Boston City Council President Kim Janey, and her granddaughter Rosie, gathered with Roxbury residents Oct. 24, 2020 to protest the city's plan to widen Melnea Cass Boulevard and cut down more than 100 mature trees. The city's plan includes replanting more than 200 saplings, but residents worry this won't do enough to mitigate the loss, and argue they shouldn't have to choose between improving transportation and preserving the tree canopy.
“Trees, and a tree canopy, are very important in terms of our public health," Janey said. "We see what COVID-19 has exposed in terms of the inequities that were already existing, and now the disparities are even wider. So this fight to save the trees is in that context. It’s in the context of the Movement for Black Lives, in the context of a public health crisis that we have not seen in our lifetime, in our generation. Prior to COVID, we already had health disparities, and so to remove these trees is a racial justice issue.”