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From the Boston Bar Journal: Mayor Menino and the Law as an Instrument of Change

by Corporation Counsel Bill Sinnott

A reflection on the legal legacy of Boston’s retiring chief executive

Viewpoint

As the City of Boston witnesses the final weeks of the Menino Administration, much has been and will be written about Mayor Menino’s legacy.  Many of these homages and critiques focus on the city’s economic revitalization.  Others describe the Mayor’s ability to bring together diverse residents and neighborhoods in a city once defined by its fissures.  Still others reference his commitment to public education or his outspoken support of LGBT rights.  Perhaps even more noteworthy in a city that once prided itself on the rogue character of its leaders, many praise the Menino administration for steering free of scandals and corruption.

Having served as a member of Mayor Menino’s administration for almost eight years as Corporation Counsel, I have observed a number of occasions in which Mayor Menino’s seldom-recognized appreciation for the law and its ability to improve the lives of ordinary Bostonians has guided the formulation of City policies.

This article will highlight some of the ways in which the Menino administration employed law and legal process in its pursuit of a better Boston.

Legislation.  The thousands of orders, ordinances and statutes the Mayor filed or championed during his twenty-year tenure reflect his awareness of the power of the law to elevate the condition of city residents, workers and visitors.  The Mayor:

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Immigration Committees

  • Asylum Committee
    This committee focuses on focuses on humanitarian forms of relief, such as asylum, withholding of removal, relief under the Convention against Torture, TPS, VAWA, U and T visas, humanitarian parole.

    Contact Information

    Ani E. Ajemian

    Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

    (617) 348-1882

    Amanda Ekey

    Joyce & Associates, P.C.

    (617) 523-1500

  • Business Committee
    Examine issues relating to employer representation & compliance, labor certification (PERM), immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions (H-1B, L, TN etc.), and adjustment of status.
  • Family Committee
    This committee focuses on forms of relief that arise when a noncitizen is in removal proceedings; detention issues (Know Your Rights, release under bond, orders of supervision, credible fear interviews); and immigration consequences of crimes and post-conviction relief.

    Contact Information

    Melissa Bordeaux

    Law Office of Adrienne J. Vaughan, LLC

  • Immigration Public Service Committee
    This committee offers resources to assist BBA members to locate immigration-related pro bono opportunities in the Boston area and supports the efforts of local immigration legal services. Some of the projects we support include: asylum, KYRs to the detained population, VAWA, U and T visas, status for unaccompanied minors, TPS, and citizenship.

    Contact Information

    Veronica Serrato

    Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative

    (617) 428-3775

  • Removal Defense Committee
    This committee focuses on forms of relief that arise when a noncitizen is in removal proceedings; detention issues (Know Your Rights, release under bond, orders of supervision, credible fear interviews); and immigration consequences of crimes and post-conviction relief.

    Contact Information

    Jessica Chicco

    Boston College Law School

    Emma C. Winger

    Committee for Public Counsel Services - Malden

    (781) 338-0825

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.