Boston mayoral candidate, Martin “Marty” Walsh, held a “meet and greet” event on Monday night for North End voters at Carmelina’s on Hanover Street. NEWNC President Stephen Passacantilli has joined the “Walsh for Mayor” campaign and introduced the candidate to the crowd. Attendees also enjoyed some of Carmelina’s favorites by Chef and business owner Damien DiPaola, including his famous arancini and meatballs.
Walsh, a Dorchester native, spoke about his experience as a state lawmaker and his priorities for Boston’s neighborhoods should he be elected Mayor. He addressed concerns about planning and development issues related to the Boston Redevelopment Authority and how he would incorporate master planning in the process. He noted an opportunity to bring more attention to Downtown Boston as a focus development area, similar to what Mayor Menino has done with the Seaport and Innovation District. A supporter of workforce housing rather than just affordable housing, Walsh spoke about the need for more industry and business-oriented commercial development that could create jobs.
Marty Walsh would start his term as Mayor with a focus on transportation, traffic and parking issues. He said voters are complaining about the extreme bottlenecks in downtown and throughout the city. Walsh is also following the prospects for a casino at Suffolk Downs or Everett. Especially in the case of Everett, he would support mitigation for the North End and Downtown Boston to help offset the expected traffic problems.
Regarding schools, he wants to bring Principal Traci Griffith’s Eliot School model to the rest of Boston Public Schools. For small businesses, he promised to boost city services to accommodate tourist centric areas, such as the North End, that generate much of the City’s revenue. A supporter of urban parks, he mentioned greater use of the North End’s ballfields and said the Greenway Conservancy should have to sit down with surrounding neighborhoods to make sure they are serving the community. He also heard from some citizens about sidewalk problems on the Freedom Trail, excessive ticketing, open space issues and the need for a supermarket near the North End.
Photos by Matt Conti.