SSN Commentary

What Legislators Can Learn From a Boston Public Housing Development

Policy field

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Harvard University

Originally published as "What Legislators Can Learn From a Boston Public Housing Development," Boston Globe, October 2, 2020   

In late July, the Massachusetts House passed a bill that created new certifications for police and restricted use-of-force tactics. This follows the bill recently passed by the Massachusetts Senate, which would limit qualified immunity, ban the use of choke holds, limit tear gas use, license law enforcement officers, and require training in the history of racism.

RELATED: Black leaders call on Legislature to pass police reform bill

Though these reform bills will hopefully lead to a reduction in police violence, they do little to address the day-to-day safety concerns of those living within public housing developments. In conversations about how to give the community greater control over their own safety, state leaders could learn from one historic Boston public housing development, Mildred C. Hailey Apartments.