Evandro was born and raised in Cape Verde before emigrating to Boston at age 15. He earned his B.A. in Legal Studies from University of Massachusetts Amherst before receiving his J.D. from Howard University. Returning to Boston, Evandro was the assistant district attorney for Suffolk County and served on the board of directors for Teen Empowerment, an organization that empowers at-risk youth. He held these positions until he was elected State Representative for the 5th Suffolk District in 2014. He held this position until 2018. Evandro now serves as the Executive Director of the Boston Human Rights Commission.
Boston Candidate Science Survey Response
Below are the survey responses from the candidate. To ensure the candidate’s voice comes through to the voters, the content of the answers are unedited.
Technology + Society
As the City uses more advanced technology to monitor city services and communicate with residents, how will you ensure citizens’ privacy rights as increasing numbers of monitoring devices are installed around the city? What will you do to make sure that the data collected will be used for the benefit of all Bostonians?
As we continue to serve our residents with the latest technology, we must make sure to protect our residents’ confidential information. We must continue to upgrade the City’s Department of Innovation & Technology with the latest data security infrastructure and ensure that we provide adequate training to staff handling sensitive information. As City Councilor, I will also work with the Mayor and City staff to ensure District 4 residents are protected and receive their fair share of city resources.
What are your policy priorities to address the ongoing climate crisis? How will you ensure climate resiliency projects are distributed equitably among communities, especially in low-income neighborhoods? What are your policy priorities to protect areas of the city that are vulnerable to sea level rise (i.e. South Boston, Back Bay, Downtown, East Boston, Charlestown, Dorchester, Seaport)?
District 4 has some of the lowest income areas of Boston. As City Councilor I will fight for resources and incentives to help residents retrofit their homes with the newest energy technology, like solar panels.
What are your policy priorities to protect areas that are vulnerable to increased temperatures during the summer months due to the urban heat island effect? Given that trees and an urban canopy have been shown to mitigate excess heat, how would you support the implementation of the Urban Forest Plan for Boston?
In District 4 we have very low levels of trees and green spaces. Instead we have paved roads, sidewalks, driveways, etc. We also have high levels of air pollution and trash in our neighborhoods. We also have, however, a great amount of City owned empty lots. It is critical that we use a good portion of these lots for urban farming and other community green spaces. As city councilor, I will closely monitor these lots and work with the Mayor and my colleagues to make sure these and other responsible developments occur in District 4. I will also seek funding to plant trees on sidewalks throughout our neighborhoods.
What should the role of science and scientists be in government, policy, and decision-making? How does science fit into your agenda for Boston?
As an attorney, I value facts, research, and science. I believe that policy must be grounded on these principles. As a state representative for approximately 5 years I always asked the opinion of scientists from many of our local instiations, read research and reports on issues such as criminal justice, transportation, and the environment. As city councilor, I will continue to partner with experts to make sure we make sound science based policies.
Misinformation has been cited as one of the reasons for vaccine hesitancy against the COVID-19 virus. How do you propose the City improve messaging in order to promote science-based actions and combat misinformation, not just for COVID-19, but also broadly?
I believe the City is doing a very good job in the messaging as it relates to Covid-19. As the Executive Director of the Boston Human Rights Commission during the past years, I have been involved in senior discussions during our battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. We have made our decisions on a “public health” basis, working with doctors, and other health care experts. We have also made information available in many different languages so that our diverse populations can access the information in their native language.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted disparities in healthcare access for different neighborhoods in Boston. As of June 29, 2021, we know that only 38% of residents in Mattapan were fully vaccinated compared to over 70% of South End residents. How can ideas about distributing vaccines, challenging misinformation related to healthcare, and tackling language barriers be applied more broadly to form a more equitable healthcare system? What policy changes should be made to both prevent and respond to future pandemics or health crises in a more effective way?
I believe it’s for all of us to ensure that we do our best to promote getting the vaccine as it creates a healthier community for all. I also believe that community leaders, elected officials, and others with a following should advocate for the vaccine and its potential. These community voices are essential to promoting how important it is. It’s vital for us to come out of this recovery period, to ensure that we can have a city that’s thriving.
How, if at all, has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your positions on education policies? What should the City’s role be in ensuring public schools are equitably funded and serve the needs of our children?
Going forward, we should plan to integrate remote learning with in person learning.
When the pandemic first hit, our students need to be taught remotely. Unfortunately many of our students did not have a digital device, internet at home, and/or did not have the adequate training to use a digital device. BPS quickly distributed thousands of chrome books to students. I believe that going forward every student should be equipped with a digital device and internet at home.
Boston’s technology, innovation, and scientific research ecosystem has long made it a hub that attracts a diverse group of people and talent from around the world. How can the city maintain and foster its international status as a technological hub and attract immigrant scientists to strengthen the diversity, culture, and economic activity of Boston?
As an immigrant myself, I am often thinking about these issues. As the current Executive Director of the Boston Human Rights Commission, I work closely with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement on these issues. There are current programs that encourage both existing immigrant professionals and new immigrants to integrate into the fabric of Boston. I believe some of the policies that will help us continue to attract more immigrants is to have free instate tuition for college students, drivers license for them to be able to drive, and protection from harassment from ICE agents. As City Council, I will work with my colleagues in the City Council and the Boston Delegation at the State Level to continue to push for these and other policies that will make Boston a more welcoming city.
What is your plan to strengthen the Boston scientific research and technology enterprise to benefit our economy? How can you ensure that the economic benefits of investing in science and technology reach all Bostonians?
I would be interested in talking more with leaders in this industry to learn more about their specific concerns to see if this is something I may be able to work on in City Council.
Food + Agriculture
What policies do you propose for the City to maximize land use in the city for green spaces and community access to gardens or farms? How can your administration bring more transparency to this process and connect community groups to the resources they need to support sustainable urban farming?
I am proud of the work our city has done to create and preserve green spaces. As your next City Councilor, I will continue to promote and advocate for this work. In terms of transparency, I think as a City Councilor I can help to promote these events, such as planning meetings, or meetings about these resources. As well as sharing events like farmers markets and community events held in these public spaces to continue to promote it. It’s important that residents know about access to these green spaces and urban farming plots, etc. I look forward to continuing to advocate for this.