The Jamaica Plain Gazette reports on a gathering of nine mayoral candidates at a forum sponsored by the West Roxbury Courthouse Neighborhood Association.
The candidates were mostly non-specific in their answers regarding plans for improving the city, sticking to generalities like "bringing people together," "broadening opportunities" and "improving schools," though Arroyo brought up his proposed "Invest in Boston" bill, which would invest Boston’s money in banks that invest in Boston to help promote economic development.
This past week was a big week in politics here in Boston.
1. Steve Lynch will not run for Mayor.
Leading up to this past week, many speculated that 8th Congressional District U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch was using the U.S. Senate race to raise his profile so he could run for Boston Mayor. Lynch's chances were ruined by losing his hometown of Boston by a margin of 31,000 plus votes to Lynch's 28,000 plus votes.
Essentially, Markey "Al Gored" Stephen Lynch. To understand this, Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee to George W. Bush in 2000 and that was the real reason why Gore lost the presidency not because of Florida. For Lynch to have won the U.S. Senate Democratic Primary, he needed to run up the vote against Markey in Boston and this just did not happen.
2. Dewey beats Truman.
The 1st Suffolk Senate race was an unbelievable contest. My parish, St. Ann's, falls right inside this state Senate district. Three great candidates fought tooth and nail to replace Jack Hart who left his seat for a high paying job at a law firm.
If Ayanna Pressley runs for Mayor as reports are now suggesting that she may, she will undoubtably be the next Mayor.
It's a no brainer. Number one, the race is wide open for a major female candidate to run and win. There are ten men who running. Many people do vote based on gender. For instance, in the race to replace Jack Hart in the State Senate, many pundits believe that some of Nick Collin's votes will be siphered away by fellow Southie native Maureen Dahill which will allow Linda Dorcena Fory to be able to walk into office. However, I believe with two women running against Collins, the only male in the Democratic primary, many women will split their vote, while many men will vote for Collins. I'm not saying it is right, but it is a reality that gender politics is a determining factor for how many people vote in elections.
Michael Jonas tweets he formally announce at the offices of SEIU 615, where he was an organizer before getting elected a city councilor.
UPDATE: The Herald reports state Rep. Marty Walsh of Dorchester is running.
City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) this week took himself out of the running for mayor this fall. But in an e-mail to supporters today, Councilor Felix Arroyo (at large) says, yes, he's thinking about running - but first he wants to see if he can raise the $1 million he says it would cost:
If you believe, like I believe, in a Boston where everyone has opportunities to succeed, where we invest in all of our communities, where every child can receive a quality education, where we care for our elderly, where everyone can live in a safe neighborhood, and where we all have a say in the direction of our city, I ask that you please give now and give as generously as possible. Your donation will make this campaign a reality.
The Herald reports City Councilor Mike Ross will return $2,000 in donations from executives of the company that wants to build a $195-million luxury housing project on South Huntington Avenue.
The Herald started nosing around yesterday after organizers of a campaign against the project released details of campaign contributions from developers and their lawyers to Mayor Menino, Ross, state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez and City Councilors Matt O'Malley, Felix Arroyo and John Connolly from people associated with either that project or another luxury-housing plan to replace the old Home for Little Wanderers on South Huntington.
At-large Councilors Ayanna Pressley and Felix Arroyo say that rather than just let old payphones collect trash and rust, the city should use them to set up free wireless zones.
The councilors say Boston could use more places where people could get online for free:
There is a digital divide between different demographics and socioeconomic levels and such a program would expand access to the internet for more Boston residents.
The two will ask the full council tomorrow to approve a hearing on whether Boston could follow New York with a pilot of free, anonymous WiFi.
Think the mayor would WiFi this WiFi idea?
The Globe reports on a rally in Jamaica Plain this morning for School Superintendent Carol Johnson. Among those in attendance: City Councilors Ayanna Pressley, Tito Jackson and Felix Arroyo, whom the Globe reported said nobody's perfect and she should have a chance to reform Boston schools. That puts him at odds with Councilor John Connolly, who says Johnson has made too many mistakes in her time in Boston and needs to go.
On the heels of a proposal to make black history a required part of the Boston high-school curriculum, two city councilors say student should also be given an education in Latino history.
The City Council tomorrow considers a request from councilors Felix Arroyo (at large) and Tito Jackson (Roxbury) for a hearing to consider the proposal in depth. Jackson was the co-sponsor of the black-history proposal.
At a brief hearing on the issue last month, Arroyo supported that idea, but said Latino history is equally important. In their requests for hearings on the Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander issue, the two write that Latinos make up 43% of the BPS student body and that it's important for students to know learn about the contributions Latinos and Asians and Pacific Islanders have made.
City Councilor Felix Arroyo (at large) says now that residents have recycling bins, it's time to extend the idea to streets and parks.
Arroyo is proposing a meeting with Free Green Can, a company that makes money by selling advertising on the sides of its recycling bins, Arroyo said, adding the ads would be "family friendly."
(Originally appeared at www.bostonbastard.com)
I can remember watching Steve Murphy speaking over a year ago to the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO). Murphy was still in the midst of his failed run at the State Treasurer’s office, and was asked to speak along with fellow candidate Steve Grossman and then-Treasurer Tim Cahill.
The GBIO had been campaigning against banks that are not headquartered in Massachusetts, and thus have no legal obligation to loan money at less than 18 percent interest – the state mandated usury limit.
The GBIO asked the candidates about their willingness to move state funds out of any banks that do not recognize that 18 percent interest usury limit.
While Grossman came off as a polished politician giving lip service, and Cahill was just full of shit in general, Murphy easily stole the show, speaking about growing up around churches that are now a part of the GBIO and the importance of social justice that was instilled in him as a youth.
Local unions came out swinging in favor of Occupy Boston today. At an afternoon rally, the final speaker wasCity Councilor Felix Arroyo, himself a former organizer for the SEIU. Afterwards, Arroyo was asked about Council President Steve Murphy's comments this morning that he's worried about an estimated $2-million-a-month cost for police overtime and about the arrival of "professional agitators."
Arroyo said he has not seen any figures from the police department yet on the costs of patrolling the occupation, or Murphy's comments, so he said he could not really comment on either.
But, Arroyo said, "The question is, though, what the cost is to the city if we don't change our economic practices now, what is the cost then and that's the lense I hope we [use to] look at this, to say what is the cost to all of us if we continue on this track, if we continue on the track where 99% of the population is essentially struggling and 1% has all our wealth."
Trash talking at the City Council: Proposals would limit hours, numbers of commercial trash haulers in BostonBy adamg - 9/27/11 - 8:59 am
Two city councilors are working on proposals that could prohibit 3 a.m. commercial trash pickups in neighborhoods like the North End and limit the number of companies allowed to pick up trash there at all.
Apparently, Michael Graham thinks a Texas Starbucks franchise was within its rights to fire a woman with dwarfism. Dan Kennedy wants to know just what went down on a Graham segment on 96.9 yesterday for which City Councilor Felix Arroyo was a guest:
Councilor Arroyo, you appeared on Michael Graham's show yesterday while Graham and his fellow guest Rob Eno were making fun of people with dwarfism. What do you have to say about that? Will you be issuing a statement? Will you appear again? Will you demand that WTKK post the audio on its website so that we can judge whether your own comments were appropriate or not? Thank you.
Arroyo responds (in the same discussion):
I was the only who disagreed with the woman being fired because of her dwarfism. I believe Starbucks should have found work she could have performed.Should I be invited, I will appear on the program again. Our democracy depends on deferring opinions in debate. If liberals cede talk radio to conservatives, then only one side gets heard. We can’t allow one ideology to dominate the airwaves.
He adds he wants the station to post a copy of the segment.
According to incumbent Felix Arroyo, it's $100,000. Arroyo told supporters in e-mail he wants to raise that much to keep being one of four at-large councilors in this fall's election:
These funds will help us hire an organizer, open an office, pay for mailings and get our vote out.
At-large City Councilor Felix Arroyo also sent a letter to the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council last week about Whole Foods. He makes many of the same points as State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz about the need for local hiring and gentrification. Unlike Chang-Diaz, however, he doesn't tell Whole Foods to pay up or move out; his letter is instead full of "coulds."
City Councilors Bill Linehan and Felix Arroyo said tonight they may try to get an amendment to a current state law that keeps the city from taking over private South End alleyways because they're too narrow to comply with modern public road requirements.
At-large Councilor Felix Arroyo tells Bay Windows he deliberately scheduled an LGBT fundraiser on Sunday:
As an At-Large City Councilor, I represent all of Boston and all of Boston's residents. I take that responsibility very seriously. An entire community that I represent is excluded from marching in the parade. While the Supreme Court said it is legally permissible to exclude LGBT groups, I cannot in good conscience march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade until everyone else can.
Councilors Felix Arroyo (at large) and Sal LaMattina (East Boston, North End, Charlestown) say it's time to ban smoking at both city and state recreation sites in Boston.
The two say second-hand smoke poses too much of a health risk to other park goers and that "careless smokers who choose to litter their used cigarette butts threaten the environmental integrity and cleanliness of our cherished public spaces."
The city council considers their request for a hearing on the issue today.
The Globe talks to the at-large councilor about the licensing-board seat that's been vacant for several months now. Although the board meets at City Hall and uses the city seal, it's a state agency whose members are appointed by the governor to dole out and oversee liquor and food-serving licenses - as opposed to the city licensing office, appointed by the mayor to oversee entertainment licenses, which many of the liquor-license holders also have.
The not-yet-one-term at-large city councilor is already fundraising for next year's election, with a little help from the Herald. In a fundraising e-mail today, the Arroyo campaign dourly warns:
... Now he is under attack from the right wing media for keeping his promise to us. Their goal is obvious: stop Felix's momentum right now so that he does not win re-election in 2011. ...
The message doesn't specify which rightwing media are attacking him for what, but since Fox News has yet to take notice of Felix Sr.'s son, we're forced to conclude the missive refers to disdainful Herald coverage of his effort to get Boston to boycott businesses in Arizona (in the early edition, the Herald Photoshopped him onto the side of a milk carton because he wouldn't call them back).
City Councilor Felix Arroyo gets library officials to at least think about reversing their decision to shut branches in Brighton, South Boston, Dorchester and East Boston, if the city or state can come up with enough money to keep them open, the Dorchester Reporter reports.
As one city councilor held out hope that savings from a possible concession by firefighters could save four branch libraries, BPL President Amy Ryan told the City Council she has little choice but to cut the branches - and jobs across the branches and at the Copley Square central library (roughly 75 workers - no managers).
The council today called on city agencies to stop doing business with any companies based in or doing substantial business in Arizona because of its law allowing police to ask people for their papers if they have "reasonable suspicion" they are illegal immigrants.
The resolution (Read here) passed on a voice vote. In practical terms, it asks the mayor's office to look for any investments in or dealings with Arizona companies and then what it would take to sell off those investments or stop doing business with the companies. At-large Councilor Felix Arroyo, a co-sponsor of the resolution, said he does not know if the city actually does have any such dealings.
About 100 people, many union members, marched outside the Bank of America building on Federal Street today to call for more bank lending to job-creation efforts in Boston.
That's former union organizer and current City Councilor Felix Arroyo in the background. Yesterday, Arroyo called for a council hearing to discuss which banks the city now uses and to investigate how to give priority for city funds to banks that "invest locally by supporting small business, lending to home buyers, have a foreclosure prevention plan and invest in Boston-based development projects."
Arroyo shared a hug with Green Party gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein. Also marching: Former Green Party head and current Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Grace Ross.