Boston – The staff and donors of the Boston Foundation express their deep sadness today at news of the death of former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. On behalf of the Foundation, President and CEO Paul S. Grogan, who first worked with Mr. Menino more than 30 years ago when the former Mayor was a city councilor and Grogan was director of the city’s department of neighborhood development, issued the following statement:
“It is with heavy hearts that we send our condolences to the family of Mayor Thomas M. Menino. For more than 30 years, Mayor Menino set the standard for personal commitment to the people of the City of Boston. One cannot look around this city without seeing the results of his 20 years of work as mayor, from the revitalization of neighborhood squares, to the virtual elimination of blight, to progress in education, to programs for Boston youth, to the redevelopment of the long-neglected South Boston waterfront. No list could suitably capture the changes under his watch as mayor.
“But more than the physical evidence of his impact, there is the impact he has had on the people of the City of Boston. Polls showed Mayor Menino had met more than half of the people of Boston personally during his tenure, and it was his willingness to spend countless hours in neighborhoods from East Boston to West Roxbury, from Charlestown to Mattapan, and everywhere in between that is his true legacy.
“Mayor Menino understood that if you connected with people and addressed their issues, no matter how small, that those small pieces could add up to a remarkable and impressive whole. He was, as he proudly called himself, an “urban mechanic,” and he understood that fixing the small problems was often the best way to get the engine running.
“Today is a great loss for the city, but it is a profoundly personal one for the people of Boston. In an era where government is often criticized for not connecting with the people, Tom Menino showed there was still a way to bring a personal touch to the institution of city government. To his wife, Angela, his son and daughter, and his six grandchildren, and to all those who befriended, worked with, and got to know the Mayor during his life and career in public service, you are in our thoughts and prayers today.”
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of some $1 billion. In 2014, the Foundation and its donors made more than $112 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of nearly $112 million. In celebration of its centennial in 2015, the Boston Foundation has launched the Campaign for Boston to strengthen the Permanent Fund for Boston, Greater Boston’s only endowment fund supporting organizations focused on the most pressing needs of Greater Boston. The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with nearly 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.
The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most serious challenges. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), an operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit www.tbf.org or call 617-338-1700.