John Drew is probably one of the most influential Bostonians you don’t know much about.
Which is a shame because — at the tender age of 84 — he is stepping down as the CEO of Action for Boston Community Development, better known as ABCD.
It’s the city’s biggest and most durable antipoverty agency, a Swiss Army knife of social services. It offers everything from fuel assistance to Head Start programs, to summer jobs, in every neighborhood of Boston.
It’s been performing these functions since it was conceived in the 1960s, a product of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program. And Drew has been there practically from the beginning, fighting (and usually winning) one political battle after another, especially in its early days.