Remarks at Boston City Council

Remarks at Boston City Council

Yesterday I spoke at the Boston City Council hearing about Boston's ongoing state of emergency and the public COVID mandate (vax pass).

While Mayor Wu lifted the public mandate, she's still pursuing her city employee mandate. This is reprehensible and needs to be better publicized.

Hi, my name is Zach Herbert. I am a startup founder and live in the heart of downtown Boston.

Today, I am relieved – but I am also wary.

I am relieved that Mayor Wu chose to lift her COVID vaccine mandate last Friday. I am relieved because Boston is no longer a segregated city. I am relieved because 25% of Boston’s Hispanic and White populations, 30% of our Black population, and 50% of our American Indian and Alaskan natives are finally allowed to go out to dinner, visit a museum, and keep themselves healthy by working out at a gym.

But I am wary. I am wary because we still find ourselves in an unending state of emergency. I am wary because nothing is stopping Mayor Wu from waking up tomorrow morning and re-implementing her mandate. I am wary because none of us had a voice in the decision to segregate Boston. It was forced on us without our input or consent.

I have one question to ask today: How do we prevent this from happening again?

We’re toying with real people’s lives. Over 10% of our population – that’s over 70,000 Bostonians – are unvaccinated. But for 34 days, we excommunicated them – by mandate, not by law.

Mayor Wu’s mandate was a failure. It may have been fleeting, but its damage will be enduring. Those who were fired from their jobs last month will not magically be re-hired this week. Many businesses, many residents, will be planning to move out of the city. I am one of them.

250 years ago, America’s founders fought for their freedoms. They tossed tea into the Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation. But for 34 days, unvaccinated Bostonians were not even allowed to enter the Tea Party Museum.

But now we have a chance to make lasting change. I urge City Council to rein in the Mayor’s ability to unilaterally institute mandates without oversight.

How else do we prevent this from happening again?

Thank you.