BOSTON, Mass.—In response to the passing of former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, K.C. Coredini, executive director of MassEquality, issued the following statement:
“Mayor Tom Menino was one of the original LGBTQ champions. He wanted his legacy to be inclusion, and he succeeded. The MassEquality family sends its love and gratitude to his wife, Angela, and his entire family for sharing so much of him with all of us for so many years.
“In 2012, MassEquality honored Mayor Menino with its inaugural Political Icon Award. The Icon Awards recognize people and institutions that have gone above and beyond in supporting LGBTQ issues. They are not just allies, but symbols of what others should aspire to in their support of the LGBTQ community. Mayor Menino was the inaugural recipient because, frankly, his early, fierce leadership set the bar. [pullquote]Both Massachusetts governor candidates have suspended campaign activity Thursday to honor former Boston Mayor Tom Menino[/pullquote]
“The list of examples of Mayor Menino’s visionary leadership is long. As a city councilor in the late 1980’s, he worked to support HIV education and prevention efforts, and he instituted the first needle exchange program in the state. As mayor, he fought for—and won—a municipal ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity. He refused to walk in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade because the LGBTQ community wasn’t welcome. He wrote to the anti-marriage President of Chik-Fil-A, who was considering opening a restaurant in Boston, to tell him that discrimination was not welcome on Boston’s ‘Freedom Trail.’ One of the earliest supporters of marriage equality, he lobbied the State House in support of the freedom to marry. And on May 17, 2004, the first day that same-sex couples could marry in Massachusetts, Mayor Menino personally welcomed couples at Boston City Hall and made sure they were shielded from protesters.
“He always said, ‘If you’re an elected official, and you don’t stand up for the rights of people, what good are you?’ Mayor Menino was great, and the LGBTQ community across the country is the better for it. He lives on in the lives he’s changed.”
MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Statements of Coakley and Kerrigan on Passing of Mayor Tom Menino
“Today, Boston has lost the greatest mayor in its history. He was a friend and mentor, and a shining example to me and countless others of what it means to love and serve your community.
What made Tom Menino so remarkable was his connection to the people he represented – he understood their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. And he fought for them every day. He never forgot where he came from and stayed true to who he was to the very end.
We will miss him dearly, and we are all better for having known him and Boston is better for his leadership. My prayers go to his family – including his loving children Tom and Susan, his wonderful grandchildren, and to the love of his life, Angela. My condolences also go to his large extended family, his many friends, and his former staff.”
Statement of Steve Kerrigan on the Passing of Mayor Tom Menino:
“Mayor Tom Menino was my friend. And I will miss his advice, support, wisdom and humor. But Mayor Menino was obviously so much more than that for our capital city, our Commonwealth and the nation. He was the kind of leader and public servant that we should all aspire to emulate. Without exaggeration, he was quite simply the greatest mayor in America, and his passion for his city and its people was unmatched.
For 20 years as Mayor, Tom Menino dedicated his life to reviving, revitalizing, and reimagining the City of Boston—and every day, he put its people first. From improving public schools to building our innovation economy, he left his mark on each and every neighborhood. Boston is the place it is today because of his bold and unprecedented vision, and the city remains a living, breathing monument to him.
It was my honor and my pleasure to work alongside the Mayor for over a decade on numerous projects, including supporting Massachusetts military families and planning Boston’s successful 2004 Democratic National Convention. I learned so much from him, personally and professionally, and his belief in our causes never stopped impressing me—nor inspiring everyone in his orbit.
My sincerest condolences go out to Angela, Tom, Susan, and the extended Menino family. Across the Commonwealth, all of our thoughts and prayers are with you today. Tom Menino is Boston, and he always will be. Thank you for sharing him with us.”
The White House Statement on Mayor Menino’s Passing
“Bold, big-hearted, and Boston strong, Tom was the embodiment of the city he loved and led for more than two decades,” the White House statement said. “His legacy lives on in every neighborhood he helped revitalize, every school he helped turn around, and every community he helped make a safer, better place to live.”
Secretary of State John Kerry: Tom Menino was Boston
“Tom Menino was Boston. In fact, if you just look around the city, you’ll see with your own eyes that he is Boston today. People came up to the Mayor and asked him to fix things, and he followed up and fixed them, whether it was streetlights or parks or getting the snow plowed so people could get to work on time. He knew what built community. He felt the city and the neighborhoods in his bones.”
The Celtics on Mayor Menino’s ever Lasting Love of the City
Statement from Celtics Managing Partners Wycliffe Grousbeck, H. Irving Grousbeck, Stephen Pagliuca and Robert Epstein: “The entire Boston Celtics organization and our ownership group are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved former Mayor, and dear friend of the Celtics, Thomas M. Menino. Mayor Menino’s love and devotion for the city of Boston and its residents will long be remembered by those who knew him, as well as future generations of Bostonians, who will benefit from his vision. We keep his wife Angela, daughter Susan, son Thomas, Jr. and his entire family in our thoughts at this time.”
Boston Gay Men’s Chorus Statement on Mayor Menino
Boston Gay Men’s Chorus Executive Director Craig Coogan offered the following statement on news of the death of former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino:
“The members of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus extend their heartfelt sympathies to Mayor Menino’s wife Angela, his children, his grandchildren, and his other close family and friends. The Mayor’s retirement and his time with his family after a lifetime of public service was all too brief.
“The Chorus is proud to have performed for the Mayor at numerous events over the years, including one of his many inaugural celebrations. As a public official, Mayor Menino inspired change, built community, and celebrated difference ― which is the mission of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. It is safe to say that there are few public leaders serving in office anywhere in the country who can be said to have personified the work of a diverse choral community. Yet that is exactly what Mayor Menino did with his early and vocal support for those living―and dying―of AIDS; his heroic advocacy on behalf of marriage equality; and his leadership on behalf of transgender people. Mayor Menino had a beautiful voice and his insistent use of the public stage to sing out on behalf of LGBT people in Boston and beyond was a precious gift. He will be deeply missed.”
And via the social-sphere many more shared their condolences and thoughts of Boston’s brave and honorable Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
"Bold, big-hearted, and Boston strong, Tom was the embodiment of the city he loved and led." —President Obama on the passing Tom Menino
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 30, 2014
Saddened to hear of the loss of Mayor Tom Menino, one of America's great leaders who dedicated his life to serving the people of Boston.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 30, 2014
Today the City of Chicago joins the people of Boston in mourning the great loss of Mayor Tom Menino. http://t.co/F9BGZqbQKq
— Archive: Mayor Rahm Emanuel (@MayorRahm) October 30, 2014
— Together (@Together) October 30, 2014
Tom Menino was #Boston. He always will be.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) October 30, 2014
— InterPride (@InterPride) October 30, 2014
— Fenway Health (@FenwayHealth) October 30, 2014
[From News Releases]