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Youth Safety & Development

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We have successfully reduced youth violence rates in Boston before, and we can do it again. Likewise, a wealth of data points us in the right direction for reducing crime by adults. As a city and as a state, we need to re-invest in the tested solutions that we know work and be willing to try new ideas that have gotten results elsewhere.


Working as an urban public school teacher, I saw, first-hand, the difference between the paths of young people who had hope and high expectations for their futures and those who did not. As a parish council member in one of the city’s youth violence “Hot Spots,” I’ve worked to preserve the neighborhood institutions and programs that provide positive alternatives for our young people.


As your state senator, I carry this work from the classroom and the neighborhood level to our state government, fighting to address youth violence on a larger scale. I am guided by three fundamental strategies for addressing youth violence at its roots: giving kids a more hopeful sense of their own futures through rigorous education and meaningful afterschool and summer programs; increasing their relationships with caring adults; and decreasing easy access to weapons.


Beyond youth violence prevention measures, there are many tested, effective solutions we can support to make our neighborhoods safer—from CORI Reform to drug courts to sentencing reform to re-entry programs. I have supported policies and budget programs that put these solutions into place, or protect and expand them where they already exist—always pushing to get real, practical results for our neighborhoods.



Chang-Diaz noted that mass shootings, especially those involving middle-class white children, make headlines. But she asked fellow lawmakers to have that same “sense of horror, unacceptance, urgency when shootings happen in Dorchester or Roxbury or Springfield or Holyoke or other urban communities, when the child’s riddled body is black or brown and their family is low-income, doing their best to make ends meet.”

By Shira Schoenberg | Aug 28, 2019

State House News Service

Stronger laws are needed to address illegally obtained guns, Chang-Diaz said, telling her colleagues that if they think the inconvenience of limiting individuals to purchasing no more than 15 firearms a year is too much then she would invite them to join her at next funeral of teen in her district.

By Katie Lannan | Jun 07, 2018

Mission Hill Gazette

“I take the frustration and sadness from these meetings to push legislation through. There is very little that policy workers can do in the immediate term,” Chang-Diaz said. “The things I can do is push legislation through to prevent this five years from now. But I have to bring that pain and that fire to the hearts of legislators from other districts that don’t have this happen to their children.”

By Emily Resnevic | Jan 05, 2018

Blog title

Despite the ugly policies being proposed in Washington, we were able to score major victories at the state level in Massachusetts this year. Now is the time to double-down on our progress and keep working to make sure the legislature passes key immigration and education bills.

Dec 29, 2017

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