Since the start of the pandemic, Dorchester native James Hills, who many know as Jimmy of Java with Jimmy, has been livestreaming community conversations on Facebook about the major happenings in Boston. On any given day he might talk about mental health, policing, COVID, or, like yesterday, a conversation with Mayor Michelle Wu. He joined GBH’s Morning Edition hosts Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel for a cup of java and a conversation about his work. This transcript has been lightly edited.

Jeremy Siegel: Jimmy, you had Mayor Wu on yesterday. This is just after some news broke surrounding City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who is running for Suffolk district attorney, and a Globe story that brought to light some past investigations into allegations of sexual assault. You talked with her about it and she questioned how the Globe got a hold of this information.

[Previously recorded]

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu: Where does public records law, which requires transparency, have some boundaries? 97-D is a pretty big boundary. It is illegal to share that kind of information publicly and so for the media to have it, it got leaked from one of two places that had this information before.

James Hills: And one of those, let's just name it, is under your purview, which is BPD. So two things come up for me around this, mayor, and I know you're mayor, we're going to talk politics and policy. But we're also humans. And there are two women that that are here –

Wu: Likely being retraumatized right now, who could be in a situation that the law is designed to prevent.

[Recording ends]

Siegel: So we've talked a good deal about this report this morning here on GBH. And we should mention that the mayor has not rescinded her endorsement of Ricardo Arroyo. But I wanted to play that clip because I think it highlights how your show is really a conversation with leaders like Wu. What exactly do you see as the point of Java with Jimmy?

Hills: The point of Java with Jimmy is exactly that: To share information, to mobilize. We started in COVID, and it was largely based in making sure that Black and brown communities were — first of all, to understand that COVID was real, and to make sure that everyone was aware of the information from a preventive standpoint. Then the vaccine kicked in and we wanted to make sure people had information about that. There was a lot of information from the beginning of COVID to the vaccine. And so the essence of Java with Jimmy is information, communication and mobilization.

Paris Alston: And you do a lot of community-oriented conversations, as we mentioned up at the top, Jimmy, about issues that are affecting communities, specifically the Black and brown communities of Boston, such as Dorchester, and Roxbury and Mattapan. One thing you also asked Mayor Wu about yesterday was Mass. and Cass. So this is something that affects not only the people who who live and commune there, but the neighborhoods around it. And you talked to her about how her administration is making an effort to try to address that issue and prevent high-level drug trafficking in that area.

[Previously recorded]

Wu: It is very important for that kind of public safety-focused enforcement to have visibility into what's happening, which is why it's been important to keep taking down the tents and canopies that are popping up. And I will say —

Hills: I'm sorry, they are back up in on that point, and mayor, I've seen as myself: When you mentioned visibility and BPD, I've seen where some of them — and you can't be out there all the time. That's real. And Michael Cox just got here. They just sit there. And in some cases, flashing blue and whites, in some cases, have influence. But mayor, down there, the visibility and just sitting there, they need to be more out there.

Wu: I just met with our commissioner on this yesterday as part of a group.

[Recording ends]

"The essence of Java with Jimmy is information, communication and mobilization."
-James Hills

Alston: And so, Jimmy, one thing that struck me in this conversation, you mentioned how you as part of the show had been going down to Mass. and Cass. regularly, and how that's an area that many people, myself included, pass by often and see that even after the efforts of the mayor's office in the beginning of the year to relocate people there, many of them are back out. And so, were you satisfied with what she said about what her administration is trying to do as far as making sure they do cleanups overnight and have that law enforcement present and get people the resources they need?

Hills: As far as what the mayor's said, I was satisfied. We're not satisfied in the community. There are many, many who constantly see the needles. School is coming back in. And with all fairness, this goes back to [former Boston mayor Thomas] Menino, whom I used to work for. And there needs to be a multi-tiered collaboration between state government, Boston and the municipalities from which these people migrate into Boston, unfortunately, first for treatment, and then, as you referenced, the drug trafficking there. They get there, they're struggling and they get caught up. And so the health commission, the mayor's office, Charlie Baker's office, or whoever the new governor will be, they need to get together and resolve that. And so I am not satisfied because the community is not satisfied because regular, everyday citizens cannot walk past that area without being influenced or retraumatized, if you had a past substance abuse history, so there's a lot more that needs to be done.

Siegel: Listening to your show, watching your show, Jimmy, such a big part of it is hearing from members of your community, people who are streaming along with you, listening to you talk with elected officials. Yesterday, one of the things you talked with Wu about was the Orange Line shutdown, which we've been talking a bunch about on this show. I'm curious, what are you hearing from your listeners and your viewers about the shutdown?

Hills: To be very honest, the general sentiment is it's not as bad as we thought yet. With the caveat of, oh, what's going to happen when school opens. And so there's that sort of perspective. But right now, and I'll be honest, I went off the other day to somewhere that usually takes me 20 minutes. I left and gave myself 40 minutes, and I got there early. And so, you know, what I'm hearing from the audience is it isn't that bad yet. And I'm also hearing that the community is very pleased with the fact our local elected officials rallied around, I call it the infographics war, because it was all the same information for each candidate, each elected, put their own branding on it. And so the community is sort of satisfied with the information getting out there. But there is sort of this hesitation of waiting until the first couple of days of school. The other thing is, no one believes that we're going back to regular Orange Line services on Sept. 19. That's the other thing. People believe that this is not going to be 30 days.

Alston: So, Jimmy, we have just a little bit of time left for you here. But I want to let you know that I'm marching in Boston Carnival this weekend, and I first heard about the tension with Carnival. We don't have time to get into all of that and what's going on between the governing body and the bands and the community. But I am interested to listen to your show later today, and to see what all comes out of that conversation. When you hear the impact that you're having in the community with what you're doing here, what does that mean to you?

Hills: Questions like that make me a little bit emotional. It means a lot to me. Information is key. Knowing is half the battle. And so it it means so much to me that people have made statements like the platform, got them through the pandemic, through the deaths. They get information, they get mobilized. People actually hit me up and said they got the vaccination after watching my collaboration with the Health Commission. And so it means so much to me that I am actually having an impact, an influence. The ultimate goal for me, Paris and Jeremy, is to improve the quality of life in equity. That is the underlying goal of everything.