Candidate at a glance

Zach Boyer outside City Hall.
Boyer says he has lived in New Bedford for more than a decade, with more than half of that time living throughout Ward 5.
Works for Coastline Elderly Services as its director in training for the area Agency on Aging Planner.
Coalition for Social Justice, the New Bedford Coalition to Save our Public Schools, and the Greater Southeastern Labor Council.

Zach Boyer

Tell us briefly about your qualifications and why you are running.

I believe that I am the best candidate for the Ward 5 City Council for two reasons:

  • My education in crime and justice studies and political science from UMass Dartmouth.
  • Throughout my career, I have been a community organizer and staunch advocate for the elderly, teachers, nurses and labor unions.

Amid rising home prices and escalating monthly rents, what can New Bedford do to ensure there is enough affordable housing for those who want to continue living in the city?

Throughout the last decade, New Bedford has actually lost units of housing while our population has continued to increase to over 100,000 residents. Due to lack of development, an increase in demand, the Southcoast Rail coming in, housing prices skyrocket and gentrification occurs. We must adopt inclusionary zoning policies which will incentivize developers to set aside a portion of units for low or moderate rents, in addition to working with local developers to create more units of housing throughout the city. This will help to ensure that in the years to come, the units will remain affordable.

Police and fire departments recently shifted staff and consolidated operations in a new public safety station in the city’s South End. Is there still adequate public safety in Ward 5? How will you work to keep the neighborhoods safe?

This new public safety facility is the first to open in over 50 years for New Bedford, which is mostly due to the dilapidation and costly rehabilitation of current facilities. This public safety consolidation mirrors national and statewide trends, costing the city about $20 million compared to the $30 million rehabilitation costs. We must fund additional social programs to prevent crime before it occurs, by giving our residents access to the necessary mental health, rehabilitation and job training programs that will empower residents to live with dignity, without resorting to crime.

New Bedford has a higher rate of COVID-19 than the state average, along with a lower vaccination rate. Are you in favor of mandatory vaccines for public employees as announced by Mayor Jon Mitchell? If not, what would you do to make New Bedford residents safer amid the rising cases?

I applaud the mayor’s hardline stance to vaccinate public employees. These vaccinations are necessary to ensure the protection of the very residents that these employees serve. Especially considering New Bedford’s abysmal vaccination rates compared to the rest of the state, we are morally required to do whatever is within our power to combat this pandemic which has already taken the lives of 685,000 Americans and 4,500,000 worldwide. The science is clear; getting vaccinated reduces the likelihood of infection, transmission and life-threatening effects from breakthrough cases.


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