Before anything else, the Parent Imperfect needs to say that Connie’s classmate featured in the Everyday Heroism post seems to be well on her way to recovery. She was over here on Saturday night for a birthday sleepover and seemed to be among the most energetic (and sassy) of the bunch. I knew she was fine when she slipped downstairs in the early morning with an accomplice and raided the container of brownies that Liz thought she had hidden. Our special guest passed on the roller skating part of the party and it will be definitely be a while before she is back on the soccer field, but, at least on the surface, she’s very much the same girl who we saw at soccer practice two nights before the re-writing of the hero and sandwich story. Miracles happen!
In just about an hour, at 7AM, the polls will open for the first round of voting in the elections for Mayor and City Council in Boston. They’ll be open until 8 tonight and in those 13 hours a field of 12 candidates for mayor of Boston will be narrowed to just 2. It is with no particular pride that I admit that I have not cast a vote in a Boston mayoral election since the last “open” election in 1983, when Mel King made his “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” run for the office. I was out of the City for almost ten of those years, but this is still an impressive record of non-participation.
This is a very different election. There are 12 candidates, many of whom I know as people with progressive politics on a lot of issues. Good friends have taken the time to try to convince Liz and I to vote for six of the candidates. Ironically, it is this plethora of progressives that may well propel two of the less progressive candidates into the next round. How’s that for a parable of politics in the 21st century? The polls say that almost 20% of the electorate remains undecided. Incredibly, both Liz and I are among that 20%.
In truth, it was John Connolly who first caught my attention. When it was just Connolly and the Mayor, I was very interested–without illusions–in Connolly as a thoughtful voice of change on education and many other things. I remembered him and his family coming to fundraisers for the Hernández years ago, and expressing real interest in why our kids were at the school and what I thought about the schools, in general.
They the Mayor decided not to run again, and the field exploded. From his perch on the School Committee, John Barros caught my eye on the school assignment debate, but then he joined the majority of candidates lining up behind the Mayor’s proposal to pass state legislation removing the cap on in-district charter schools. If you’ve read this blog at all, you know that is a non-starter for me. I may well vote for John when the time comes later today, the thrill is diminished.
Other candidates are surely attractive…Charlotte Golar-Richie, Felix Arroyo, Michael Ross, Marty Walsh and Rob Consalvo are all supported by friends whose perspective I value. Consalvo, in particular, has said things on education that have turned my head and made me wonder where those views have been during his years as my city councilor. Felix Arroyo has grown up around my community as a progressive, if not radical, hip-hop artist and labor activist. Walsh is a labor candidate who doesn’t hide his working-class background. Charlotte is a progressive African-American woman who has been working with YouthBuildUSA, etc. etc. Perhaps most intriguing of all, Michael Ross has done great work in the City Council, opposed lifting the charter cap and he memorably quipped that he might be the first elected official in Boston who can claim to have graduated dead last in his class at the nation’s oldest public school.
Friends in other cities all say that they’d love to have one of these candidates as a serious candidate for Mayor in their city. I very much hope that one of these six of these makes it into the next round against the likely winner, John Connolly, but should I cast my vote for the one I think has the best chance, rather than the one I like the most? I don’t think so…
If you live in Boston, I hope you make it to the polls. What’s stoppin’ ya’?
- John R. Connolly leads crowded Boston mayoral field in new poll (boston.com)
- Boston prelim vote 1st step in choosing next mayor (boston.com)
- 12 vie in Boston mayor race to succeed Menino (boston.com)
- Boston Mayor Race : the Strategy of Felix G. Arroyo (hereandsphere.com)
- Boston Says Goodbye to Mayor Menino (nation.time.com)
- For Boston’s Asian-American Community, A Political Arrival (wbur.org)