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Pressley will challenge Capuano for Congress

At-large Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley today announced she's running for the 7th District congressional seat now held by Mike Capuano of Somerville.

Should the Dorchester resident win the Democratic primary, and then the final election in November, she would be replaced on the council by Althea Garrison, who came in fifth in the race for four at-large seats last fall. Pressley has been on the council since 2009.

The Dorchester Reporter has more.

Campaign Web site.

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Comments

Proves she only cares about $$$$$$$, should she lose and run for the council again this will be held against her.

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Shes literally ONE MONTH into her current term. She needs to explain when this decision was made and why she ran for reelection.

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Mike "GLX" Capuano has lost his mind

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GLX? I think those are your middle initials. So obsessed!

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Your boy Capuano has spent 80% of his time on hometown Somerville issues. The GLX is a moot point. However. with that said. Capuano in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, or Randolph? Good luck with that

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Only Somerville? How about when he helped pay for free rides for 2 weeks on the Fairmount line out of his campaign funds? Didn't know the Fairmount stopped in Somerville.

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$50,000 for the Fairmount. Compared to $3,000,000,000 for the Orange and Green Lines in Somerville. Why didn't Capuano go after major federal dollars for the Fairmount Line? For the Fairmount DMU plan? Literally a $300-400 million ask instead of a 1 billion ask for the Green Line? Capuano's Somerville bias will be front and center.

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Both the GLX and Indigo Line initiatives have merit. And Capuano will win easily. However, some good will come from this race. If there's one constant I hear about Capuano in Boston, it's this. He's a great progressive who can bring in federal money, but we wish Mike would bring his GLX tenacity to the West Station, Indigo, and Mattapan battles.

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Maybe he did. There are several federal grants, both competitive and formula, that he could tap for the Fairmount (Indigo) Line. However, typically if you saturate the feds with grant requests, they'll ask you to pick your first priority. I'm assuming the GLX was his top pick. Capuano has an excellent track record. With the GLX now set and done on the federal level, it will be interesting to see what his next top project is

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The Assembly station was paid for by corporate funds.

There are two stops on the Orange that serve Somerville - will they be switching cars at those stations so that they ONLY run in Somerville?

Wow.

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Before Assembly station was built, the line ran through Somerville without stopping anywhere in it.

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Sullivan Square isn't in Somerville, but it absolutely serves a good size chunk of the city.

I think the response to the GLX troll had to do with "$$ for the orange line in Somerville" - as if it wasn't the primary line for ALL of Capuano's district, or as if that money that went for the new cars was only about Somerville.

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Rewrite your first sentence before the delusional GLX guy runs with it. Besides, it is factually in error.

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Not sure what you are getting at.

Sullivan is in Boston. Assembly is in Somerville. However, Sullivan serves East Somerville directly, and much of Somerville by bus.

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That the GLX is a unneeded boondoggle and the money could be better spent on other things. Speaking of which, the last price tag for South Coast Rail is $3.2 billion. Yet no peep from this guy.

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If that is what you mean. The existence of buses isn't the same as "run on time" and "frequent enough for the traffic" and "provide a reasonable speed to get 4 miles"

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Assembly Orange was a mix of private, state, and federal funding. It was Patrick's model P3. Which brings up a current point.. West Station had/has private and state funding. Where's the federal side? Did Capuano make a push? Is there some grudge between Capuano and the West parties? It didn't dawn on me until last night

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Something to ask Capuano during the race / or something that will come out during the race

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The Fairmount has already recieved $200 million in state funding. Your comparison is unfair. Maybe if the state agreed to a match with the feds, the feds would have come through. Who knows. I guess we'll find out soon enough during the primary campaign. However, you're missing the bigger picture. You need to question the initial imparity back in the early 90s, when Capuano was the mayor of Somerville and of course was pushing for Somerville instead of Boston. Why didn't the Conservation Law Foundation push, and continue to push, for parity along both bypass commuter rail lines? Why didn't the CLF push equally for GLX Medford and say GLX Mattapan? Or commuter infill stations along both corridors? Why the distinction? If both were pushed equally at the beginning, why was the Fairmount line downgraded instead of the Medford line? Capuano will have to explain his varying levels of intensity since the late 90s, yes. However the "imbalance" issue began prior to Capuano's time in Congress.

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Billions for the GLX

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C'mon hux

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First, not everybody sees the GLX as the boondoggle you do.

Second, the MBTA has poured, what, $150 million into the Fairmount Line?

Third, theres just no there there. Capuano didn't just come up with the idea of the GLX and singlehandedly secured $2 billion in federal funds. He supported a very detailed proposal developed by the state and the two cities involved. In contrast, DMUs were an idea cooked up by the Patrick MBTA, but never got to the point of a formal RFP or anything similar before Baker canceled the idea. There's nothing for Capuano to support.

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Arguing with the GLX troll is MY job.

Anyway, speaking as someone who lives towards the south of the district, I would say that I have no problem with Capuano’s work on behalf of the project. As you note, while GLX has been languishing, the Fairmount Line has gotten 3 new and 2 rehabbed stations along with infrascructure improvements on the line and yet another station under construction.

Capuano has worked to represent all of the district, and writing as a guy who wants to be represented by Lynch, Capuano is doing an okay job.

Besides, give the troll enough time, he’ll claim that Somerville will be voting for Pressley. That’s the level of derangement we are facing here.

Lastly, make the guy register already.

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In 10 years, ridership on the Fairmont line has barely budged.

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Capuano is really into bringing the pork home to the southern part of the district.

[The overall point of why ridership on the Fairmount Line is a bigger issue that involves the T more than anything else, since Washington has no say over getting people to ride on the new infrastructure.]

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I believe ridership increased 44% for those two weeks of free rides. Sure you can say it's entirely to take advantage of a free service, but clearly people can use it.

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Your vehicle panacea commenting is teeth-grinding. Hundreds have experienced surreal T station failures. Yet you believe new vehicles will magically solve everything. Unreal

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By and large you know it is true. Also, I know when to eat crow (check out the comment with the story yesterday about a Blue Line train dying) and when to join in on the griping (see the icicle story at Quincy Center.)

But hey, if you want to be obsessed by my comments, how about becoming very obsessive and doing statistical analysis on your own on the reason for most of the delays on the T.

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Mayor Capuano made the Green Line to Union Square and other points in Somerville a priority. He finally succeeded. Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford have their own interests in the line, leading to a shaky 2017-8 structure where costs may balloon midstream and the leaders-of-the-day will either bear the costs or cut the line. Various Fairmount EMUs and DMUs were considered well before Deval Patrick. Obama changed FRA policy, allowing MUs to become a cost-effective option. Patrick had a vehicle option in place and even a private contributor. But he ran out of time, and with any change in leadership, projects shift in an instant

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Have you been following the funding issues surrounding the GLX project by any chance?

They brought costs under control. The feds, and that's Trump's feds, are okay that costs are under control. Also, if you paid attention to the rail industry, you'd know the travails involving DMUs in the US, but since that does not concern a certain MBTA project, you probably didn't know that.

Mayor Capuano fought hard as mayor of Somerville. He has fought hard on many issues as Congressman.

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I was in Austin and took their packed train. I didn't realize it was a DMU until I was back in Cambridge. I know if you just listen to CLF members, the DMU is considered a spawn of the devil in New England. However they're prevalent, even in dense liberal urban centers like Austin (aka Boston's competition)

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And the key to this answer is to name systems with track that is connected to the national rail network and therefore subject to federal crash worthiness regulations.

Here. This article explains why the systems in the US that use DMUs are allowed to use DMUs and why most systems cannot use them. Unfortunately, there's no way the Fairmount Line would be able to get the waiver needed. Austin, along with Marin County, New Jersey, and North San Diego, have been able to make the case that their systems will not be seeing other traffic.

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Most of the lines you mentioned have active freight service. New York has multiple corridors with MU-freight mixes. Also, it should be noted. Although all opinions are appreciated, a blogger isn't an experienced professional.

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And when were the built?

As for the systems I mentioned, since you are aware, being an expert in rail regulations, that there are freight movements on those lines (except for Marin County) you also most likely know that there are operating agreements in place to allow for exemptions. I would be kind of tough to get an operating exemption for the Fairmount Line as there is a freight yard at one end of the line that routinely makes daytime movements.

But sure, anon, you are truly the expert in rail car construction, since I see your name in the press all the time talking about things like the bankruptcy of Colorado Railcar.

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A good example. However. Its application would be limited in Boston. The Austin DMU is a low floor model. Several Boston corridors have high floor stations. Nevertheless. and I want to stress I do not care either way with the GLX, disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer, etc. If the GLX is cancelled or incomplete, this is the type of vehicle (with waivers) that can cover the missing GLX ground. In addition, it can provide better more frequent service to places like Brandeis and the Rt 128 beltway - Waltham, Mishawum - because each existing and proposed station along these corridors is low floor. If Biogen wants to link its Cambridge and Weston campuses, then it can extend to Weston. Brandeis, Biogen, and other Rt 128 companies may be willing to chip in. This could be Capuano and Clark's next big effort after the GLX

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GLX is not going to be cancelled.

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Doesn't equal skimming the internet.

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Knowing that the only firm that produces FRA compliant DMUs went out of business, in 2008.

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Look at Illinois. Sumitomo

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You're right on this one point, so let's cancel the GLX now and things will be much better.

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I've heard the same nickname for Capuano in DC . He brings up the Green Line Extension ALOT. Dinners, conferences, ribbon-cuttings, events not even remotely tied to transportation, etc.

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Like a certain person who posts things on this website all the time as "anon."

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Great to see people getting out there taking on leadership but this is a tough one. She is going after a big fish who has been around for a while. Funny thing with Capuano tho, he is not what he was twenty years ago but even at a more diminished energy level he is still more active and upfront than 90 percent of Congress is. If anything him being toned down a little is more dangerous to those who stand against him than his being ramped up to the max. I do not see the pathway. She can't really out liberal him, she can't cut him off at the feet without looking bad herself, she can't outfox him or out fight him. I guess she could antagonize him so he takes a swing at her and she can claim he is too aggressive for Congress and we need someone who is calmer but I am not sure if he falls for that.

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This is great news! We need more leaders like her in Washington. She has a lot of integrity, she has a deep understanding of the real-life implications of policy, she's inspiring, she's down to earth. More power to her.

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He can pull in billions for his Orange and Green pet projects in Somerville, but can only provide pennies for Roxbury and Mattapan.

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elected her to BEFORE the term is over just so she can seek a better job really shows integrity - not.

This practice has become all too common among our elected officials and needs to be curtailed.

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Just don't vote for her.

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If they can't run for another elected seat while still serving a term on an existing seat, how do you propose elected officials seek other elected office? Once you're on the odd-year-elections, you're stuck there forever, and have to abandon hopes of higher office? Or should they have to take a 1-5 year break from elected office, during which voters with notoriously short attention spans will forget their names?

This isn't a Capuano vs. Pressley issue, I'm genuinely confused about how you think federal House reps, senators, etc. get to where they are now.

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Working a job against your will is called slavery. Glad to hear you're down with that.

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This practice has become all too common among our elected officials

What do you mean "has become"? It's been common for generations. Probably since the earliest days of the US.

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If she's willing to let Althea Garrison take her seat, then it's pretty clear she doesn't give a damn about her constituency.

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I too have concerns about Althea Garrison, however, Ayanna Pressley is an At-Large city councilor: her "constituency" is the entire of Boston. I think running for Congress shows how much she *does* give a damn.

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Yes, we, all the citizens of Boston are her constituency. She's seriously off-base if she believes that we're better served by Pressley + Garrison, than by Capuano + Pressley.

I can dig having personal ambition, and I understand how she might feel this political moment is one that favors such a move. But it's really difficult to see how changing the current seatings would benefit us.

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I am a Capuano supporter and will be voting for him but I fail to see how you can insist that someone should be punished because they failed to garner significant opposition in their last race.

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Capuano is better than Lynch (the other Roslindale rep*) but I would much rather see legit challengers to all of our elected politicians, even if they are good ones. I didn't like Tito but I am very glad he at least ran against Walsh.

If we lose Pressley on the Council, in the end the impact on the city will be negligible. She is far from a swing vote at this point and there are lots of other motivated people on the council who will fight the same fights she would have.

* such a stupid gerrymander we have here in Roslindale.

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* such a stupid gerrymander we have here in Roslindale.

Amen to this!

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would be in for less than a year if Pressley moves up. And will open a spot on the council for more fresh faces to serve, to be decided in the 2019 election.

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Why all this focus on Althea? Wouldn't there be an election to replace Pressley in the (what I think to be unlikely) case she unseats Capuano? While Althea has been a perennial in every election, I don't think she would necessarily win an at-large Councilor seat. Or am I missing something here? (aside from the usual...)

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For at-large city council seats, if one is vacated, the 5th place person steps up. That's how Stephen Murphy got on the council back in the day.

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Wow! Althea Rising! Can't really believe that she would hold on like Murphy, but you never know.

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The candidates will probably keep it clean amongst themselves. But if Capuano has one lasting claim to fame, it's his vindictiveness and pettiness. Expect a lot of backroom threats and rages to local players re potentially supporting his opponent. Wasn't Marty's style vs. Tito. But Capuano is a bully to the bone.

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his vindictiveness and pettiness. Expect a lot of backroom threats and rages to local players

The Mike Capuano I know is one of the best congressmen in the US, and is extremely policy and results oriented. Vindictive and petty, not.

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Mike is agreeable enough, so long as you are agreeing with him. But if you don't happen to go along with his plan/lecture of the moment, then you're probably a fool or an enemy.

Vindictiveness? Here's a favorite . . the time he pulled a City years-long vending contract with a local printing company (sending the business outside of Somerville) when he found out that the company was also doing the flyers and stationery for a mayoral campaign against him. Pettiness? How about his opposition to single payer healthcare because of how long one of his in-laws was waitlisted for some treatment in Canada.

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One anecdote, one false statement

What printer?, When did the contract get pulled? What really happened? Who got the new contract and was it because they had a lower bid? Good story though.

As far as not supporting single payer , that is false. From Capuano's website

co-sponsored H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act to establish a national single-payer healthcare system

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Nice for Mike to piggyback onto Conyers 2015 going-nowhere bill. It's a good position. But meaningless in real terms and hardly an example of political courage.

The real fight for single payer was in the formation days of the ACA. Once the ACA became the signature legislation for Obama and the Dems, single payer as a working concept was tabled by the party. Back then - when it really mattered - Capuano was vocally against single payer. And for some pretty - shall we say - short-sighted reasons. If you don't believe me, ask him where he was on single payer before the Supreme Court validated the ACA as the law of the land, effectively and conveniently killing single payer in the near term. His current position - while admirable - is simply no-risk bandwagon jumping on his part.

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Thanks .You concur that Capuano supports single payer. But what about the allegations of vindictive termination of a printing contract?

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for me to unseat Mike Capuano, whom I've supported for decades (dating back to when he was a Somerville Alderman-at-Large).

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The "I'm a women of color" argument she'll loose my vote. Hopefully she does provide something compelling.

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Even if I sometimes disagree with an opinion of his, the informative quality of his newsletter is outstanding, and gives you a very clear picture what his view is on almost everything that is happening beyond just the most public bills or stories. And the "behind the curtain feature" is vital in this media climate where only the most traffic driving stories are publicized on extensively, while the administration does everything possible to bury the other stories. I've recommended it to plenty of people outside the district too.

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Congressman Capuano's newsletter is superior and more informative than any other politician at any level that I am aware of.
As Hux mentions, Capuano explains in detail what his votes and stances on issues. I urge anyone , even those that are not his constituents, to subscribe.

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But seniority is also important too.

It will be interesting to hear out their arguments!

...but walking away from a recently elected position just kinda gives me a dirty feeling though...

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They're elected every two years in odd years. They will always be "walking away from a recently elected position" if they run for anything above the municipal level.

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I suppose the same could apply to House members running for Senate seats. :)

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But seniority is also important too.

Only if they use that seniority to do something useful. If it's just something they cower behind and play it safe, not so much.

(not thinking of Capuano, thinking of my own rep who also has a lot of seniority)

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Can we abolish the city council already? Boston already is a mayoral dictatorship. Why bother paying these clowns to do nothing but run for other offices?

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Could we change the charter to give the city council some bite other than meaningless resolutions and tepid ordinances (plastic bags anyone)? I really would like to see the city council do away with the BPDA and get housing development done on a regional planning level similar to the MAPC. Imagine building traffic and housing in a cohesive way?

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and they gave it back to Walsh like they were Chuck Schumer understudies. If they hadn't reauthorized that charter then they could have had a lot more influence over development from my understanding.

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Urban renewal lets the BPDA buy and sell property (these days they mostly sell, lots of small house project that DND does only happen because the BPDA can sell the property) and give them authority on development in certain areas of the city. Taking that away wouldn't give it to city council, it would just change the tools that the BPDA has to try to manage development. And I say try because it's always been the mayor calling the shots. And his guys.

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"get" representative democracy. Maybe you want to check in with us again after you take that required sophomore elective on state and federal civics.

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Ayanna is doing an ok job. Mike is doing a great job. The choice is obvious to me.

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Guess it's just that a lot of the stories today around here are depressing to me. I could use some cute pictures of owls or something to lighten the mood.

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IMAGE(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/09/24/article-0-1838B69A00000578-261_634x402.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.meetyourmouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/barn-owl-with-mouse.jpg)

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adorbs!

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Rep. Capuano will be an upcoming guest on The Young Jurks in Feb. Date TBA.Will announce the date soon. Saturday nights at six on WEMFRadio.com. Thanks to Gaffin for his Tweeting about our shows lately!

Call in and help me ask him the questions most of you seem to have about this!

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