The Boston City Council unanimously elected Stephen Murphy to serve as council president for 2013.
During the Council's first meeting on Jan. 7 after being re-elected as council president, Murphy, an at-large councilor from Hyde Park, took on banning assault weapons.
“No sportsman or gun collector needs an assault weapon. There is no sport in using an automatic rifle,” said Murphy. The Boston City Council and Mayor Thomas Menino supported a ban on assault weapons after the Newtown school shooting.
Gun control laws are regulated at the state and federal levels, but Murphy believes the council can affect change in three ways:
- Supporting the ban on assault weapons;
- Supporting calls for strict background checks and mental health screenings on all handguns;
- And by placing public pressure on the entertainment industry to reign in the glorification of violence.
Murphy also promised to be actively involved in the rejuvenation of the Fairmount-Indigo Commuter Rail project through Dorchester, according to a press release. Several stations along the line are poised to be activated in the coming year as Transit Oriented Developments (TODs), which will provide housing near transit stations.
“Many lower-wage jobs require workers to be in close proximity to the city, but housing and transit prices have increased while wages have remained relatively steady," said Murphy. "The TODs will meet the needs of the city workforce by providing affordable housing opportunities, increased community development, and decreased transit times.”
This is Murphy's third term as council president. In 2012, the council voted on rule changes that make the city council president position a 2-year term that coincides with the election cycle. Councilors may serve multiple terms, but not consecutively, and the rules go into effect in 2014.