Boston well being and human providers chief Marty Martinez stated Thursday that he’s “completely contemplating” a mayoral bid, describing himself as “intensely targeted” on the town’s pandemic response and saying restoration from COVID-19 might be a significant focus of any potential successor to Mayor Marty Walsh.
Walsh, President-elect Joe Biden’s labor secretary nominee, didn’t take questions from reporters at a COVID-19 press convention Thursday morning, leaving the queries to Martinez and faculties superintendent Brenda Cassellius, who mentioned efforts to repopulate lecture rooms, vaccination progress and COVID-19 case numbers.
Martinez additionally stated the town was not dealing with any “credible threats” in reference to final week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol and subsequent week’s Inauguration Day. Boston Police, he stated, are working with federal authorities and “might be effectively ready for any challenges we might even see,” in the event that they do come up.
“As you all know, the mayor is starting a course of to get confirmed because the labor secretary, and so his focus is each to not solely run the town but additionally to have the ability to try this,” Martinez stated, when requested why Walsh was not taking questions. He stated the media availability was supposed to concentrate on COVID-19 and college reopening.
Requested if Biden’s workforce had instructed Walsh to not reply questions till he’s confirmed for the Cupboard, Martinez stated, “The truth is, myself and the superintendent present management in these areas and we’re glad to reply any questions you might need about these two items.”
If Walsh is confirmed and resigns earlier than March 5, municipal guidelines would require a particular election for voters to decide on a brand new mayor. Metropolis Council President Kim Janey would function performing mayor within the meantime.
Two different councilors, Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell, are at present working for mayor.
On Wednesday, Metropolis Councilor Ricardo Arroyo supplied a petition to waive the particular election requirement, citing the fee and ongoing pandemic as among the many explanation why it must be scrapped. The petition is now earlier than the council’s Committee on Authorities Operations for a listening to.
“If there’s a particular election and there’s extra elections, we’ll replicate what we did via the town to maintain folks secure after they voted final yr, and we might make that accessible,” Martinez stated. “If there’s not a particular election, we’ll nonetheless ensure that when there may be an election that the protocols are adopted and other people can safely vote and train their voice.”
Martinez has been an everyday function of Walsh’s televised and live-streamed COVID-19 briefings for the reason that pandemic took maintain final yr. His title has been floated as amongst those that could be concerned with main the town, after information of Walsh’s nomination stoked a flurry of hypothesis.
Home Methods and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz, a North Finish Democrat, introduced Thursday that he wouldn’t run.
Walsh tapped Martinez, beforehand the president and CEO for Mass Mentoring Partnership, for the well being and human providers publish in November 2017. He has additionally labored on the Boston AIDS Consortium and the Regional Heart for Wholesome Communities at Mount Auburn Hospital, and led youth providers for the town of Somerville.
“I’ve been targeted this complete yr on the COVID response and main that response and I’m happy with the work we’ve accomplished, however there’s rather more to do, and so I’m nonetheless intensely targeted on it,” Martinez stated. “Having stated that, the following mayor who’s elected to the town of Boston, we have now an enormous duty to verify we are able to end this response and get to an equitable restoration and I’m completely contemplating working for mayor.”
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