practices and outcomes. And, again, you know, we’re pretty open-minded on all ways that we can bring people together to resolve differences.

This question is also from a student: “Will you ever make the YMCA basketball court better, bigger, and cleaner?”

Let that student know that’s above my pay grade. What I will do is I will bring that to the Executive Director’s attention. Hopefully, something positive will happen as a result. But I would recommend that the student contact them directly because they are not under our jurisdiction. They’re a separate entity answering to a board of directors.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I don’t know, I have to first figure out where I see myself tomorrow.  I go hour by hour in this job. And so I never really get to think about the future. All I can tell you is that I am as passionate and determined as I was 10 years ago about Malden and in all that it can and should be. That continues to be my primary focus.

What is the city doing to make Malden a safer place?

What aren’t we doing? Since coming into office, I’ve met with our Police Chief every Tuesday morning year round to talk about ways that we can become a safer community. And I’m happy to say that in our most recent State of the City address, we talked about some of the statistics that we just received from the federal government that shows that many of the violent crimes have decreased in Malden from 2021 to 2022. And so again, we take it very seriously. We try to come up with ways that we can become safer. And the one thing that we’ve learned during my weekly meetings with the Police Chief is that a lot of it starts and ends with people like you and people out there. We can only act on what we know. Many of the things that we’ve been able to address over the years has come from people being aware of their surroundings.  We are recording all of our interactions now through the use of body cameras. We believe that has helped us become a safer community.

How would you expand Malden’s recreational facilities?

Just continuing to listen to the people. I mean, it was the people that came to us on the Malden Teen Enrichment Center. We never had that before, until 2012. But it was three years prior to that, that a group of residents led by Catherine McMullin, who’s now the coordinator of the program, along with former Malden high school principal, Dana Brown, and others. [There was] Greg Lucey, who was a City Council member at the time. And that’s what led to the establishment of the Malden Teen Enrichment Center. I think the other thing is supporting our Malden Recreation Department, which, as you’ve seen over the years, expanded what they offer. So instead of just sports, they’re offering art and comic book classes.

How would you define your career so far within politics?

I wouldn’t. That’s for you and the community to determine. I just try to give it everything I have every day, year-round, to make Malden a great place to live, work, worship, and learn.

Going through high school, some people have one main goal. What was yours? 

I didn’t know initially what I wanted to do. But it was around the end of my sophomore year and the beginning of my junior year that I knew that this is what I hope to do one day. So once I knew that, I started immediately thinking about college. And even beyond college, of obtaining a master’s degree, because at that time, those were becoming more important. In other words, a lot of people had been going to college, but not a lot of people had been getting their master’s degree. And so I felt like that was also a goal. And looking back, I don’t think I would be where I am without having those degrees, especially the master’s degree. I still remember when I got my first position. The person that hired me said the reason I got the job was having the master’s degree because that helped separate me from a lot of people who had earned their bachelor’s but didn’t go beyond that. So now I wake up every day saying, pinch me. Because you’re right. This crazy world we live in, it takes you in a lot of directions. But someone up top kept me on this path to where I am now. And so again, that’s why people say it is challenging. I mean, no doubt, but it never gets old when you’re just doing what you thought you wanted to do in high school. I am certain that the Malden Public Schools helped me achieve my lifelong dream.

Related Posts