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.
A trio of West Roxbury officials are scheduled to endorse John Connolly for mayor today outside the West Roxbury BPL branch.
If you want to see City Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain), state Rep. Ed Coppinger (West Roxbury) and School Committee member Mary Tamer (who is from West Roxbury), they'll be at the library at 12:30 p.m. to announce their support.
Connolly, who lives in West Roxbury, is currently an at-large councilor.
John Connolly came out swinging tonight at a campaign party at the Parker House. "City Hall makes 'Southie Rules' look like a serious news show," he said referring to what he considers a major lack of transparency in city government.
Connolly, an at-large city councilor, will face Will Dorcena and Charles Clemons this fall, and maybe incumbent Tom Menino.
John Connolly ticks off five changes. First, he’d cut the central office budget, putting the saved money into classrooms. Second, he’d lengthen the school year. Next, he’d work harder to recruit and train talented principals. He’d also make sure every school had guidance counselors, social workers, and nurses. Finally, he’d devote more money to fixing up Boston’s “crumbling” school buildings.
At-large City Councilor John Connolly will formally announce he's running for mayor this morning - at 11 a.m. outside Brighton High School.
The location signals that Connolly, chairman of the council's education committee, will make education the center of his race, in particular, school choice and raising the quality of city schools.
A West Roxbury resident, Connolly, 39, has been on the council since 2007. As an at-large councilor, he has shown he can attract votes across the city, although that didn't much help the last person to challenge Menino - at-large Councilor Michael Flaherty.
Incumbent Tom Menino has yet to formally say whether he's running for a sixth term. Charles Clemens and Will Dorcena have said they are running.
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.
Rather than simply expanding the number of school-assignment zones, two city councilors and four state representatives today proposed giving elementary students seat in a school in their neighborhood - but with a network of citywide magnet schools for parents dissatisfied with those schools.
The plan is an alternative to plans now under discussion by Boston school officials to expand the current three assignment zones to six or nine (school officials have also published maps of zones with 11, 23 and no zones, but have said those would fail to allow for school choice in a system that continues to have educational inequalities). City Councilor John Connolly, who chairs the council's education committee, Councilor Matt O'Malley and state representatives Linda Dorcena Forry, Nick Collins, Ed Coppinger and Russell Holmes unveiled their proposal this morning at the State House.
At-large City Councilor John Connolly discusses the proposed teacher contract announced yesterday; calls it "a very mediocre contract" that doesn't go far enough to improve education, "close the achievement gap" and bring more middle-class students back into Boston public schools. "If we want to close the achievement gap, we need to transform the system."
The Dorchester Reporter talks to at-large Councilor John Connolly, who says the Rodney Peterson case - especially the revelation that Johnson did nothing to discipline him even after he pleaded guilty - is just the latest in a string of "bad decisions," and proof she needs to go.
Earlier today, Johnson said she now regrets not taking action against Peterson, at the time co-headmaster of the O'Bryant School.
Connolly is chairman of the council's education committee.
Parent Imperfect attended one of those hearings BPS held to solicit parent input on school assignment, came away concluding BPS already has a basic plan in place (more and smaller zones), based on the questions the facilitators asked. He also discusses a similar, smaller session held by City Councilor and Maybe Possible Mayoral Candidate John Connolly, who raised the question of whether "empowered" (i.e., middle and upper middle class, mainly white) parents are better able to play the current assignment game.
The City Council voted today to consider measures that would regulate so-called sober homes for recovering drug addicts and require pawn shops and other businesses that sell second-hand goods to tie into a Boston Police database of stolen property.
The City Council tomorrow considers a request from Councilors Tito Jackson (Roxbury) and John Connolly (at large) for a hearing on making black history a mandatory part of education for students in Boston public high schools.
In their request to hold a hearing, the two say that with so many black students in local public schools, "it is critically important for young people to know where and whence they have come and the full story of the accomplishments of their ancestors."
The weekly city-council meeting begins at noon in the council's fifth-floor chambers at City Hall. They're also aired live on Comcast channel 12, RCN channel 82 and on the Web.
City and BTU negotiators last night threw up their hands and decided there's nothing more they can say to each other, so they'll be seeking state help to mediate a contract.
The declaration comes 21 months of negotiations; firefighters still hold the modern Boston record for going without a contract, at four years.
West Roxbury Patch reports:
Connolly to Lead Council's Review of Student Assignment Process
City Councilor John Connolly will lead the Council's review of the Boston Public Schools student assignment plan. His announcement comes days after Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's State of the City Address in which the Mayor called for "a radically different student assignment plan."
Connolly's order will be introduced during tomorrow's City Council meeting. No dates have been set yet for the City Council hearings, but Connolly wants to give parents an opportunity to weigh in on what makes a quality school, the challenges parents face with the current assignment process, and changes parents would like to see.
Steve Poftak looks at the numbers from Tuesday's election, notices that John Connolly's tally in Hyde Park and the neighboring part of Roslindale dropped more than 1,000 votes from 2009:
What's the explanation here? Well, my best guess would be a certain 60-something Readville resident and civic leader might have been less than fully supportive.
Chris Lovett also looks at Hyde Park's numbers - from 1999, the year of Dapper O'Neil's last hurrah.
Dave Atkins of Roslindale reports he's gotten two of these Flaherty cards, both signed, in slightly different handwriting, by "John."
Am I supposed to mistake this card as an endorsement of Michael Flaherty by John Connolly?
Connolly, of course, has flooned Ayanna Pressley, but is also running as a sort of non-slate slate with the other two incumbents, Felix Arroyo and Steve Murphy.
Flaherty gave up his at-large seat to run for mayor in 2009. Sean Ryan and Will Dorcena round out the field in Tuesday's election, in which voters will pick four at-large councilors.
One man dared protect your children from FROZEN MEAT PATTIES.
Gin Dumcius reports that seems to be the gist of the mailer John Connolly just sent out:
In at-large race, Connolly sends out epic-looking mailer touting expired frozen food investigation. Mailer red and white front: "WARNING: Contents inside were not suitable for children. Until John Connolly Took Action"
At-large councilors Ayanna Pressley and John Connolly say a ban might have prevented the death of Gabriel Josh-Cazir Pierre, who died locked in an unattended van for several hours last month.
"It's very possible that someone might have seen Gabriel in that van and intervened," Pressley said at a council meeting today at which she held up a T-shirt emblazoned with Gabriel's photo. The ban is part of "Gabriel's Law," a series of proposals by his mother, Virginie Cazir, who lives in the same building as Pressley.
All other councilors signed up as co-sponsors of the proposal, which now goes before the council's committee on government operations for a formal hearing.
City Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) said he hopes the hearing will expand to cover more general issues of day-care van safety.
The Globe reports ticket topper John Connolly and cash-poor Ayanna Pressley have merged their campaign finances and begun campaigning together as they run for re-election for at-large City Council seats. For Pressley, the move means immediate resources; for Connolly, it means access to new constituencies should he ever run for another office.
Dear Councilor Connolly,
When I arrived home (__ ___ Street, Brighton) at 6:15 this evening, I found a "Connolly for Boston" campaign sign secured to my porch railing with zip ties.
My wife tells me it was not there when she arrived home at 5:15. My three-year-old son tells me he saw "a man in a pickup truck" put up the sign.
Neither my wife nor I has spoken to anyone from your campaign or approved the placement of this campaign sign on our property.
Please explain yourself.
Furthermore, please remove this sign from our property immediately.
The Boston City Council voted unanimously yesterday to seek approval from the state legislature to raise the dropout age from 16 to 18.
At-large Councilor John Connolly, who co-sponsored the request with District 7 Councilor Tito Jackson, said 16 no longer makes sense in a society that has outgrown its agrarian roots, in which even a high-school diploma is barely enough to succeed. He added:
"We don't allow 16 year olds to smoke, drink or vote, but we will allow them to make a decision that will put the lowest of ceilings on their future. 16 year olds are not equipped to make that decision."
Jackson said, if nothing else, there's an economic reason for raising the age: Dropouts are far more likely to wind up in prison, and the annual cost of educating a student in Boston is $11,000, compared to the $47,000 cost of keeping a person in prison for one year.
Both councilors said raising the age will also take increased efforts by schools to work with the at-risk kids to keep them engaged and prepare them for college or the modern workforce. Connolly praised current efforts by Boston Public Schools to do that.
Boston City Councilors John Connolly (at large) and Tito Jackson (Roxbury, South End) today proposed raising the minimum age at which public-school students could leave school to 18.
The two say similar action in other states has led to dramatic decreases in dropout rates; they will hold a hearing later on dropout-prevention efforts by Boston Public Schools. If the council as a whole agrees with them, it would have to seek approval from the state legislature to change the current minimum Boston dropout age of 16.
Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson is sending letters home with students to tell parents that the food their kids get at school is "safe and healthy."
Without naming him, Johnson's letter denounces City Councilor John Connolly, who charged yesterday students at at least four schools were fed expired food from a frozen-food warehouse in Wilmington - food that would not have made them sick but which may have had reduced or no nutritive value. Johnson said that's not true; that, while, yes, the schools have wasted money on expired food, students have never been fed the stuff. She added she sent the letter after one cafeteria worker told her:
[I]n the days after the safety of our food was called into question, the number of children arriving for free breakfast at her school had dropped by 25 percent. One student refused to eat lunch because she heard it might be dangerous.