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2013 elections

Fri, 08/02/2013 - 12:37pm

The Jamaica Plain Gazette takes a look at the race for city councilor in District 4 (Dorchester-to-Roslindale). Not surprisingly, the three challengers criticize incumbent Charles Yancey for running for both re-election and for mayor.

The Dorchester Reporter provides a list of upcoming mayoral forums. There are a lot of them, so you have no excuse not to miss one, other than perhaps terminal ennui.

CommonWealth graphs campaign ccntributions to our mayoral brood; finds a lot of money coming in from out of town.

Meet some of the candidates. The South End News covers a forum where some at-large and mayoral candidates appeared.

Thu, 08/01/2013 - 11:19am

Bill Walczak this week became the first mayoral candidate to oppose the East Boston casino. He details why:

As a person with a long career in public health, I know the social impacts associated with casinos. The consequences of adding a casino can be dire, especially for low-income and working class communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average salary for a Gaming Service Operation is $20,260 a year. These low-paying jobs will not sustain a vibrant community. A casino in East Boston will likely stifle the growth of the community and keep families from achieving middle class status. Beyond this, many studies prove that the economic impact of a casino is negative on a community. Casinos promoting local economies are an economic oxymoron — casinos extract money out of a local economy.

Rob Consalvo doesn't like banks that foreclose on properties and then leave them to moulder. He's proposing an ordinance under which banks that refuse to maintain their property would be billed by the city after it does the work, have a lien slapped on the property and then, if they don't pay the city within a year, the city would apply to take over the house, tear it down and sell it to a developer more willing to work with the city:

I don't care how big these banks are - if they own property in Boston - they will be good neighbors and maintain their property - or they'll find themselves foreclosed on and no longer doing business with the city.

Consalvo in front of a house in the Ozarks, um, Hyde Park.Consalvo this morning in front of a house in the Ozarks, um, Hyde Park.

David Bernstein pans Charlotte Golar Richie's feckless fizzle of a speech" at her official campaign kickoff.

On the plus side, Golar Richie has her own Android app.

Unions gave Marty Walsh a lot of money last month, but Dan Conley still has the most money left for the next couple of months of campaigning.

Hey, JP! Nomination papers become available Aug. 5 for people who want to run for a seat on the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, which may or may not be an official government body, depending on what day of the week it is and whom you ask.

Wed, 07/31/2013 - 2:40pm

The Globe reports only Charles Clemons - whom the Globe helpfully notes has only $3,200 in his campaign warchest - has no problems with excluding gays and lesbians from the annual South Boston parade. The Globe reports on other differences among the candidates as well (including, as we reported earlier, on charter schools).

Among those now frowning on the anti-LGBT tenor of the St. Patrick's parade is John Connolly, who has marched in the parade in the past. He released a series of LGBT-specific proposals today, including local funding for enforcement of a state anti-bullying law and an LGBT Youth Commission:

The Anti-Bullying Law was a good start, but it does not go far enough and it does not provide funding for schools to implement the law. As Mayor, I will not wait for the legislature, I will find the money to implement the law and will take any and all steps necessary to end bullying in our schools and online. BPS is doing the best it can with the resources it has, but it needs the full funding to ensure that all students are safe and secure at school and beyond.

Felix Arroyo is thinking about young'uns, too, with a plan for ending the achievement gap between white and minority students in BPS schools that includes more pre-school slots, longer school days, beefed up STEM teaching, better vocational training and curriculum sections that "better reflect the socio-economic conditions of the student population and are culturally relevant."

Arroyo does not say how he will pay for all this.

Adrian Walker declares John Connolly and Felix Arroyo panderers for supporting an East Boston-only vote on the proposed Suffolk Downs casino:

No one disputes that East Boston will be the neighborhood most affected by an East Boston casino. However, a casino would sit on a road we all pay for and will be policed by cops we all pay for. If, heaven forbid, someone falls ill while losing at the blackjack table, he or she will be whisked away in an ambulance we all pay for. So despite what politicians say, it’s not as though East Boston will bear all the impact here.

The Herald reports Dan Conley is returning $350 in donations from three of his underlings, who "defied" his edict not to give him any money, damnit.

Tue, 07/30/2013 - 7:56pm

John Barros is calling for creation of neighborhood green task forces:

These broad stakeholder groups will identify key priorities, launch local initiatives, and review our performance to provide feedback and ideas on how we can accelerate progress.These neighborhood task forces will then come together and work with the Green Ribbon Commission to develop a city-wide plan that will keep Boston a beacon for the rest of the world.In this process, we must address our local vulnerabilities, as well as remedy the environmental disparities that still exist in low-income neighborhoods. No neighborhood can be left behind in Boston’s green future. As demonstrated in Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, the most resilient cities are the ones that have robust community leadership and social networks.

Marty Walsh wants to spend $1 billion over 10 years to renovate existing schools and build some new ones; says it's time to not only ensure quality schools in neighborhoods with growing populations of kids but to take advantage of a state school construction program:

The 10-year, $1 billion school construction initiative will be funded 70 to 75 percent by qualifying state reimbursement and 25 to 30 percent by construction bonds paid by creating efficiencies/reducing redundancies in City and School Department functions, charitable contributions, and income from property sales and rentals. Redirecting $20 million from the current City budget each year - roughly the amount contributed from the meals tax to the City's general fund – could provide the revenue for the City's contribution to the school building initiative without placing an additional burden on taxpayers.

A series of groups are sponsoring a mayoral forum on "pathways to education and employment for out-of-school youth and young adults" on Thursday. It starts at 5 p.m. at the Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center.

David Bernstein asks at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley why she decided to run for re-election rather than for mayor.

Teamsters Local 25 is putting its broad shoulders behind Flaherty, Kelly, McCarthy, Pressley and Wu for at-large seats. It had previously endorsed Marty Walsh for mayor.

Mon, 07/29/2013 - 1:22pm

Joe Nucci tries to will Charlotte Golar Richie into the final. Adrian Walker, though, says he would have trouble supporting somebody whose positions are all half baked on a waffle iron.

Joe Battenfeld seems disappointed Dan Conley isn't the clear and obvious front runner and seriously brings up the possibility that voters are too stupid to tell the difference between him and John Connolly.

Speaking of Irish-Americans from West Roxbury (one of whom has gray hair, the other black, sheesh), the Globe reports state Rep. Carlo Basile of East Boston has endorsed Connolly rather than Conley, whom he initially backed but then un-backed after Conley called for a citywide referendum on the Suffolk Downs casino proposal, rather than that Eastie-only vote backed by Basile and Tom Menino.

Felix Arroyo might be the first candidate this year to get an endorsement from a Pulitzer Prize winner, in his case, Junot Diaz, who is traveling to Boston from all the way across the river in Cambridge for a fundraiser at Vejigantes in the South End tomorrow night.

David Bernstein tries to figure out what the turnout will be and chats with at-large council candidate Jeff "No relation to Mike" Ross.

Some pro-charter group is hosting a forum on the future of BPS without inviting anybody from BPS - and claiming the event is sponsored by another city agency when it isn't, the Mission Hill Gazette reports.

Sun, 07/28/2013 - 9:48pm

Finally, the return of the campaign song.

In less melodic news, Rob Consalvo throws his support behind rubber baby buggy bumpers, um, rubber sidewalks.

They're easier on tender hips and knees and help recycle tires, he says. And next time your kids are bouncing off the walls, just send them outside to bounce off the sidewalks instead.

Charlotte Golar Richie says she'll unveil her plan to make Boston a better place, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley St., Roxbury.

The Jamaica Plain Gazette looks at the issue of non-profits and how much they pay the city in lieu of taxes, but doesn't once mention at-large Councilor Steve Murphy, who's been fighting for more PILOT money for years. Don't worry, Murph fans, the Herald today has him wagging his finger at Emerson College, which has been quietly buying up the Alley off Boylston Street in preparation for a major new dorm.

The Dorchester Reporter reminds us that Aug. 13 is the Democratic primary to pick a candidate to replace state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, who's now a state senator.

Thu, 07/25/2013 - 11:49pm

Walczak at the beach.

Bill Walczak traveled to Malibu Beach today to push an agenda for dealing with climate change by both preparing the city for a rising sea - increased protection of buffering marshes and other steps to protect local buildings and infrastructure - and decreasing the city's production of greenhouse gases.

Among his proposals: 24-hour T service and converting bus and commuter-rail lines to electric service to reduce diesel emissions.

Compare to John Connolly's environmental blueprint.

Note: The Walczak campaign, which sent us this photo, did not explain why their candidate was holding a plastic light saber.

Rob Consalvo, meanwhile, released his detailed plan to fight crime, that focuses on technology - think ShotSpotter - and both citywide and neighborhood-specific programs, such as more summer jobs in crime-heavy areas.

John Connolly released a new video about education:

Yvonne Abraham basically called Charles Yancey's mayoral run a fraud.

The Herald looked at Hispanic voters and developers.

David Bernstein talked with Jean-Claude Sanon, running for Consalvo's District 5 city-council seat.

Tue, 07/23/2013 - 9:59am

Marty Walsh, himself a recovering alcoholic, says one of the first things he'd do as mayor is set up a city Office of Recovery Services:

As my team laid out their research on the wide range of issues and services we will address in a Walsh Administration, it became all too clear that there aren't enough detox beds, and accessing services that are available is trying and can be overwhelming for addicts in need and their families.

My Office of Recovery Services will focus on navigating the system for addicts, enabling their use of the services critical to recovery. We'll work to identify additional detox beds for Bostonians ready to take that critical first step. We continue to work out particulars, but the Office of Recovery Services will provide a 24-hour referral line, and will advocate for more and better delivery of services.

Rob Consalvo says stolen phones can be tracked through their GPSes, so why not get gun manufacturers to embed GPS chips in their products? That's one of Consalvo's ideas for using technology to fight crime. Also on his list: Exapnd the ShotSpotter program, which uses microphones mounted in high-crime areas to detect gunfire, to more parts of the city, creating a voluntary registry of privately owned surveillance cameras, and controlling traffic lights to speed cruisers, fire trucks and ambulances to emergencies.

Charlotte Golar Richie holds a "youth summit" on Saturday to "discuss issues related to the criminal justice system and its impact on the city's youth," as well as unemployment and dropout and crime rates. 4-6 p.m. in the Roxbury YMCA Multipurpose Room, 285 Martin Luther King Blvd.

The Globe reports that unlike Walsh, who wants the School Committee to stop right this second with its work to find a new school superintendent, Bill Walczak wants the committee to at least be ready to hit the ground running when he becomes mayor.

MassPoliticsProfs compares Dan Conley's money with Walsh's large organization:

So we may soon have a lesson in the importance of money versus volunteer power in the mayoral election.

Mon, 07/22/2013 - 9:31am

The Ward 21 Democratic Committee (Allston/Brighton, Fenway) likes Mike Ross, calling him the innovation candidate.

Speaking of Allston/Brighton, John Connolly went on a bicycle tour of the neighborhoods, which have more bike collisions than any others, this morning. Connolly says as mayor, he'd add money to the city budget for dedicated "cycle tracks."

The Jamaica Plain Gazette interviews Charlotte Golar Richie about why she wants to be mayor.

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 10:57am

And the gloves come off in what had been a fairly genteel campaign. Rob Consalvo wants Democrats for Education Reform to back away from Boston. In a letter to the head of the Washington-based group, which is now pouring money and volunteers into an effort to get John Connolly elected, Consalvo writes:

We don't know where that money comes from, but we know it comes with one purpose: to further your agenda. ...

If you care about Boston, please understand that our city needs a mayor who will be beholden to the people, not outside groups like yours who care first and foremost about their own agenda.

Consalvo's complete letter is attached.

Meanwhile, CommonWealth ponders an effort by lunchpail union guy Marty Walsh to win over the earthy-crunchers of Jamaica Plain.

Seth McCoy interviews at-large Council candidates Annissa George, Ramon Soto and Althea Garrison:

Thu, 07/18/2013 - 3:30pm

John Connolly today unveiled a plan under which every high school in the city would be paired with local busineses, colleges and trade unions or community organizations to better prepare students for the work world:

Each high school would work with its partners to develop a college pathway and a vocational pathway focused on a specific industry or academic field. The partners would help develop curriculum, provide internships to students, and offer resources and people to assist teachers in implementing the curriculum, and allow the use of their facilities for learning.

Partners would agree to offer admission, scholarships, employment and/or job training to those students who graduate and satisfy established criteria.  The proposal also calls for the establishment of a scholarship fund that will ensure that graduates who meet criteria receive scholarships or financial aid sufficient to fully cover tuition, fees, books, and other related costs.  Non-profits, including colleges and universities, that contribute to the scholarship fund will receive a reduction in their PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) obligations to the City of Boston.

More of his proposal is attached below.

Last month, Connolly proposed fast-tracking development projects by local non-profits that agreed to pay for capital projects within BPS facilities.

John Barros, meanwhile, today released a plan of his own, calling for a cradle-to-grave (well, first job) "citywide learning system" that would include new pre-school centers, busting up Court Street in favor of giving all BPS schools charter-like autonomy and a single application process for both BPS and local charter schools. He'd work with local colleges to create "pathways" for Boston students to graduate into.

His plan is attached below as well.

Marty Walsh wants BPS to immediately stop its work on hiring a replacement for Carol Johnson, who recently resigned as superintendent:

To start the process without the input from the mayor who will lead the city during the tenure of the next superintendent makes no sense. It is wrong to rush opportunities for community input during the summer. It also makes no sense to run the selection process at the same time as the election and lose the benefit of the public debate about the future of our schools. It is unnecessary to rush through the process when a new superintendent will not likely be available to begin a new position until the end of the school year.

Some of the strongest candidates may be among current superintendents who have the knowledge and experience to lead a major urban district. It is also likely that some of the strongest candidates will not jeopardize their current situation to work in Boston with a mayor who may or may not share their vision. It makes no sense to limit the pool of potential candidates or risk the cost of a second search that more inclusive.

In non-education news, David Bernstein chats with once and maybe future at-large Councilor Michael Flaherty.

A WGBH reporter rides around town and notices that people have put up campaign signs.

If you're in Allston/Brighton, the Ward 21 Democratic Committee is hosting a candidate's night tonight, 6-8:30 p.m. at the West End Boys and Girls Club on Allston Street. Mayoral hopefuls John Connolly, Rob Consalvo, Charlotte Golar Richie, Mike Ross and Bill Walczak and at-large council candidates Martin Keogh, Stephen Murphy, Catherine O'Neill, Gareth Saunders and Michelle Wu are scheduled to attend.

Tue, 07/16/2013 - 9:49pm

The Herald reports on the first round of polling by itself and Suffolk University.

One sage pundit quoted as wondering when Deval Patrick will start knocking some heads together to try to get at least one of the "progressive" minority candidates into the final.

David Bernstein notes the poll skews white, with 64% of respondents saying that's what they were.

Among those in the second tier: Dan Conley, whose campaign announced it will start running a series of TV spots, including this one on guns:

Watch the others.

The ads probably won't be enough to convince Chris Faraone to vote for Conley; not after Faraone writes today about Conley's troubling record of clearing cops who kill minorities.

In his role as chairman of the City Council's Committee on Public Safety, Mike Ross convenes a hearing on gun violence in Boston, Wednesday at 5 p.m. Hibernian Hall, 182-186 Dudley St.

Good news for people who have been wondering where Rob Consalvo's been campaigning - his Web site now has a Google map that pinpoints every single campaign appearance he's made. What? No stop at Sullivan's at Castle Island yet?

One-time mayoral candidate Mel King joins a protest over the lack of affordable housing in Chinatown at noon, Wednesday at 300 Harrison Ave.

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 7:08pm

The Dorchester Reporter alerts us that Felix Arroyo is buying spots on Univision and Telemundo.

Meanwhile, Mike Ross is concentrating on an Old Spice Guy-like series of 12-second Instagram video replies to questions posed to him via social media, as well as answers to questions you probably realize after the fact you would have loved to ask him, such as why Good Will Hunting is the greatest Boston movie ever:

The Herald looks at the changing demographics of the North End, where loyalty still counts for something, which is how Rob Consalvo got some big-ass signs up in the neighborhood, but where Charlotte Golar Richie is now attracting fans.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 5:21pm

Rob Consalvo says he just wants to "prevent shadowy groups funded by anonymous donors from dominating and meddling in the race" for mayor and today called on his opponents to either reject money from these wraith-like groups or donate half the amount to the One Fund.

"In principle, sounds like a good idea," the Conley campaign tweeted in reply.

Meanwhile, WBUR reports a group called Democrats for Education Reform (also see) is backing John Connolly, who, like them, wants more charter schools (Consalvo is against lifting the ban on charter schools). It's hired several field coordinators and round up 150 volunteers to promote Connolly.

At-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley went on Greater Boston recently to discuss her push for more liquor licenses for Boston:

The Dorchester Reporter reports that mayoral candidates Dan Conley would continue Mayor Menino's fight against Wal-Mart in Boston. Consalvo and Bill Walczak said they'd be willing to consider letting the chain move in, but only if workers were allowed to unionize.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 10:53am

City Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain) tweeted last night:

Next week I'll be proposing a city council ordinance to prevent a SharkNado outbreak along the East Coast.

Our newest state rep, Jay Livingstone (D-Beacon Hill, Back Bay) has endorsed John Connolly for mayor rather than his own district councilor, Mike Ross.

Meanwhile, the Mission Hill Gazette interviews Michael Nichols, who is running for Ross's district seat and who says Mission Hill needs an advocate in the City Council (note: Ross lives on Mission Hill) - he points to the way BPS moved the Mission Hill K-8 School to Jamaica Plain as an example (note: Ross fought the move).

Charles Clemons won the top slot on the September primary ballot in the bingo game at the city elections department yesterday. On the at-large part of the ballot, Martin Keogh will be first, followed by Ayanna Pressley and then the 17 other candidates. Complete list.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 7:55pm

The Herald reports on Charlotte Golar Richie's efforts to round up black and women support as she tries to become Boston's first black and first female mayor (tsk, the Herald left out that she'd also be our first mayor from Brooklyn).

David Bernstein, though, analyzes past election numbers from black precincts and concludes simply being black won't be enough to get out the vote.

Speaking of Bernstein, he argues Larry Harmon in the Globe took a bit of a cheap shot at John Connolly for supporting Charles Yancey's eternal effort to get a Mattapan High School. Although it might not make sense in a year when the school department is reporting lots of empty seats at existing schools, Bernstein notes Connolly wasn't pandering because he's supported the proposal since 2009.

Martin Keogh, running for one of the four at-large council seats, reports he's been endorsed by Ironworkers Local 7, Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 and IBEW Local 2222.

Tue, 07/09/2013 - 9:08pm

With an environment-focused forum today (WBUR reports), several candidates announced proposals dealing with environmental, energy and climate-change issues.

John Connolly released an environmental blueprint, which includes installing enough solar panels to generate 100 MW of power by 2020, dramatically boost recycling and decrease landfill use, promote energy-saving programs in Boston homes. Also:

While we should never see climate adaptation as an excuse not to be aggressive on mitigation, we do have to fully prepare for climate change's impacts. That's why I also propose convening a panel of climate scientists, civil engineers, and other leading experts to do for the Boston area what Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently unveiled for New York City: a sweeping, detailed plan to examine our critical infrastructure and offer concrete recommendations for changes we must make to become more resilient.

Connolly also announced that Ian Bowles, a former state secretary of energy and environmental affairs - and current JP resident - has joined his campaign as a senior advisor.

Rob Consalvo "will only appoint a director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority who has experience with the impact of climate change and the expansion of alternative energy on development." He'd also pledge to make the city carbon neutral by 2050, ensure Hubway stations in every neighborhood and expand the T. More.

Dan Conley called for a 50% reduction in local air pollution, a city program to help Bostonians pay to switch to renewable energy.

The air pollution coming out of Boston Harbor isn't just an environmental issue. It's a health issue that affects us all, but falls especially hard on the residents of East Boston, South Boston, and Dorchester that are closest to the Bay. Asthma disproportionately affects African-Americans, Latinos, and our city's poorest communities.

Felix Arroyo wants the city to sell off any investments in fossil-fuel companies.

Mon, 07/08/2013 - 9:16am

Charlotte Golar Richie announced this morning Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree has joined her campaign as a senior advisor:

She's an excellent candidate with deep roots in the community, rich experience in government and a vision for the city.

Larry Harmon reports City Councilor John Connolly, who's been positioning himself as the education candidate, voted for fellow hopeful Charles Yancey's perpetual campaign to build a high school in Mattapan - the same week school officials were acknowledging city high schools have too many seats (Memo to Yancey and Connolly: Roslindale doesn't have a high school, either).

Marty Walsh's campaign announced their man is not just a Dot rat - he's opened campaign offices across the city, including "HYDE PARK 614 Hyde Park Ave.," a location that's actually in Roslindale (so we may not have a high school, but at least we have a campaign office - two actually, since Connolly's citywide HQ is on Belgrade Avenue).

The Herald reports some mayoral hopefuls gave the media higher campaign-receipt numbers than they filed in their official reports with the state.

Wed, 07/03/2013 - 11:55am

David Bernstein interviews the perpetual candidate, this year running for one of the four at-large seats on the City Council.

Fri, 06/28/2013 - 9:21am

Josh Dawson proposes:

Mayor Menino has around $525k in his campaign account. He should use that money to pay for his name being taken off of all of these signs and banners throughout the city, and use some of the time he has left in office to sign an ordinance prohibiting any future mayor from using public property for their own name recognition purposes.