Article Analysis



Revolutionary Bills

Along with being a competent councilor of Boston, Thomas Keane Jr. also devoted his period of being councilor to passing bills to help the community. Passing these bills was an act for the people - not for himself - making him not only a selfless person but also a benevolent humanitarian.

Domestic Rights

Domestic partnership, also known as pairage, is a legal relationship between two persons living in the same dwelling and has the same rights as married couples. Domestic partnership came apply to same-sex or different-sex couples. In many states, it has been used instead of legalizing gay marriage. Domestic partnership is given to those who are not joined by common-law marriages. One is afforded medical benefits and life insurance. Basically, domestic partnership grants one the same rights as those of married partners.

This bill allowed domestic partnership between gays and lesbians as well as other rights which had been prohibited before this bill was passed. Thomas Keane Jr. fought to pass this bill, and he succeeded. Thomas Keane Jr. was intent on making the voices of homosexuals heard and fought to pass the bill. "When gays and lesbians argue that they want to marry, they are arguing on behalf of marriage itself. The notion of gay marriage does not mock the institution of marriage. It exalts it," he had said. He supported a branch of human rights that had been overlooked or even avoided for a long time, making it better for those who were once targeted to mockery or prejudice.

Public Health

Smoking itself is something that risks the life of a smoker, but second hand smoke is something that may affect anyone. Before this bill was past, smoking was permitted nearly everywhere, in restaurants and other public places. Thomas Keane Jr. fought to pass this bill prohibiting smoking in restaurants and bars throughout the city so that the air, environment, and the people would not be affected by such an act of selfishness.

It is known that smoking causes a variety of health risks including cancer and other sicknesses. Smoking not only affects the smoker, but also the people around the smoker in the form of secondhand smoke. Before the bill was passed, smoking was permitted in all public places, which increased the risk of the cancerous diseases. Thomas Keane Jr. wanted to change it. If innocent people were to suffer because of the smoke of another, things would not be good. Smoking itself was not a good factor in life, but it is the addiction that is the main problem therefore, smokers are not all to be blamed. He fought for a bill that prohibited smoking in public areas such as restaurants or bars. This reduced the number of people who would have been victims of second hand smoke, as well as helped create a more smokeless environment.

Economic Growth

Every person is part of the city's economy, if one single mistake is made, it affects everyone. To prevent such mistakes being made, Thomas Keane Jr. opposed the imposition of imprudent economic and administrative burdens on Boston businesses. He also went for a more evenhanded property tax structure to reduce taxes on city businesses and lower income residents. Despite being the only vote against an impractical Living Wage ordinance that was signed into law in 1997 which threatened to increase the numbers of unemployed, he stood by his beliefs, and because of his opposition, the legislation was rewritten and passed in September 1998. This new legislation dealt with all that Tom had first recognized to improve the economy.

Everyone participates in a city's economy, the people are in it together, in times of trouble or good fortune, and everyone usually goes with the flow. However, mistakes can be made that also affects everyone. To help prevent these mistakes from being made, Thomas Keane Jr. Thomas Keane Jr. opposed the imposition of imprudent economic and administrative burdens on Boston businesses. He was the only vote against an impractical Living Wage ordinance that was signed into law in 1997 which threatened to "drive jobs out of the city". Despite being the only person who opposed the law, he stood by what he knew would be better for the people, and because of his strong justice, the law was rewrittenand signed--this time addressing all that Tom had recognized to improve the economy.


A city always has two paths either to thrive or crumble--it all depends on its economic growth. Besides conserving Boston's thriving domestic neighborhoods, he also encouraged more economic growth in other parts of the city. To improve, he took leading roles in projects devoted to helping the city's economic growth such as: multiple developments that supported the air rights space over the Massachusetts Turnpike and the redevelopment of Fenway Park to preserve the historical monument of the city as well as the home of the Boston Red Sox.

A city is always thriving with good economic growth. To keep Boston a good and thriving community, Thomas Keane Jr. worked to let more economic growth prosper in parts of the city where it was needed, as well as conserving Boston's domestic neighborhoods. He, himself took   foremost roles in projects devoted to helping helping the city's environmental growth to help the community be a better place for the people to live in.       


            Many people in the world are left homeless or bankrupt because of high housing fees and the large cost in general. Then, Tom Keane suggested a "Fund for Affordable Housing", which associated with the idea of using new taxes from the end of rent control to make financial aid as well as low interest loans for those who are in need of the deduction in order to succeed in better housing costs. He also led acts to attempt to lower the impact of rent which was rather affective to those who needed a deduction. With the passing of this bill, some people today live in their homes and are able to deal with the tax and rent that they had previously struggled with.  

            Why then should he, a former councilman, care for anything about housing? Certainly he should have no trouble with it at all. However, Tom Keane had always been a compassionate man, unable to ignore the wrongdoings of others. Each day while walking about the streets of his community, he would see homeless people on the cold streets, most because of the overwhelming cost of housing rents. To help the people of the community, he decided that it had to change. There should be no such thing as people who had no place to go because of lack of income, and with the bill, he helped some people find a home.

Environmental advocacy

Our environment is important to us, in denial or not, the earth is on which we live, but noticeably, things have slowly begun to change and even now at an even more rapid warming--call it whatever you want. Tom Keane was a direct environmentalist. He wrote a bill for improving and enhancing the public parks and other green spots. To do more for the community that he loved, he led various efforts to help the environment such as cleaning rivers and enlarging recycling organizations. Our environment may still be at risk, but one man attempted to help it stay in its same fresh greenness.

Like many others, Tom Keane is an environmentalist who cares greatly about his community's environment. Though the earth can be admitted as "not as young as it once was", it is slowly changing for the worst. Tom Keane decided to attempt to stop the downward spiral of the earth, he believes that if the world works together, the earth can be restored as it once was...this bill was his first step.

Public safety

Safety and health always comes first--that is a rule of life. Yet, how can it be that murders and violence is gradually rising? Graffiti, aggressive panhandling, prostitution, news and skateboarding in public parks...are these the "quality of life"? Certainly not, thought Tom Keane in fact, they are some issues of life. The style of the days have changed, from proper dress to "cooler" gear, but does what we wear effect our actions? Tom Keane played a leading role in this sponsoring legislation about these "qualities of life" issues, trying to make the community a better and safer place to be, and to keep the neighborhoods secure and stable.

The style has changed indeed...but they're only kids, right? Only kids can lead to trouble. The whole concept about how the delicate mind of a child is affected is rather complicated, but if it was known that they would grow up to be trouble, it would be better to start at the root of the problem. But even today, public safety is at risk, whenever that one person decides to jeopardize himself as well as the people around him. Tom Keane always cared about his community and its people, particularly its safety and security. He would not give up and simply believe that it cannot be helped that security may be failing. He decided to help it by writing this law to help the community as well as its people.

Education reform

Good education equals a good job and ensures a good future...that is mostly true, but what about those who do not have the opportunity to go to school? Education is important to the people today as well as the people of the future and yet there is still a tiny speck of doubt. What about the pilot and charter schools? Tom Keane undertook the job of education reform. He enhanced the creation of a new school assignment plan for diverse and academic schools to help parents have more choices for the education of their children. With that, education is available to every person in the community.

Education had always been important to Tom Keane, he himself had a rather great academic achievements ( magna cum laude in 1978 from Harvard College), but he knew that there were many people less fortunate that him. To help those people, he passed bills regarding the importance of education to help educate the people of the present and those of the future.

Within his six years as a Boston city councilor, he did as much as he could to help his community and its people. He aspired for the benefit of the people and improved the lives of many. He passed numerous bills in order to make the community of Boston a better place, and he succeeded.

For more information on these bills, click here.