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Welcoming remarks by Senator Therese Murray

Good Evening, and Welcome to Boston.

Last May, I had the honor of visiting Derry. While my stay was far too short, I was instantly inspired by the passion and excitement in the city and for its future.

The common goal to reinvigorate Derry was apparent… And as we toured the Ebrington Barracks and the city itself, it was clear that this goal can and will be achieved.

During my visit, I was asked about how we approach redevelopment and what we had learned. One of the major issues I highlighted was the fact that in our zeal to focus on business development, we lost sight of some of our most vulnerable and socio-economically depressed citizens.

I am pleased to hear that you have taken note of our mistakes we made here in Boston. That you have included in your regeneration plan the requirement ensures your most vulnerable citizens will not be left behind while the city moves forward.

By providing avenues for these citizens to take their lives in a different direction, retrain for the jobs that the city is trying to attract, only makes it a more desirable place to set up shop.

Economic development, as you know, is never an easy task, and with the world wide recession that has taken hold, this challenge is even more daunting.

But, I believe that, especially in this economic downturn, the strength of partnerships between people, between businesses, between cities and countries prove to be the most beneficial.And what better cities to be partners than Boston and Derry – two cities connected by history.

Two cities that can learn from and benefit from each other. Two cities that are instilled with the same determination of character and passion for the future.

Other than the obvious common heritage many of us enjoy, Massachusetts and Northern Ireland share the bond of many different sectors. Health care technology and telemedicine, the film industry, and partnerships in higher education.

These are all areas where we have already begun building the bridge that will allow us to learn and benefit from each other.The key is to provide the infrastructure and investment in Derry and the surrounding area that will attract these new sectors. As I look around, it is easy to see that the desire, the potential, and the commitment are there.

Derry and Northwest Ireland are on a cusp of a new dawn — and I hope that Boston can and will be a partner in that future.

I hope you enjoy your stay in Boston as much as I enjoyed my time in Derry, and I look forward to working with you in building an economic bridge between our two cities.

Thank you.

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