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Community Voices: Civic breakthroughs portend a new Boston

Jim Aloisi and Kevin C. Peterson | 11/22/2011, 4:49 a.m.

The time for talking about the problem is over; the time to roll up our sleeves and capitalize on the momentum of recent events is now.

We believe that Bostonians have steadily moved away from a parochialism that was defined by what ward and precinct you voted in, what parish you prayed in and the race to which you belonged. Our city today is a more open, collaborative place where citizens can find common ground regardless of their background or voting precinct.

The impact of the recent election may be a while in being felt, but its meaning is clear: people who traditionally have lacked access, who traditionally have not had voices speak for them in the halls of power, are now coming into their own.

What that says about Boston is something good: Boston is a city of the 21st century; a place that continues to be welcoming to the newcomer and the stranger; a place that requires you to pay your dues but that ultimately gives everyone a chance at success; a city that nurtures differences and grows and prospers as a result. It’s the kind of place we are proud to call home.

James Aloisi is a former State Transportation Secretary. Kevin C. Peterson is the founder and executive director of the New Democracy Coalition.