Testify at the City Council Budget Session

Make your voice heard for green and healthy schools by testifying with us on Wednesday, May 31!

Update: The City Council has canceled the Budget Session that was scheduled for Thursday, June 1. The remaining opportunities to testify are Wednesday, May 31 at 3 PM via Zoom, as well as by submitting written testimony.

Event: Boston City Council Hearing on the Budget – raise your voice for ventilation & health equity!
Date: Wednesday, May 31st at 3 PM
Location: Zoom

Testifying via Zoom

Testify at virtual-only hearing on Wednesday, May 31 at 3pm. 
Email shane.pac@boston.gov to sign up to testify via Zoom.
For more info, go to: City Council Committee on Ways and Means on Dockets #0760-0768, 0775 FY24 Budget: YEO, YEA, BCYF, and BPS.

Testifying via Pre-Recorded Video

Send in pre-recorded video testimony, by the morning of June 1. 
Email bejasuleika@gmail.com for assistance.

Testifying in Writing

Send in written testimony, by email, to shane.pac@boston.gov.

How to structure your testimony

Created by BPS Families for COVID Safety

Your testimony should be no longer than 2 minutes, which is about 350 words 

First (and second) paragraphs – the problem & how it affects you

1st sentence: Who are you?

State your name and your connection to BPS OR if you aren’t a BPS family, student or staff, who you are and why the schools or ventilation, etc is so important to you.

2nd sentence: What is the issue? 

The lack of ventilation and clean air in BPS schools causes many problems, including asthma, COVID and reduced learning. 

3rd  (& 4th) sentence(s): Give your personal example.  

For example, you could explain how bad air is affecting you, your family, or others in your school.  If your child has asthma, talk about that. Or describe your family’s experience getting COVID. Or describe any challenges bad air is creating for your/your child’s learning.

Next sentence(s): Why is this important? What is the impact?

Lack of ventilation & clean air causes negatively impact health and learning, including:

  • Increased spread of airborne respiratory viruses such as COVID
  • Mold, dust mites, allergens, pests
  • High levels of CO2 which has a negative impact on learning & academic success
  • Worsened health equity: BIPOC students suffer disproportionately from asthma and COVID
  • Diminished mental health & well being – students & reduce parents’ stress

Third (& Fourth) Paragraphs – Solutions

Include proposed solutions.  Some recommendations about the budget that you might include: 

  • Spend some of the $30.5 million in the “Green New Deal for Boston Public Schools” reserve this Fiscal Year (2023-24) to start installing complete new ventilation systems in some schools ASAP
  • Listen to families: We want BPS to improve ventilation in all schools while we’re waiting for new systems! This is urgent and must be prioritized.
  • Create a full-time staff position dedicated to ensuring high-quality ventilation in all schools.
  • Use the Racial Equity Planning Tool to prioritize which schools get ventilation upgrades and HVAC
  • See also more info in Talking Points

Conclusion Restate key solution(s) you want BPS & the City to put in place.

Here are resources you can use to prepare your testimony: