Socialist to run for city council; calls for elected School Committee and BRA

WhelanDavid Bernstein alerts us that Seamus Whelan has set up a formal campaign committee to run for an at-large council seat in the fall elections.

According to his Facebook page, Whelan will run as the "socialist alternative" and "a voice for the 99% in Boston."

A registered nurse, Whelan calls for more teachers, an end to foreclosures and an elected School Committee and Boston Redevelopment Authority:

Boston is controlled by unelected organizations, from the school committee to the Boston Redevelopment Authority to the MBTA Board and the vultures on State Street. We need an economy that works for everyone and not just the rich and powerful. We must organize to build structures that allow working people make the important decisions that affect our lives.

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"We must organize to build

"We must organize to build structures that allow working people make the important decisions that affect our lives."

If he is only going to let working people make the important decisions, he just lost 50%+ of the Boston voters.

Boston School Committee and BRA make public policy

Boston School Committee and BRA make public policy and they are accountable to voters indirectly only. In fact, their longevity on those boards lasts beyond the mayor's tenure in office.

If you want a School Committee and Redevelopment Authority that is more accountable to the public, make them elected. Here's the thing though, if there's money involved and there is, corporate interests would love to control the majority of both of those committees.

Absolutely. I could see

corporate education companies getting involved in this. There used to be an elected School Committee which was overwhelmingly white and male. The committee members often used the office as a stepping stone to other elected office. It was not effective back then.

BRA

The BRA can't be improved. It can't be made more transparent, or more responsive, or more competent. It should be terminated; it was meant to be temporary, and it should have disappeared years ago. We should set up a real planning department that also creates the zoning to implement those plans. The standard Board of Appeal variance process, which provides for legal recourse against wrongful variances, would of course still be available. The market would bring in development, the City would regulate it for the public interest. That's all we need. No BRA finagling of zoning and false "blight" declarations for developer tax exemptions.