The Ward 3 Democratic Committee held a candidates night in Boston’s North End on October 25th, inviting those running for Boston Mayor and City Council At-Large to speak to constituents and answer questions from residents.
After the candidate presentations members of the Ward committee held a vote, endorsing incumbent Martin J. Walsh for Mayor in the City of Boston. For the four At-Large seats on Boston City Council, the committee endorsed sitting incumbents Michelle Wu, Michael Flaherty, Ayanna Pressley and Annissa Essabbi-George. The committee has previously endorsed Stephen Passacantilli for District 1 City Councilor and Michael Kelley for District 2.
Below is a timeline for the above video with (very) brief excerpts from the presentations. Please watch the video for the candidates full remarks!
Mayor of Boston Candidates
(55:50 in video) Tito Jackson
The City of Boston is at a crossroads. The question is whether we are going to be Boston or San Francisco. Are we going to have a middle and working class or are we going to push them out for luxury condos? … As Mayor, I would dismantle the Boston Redevelopment Authority (now BPDA). We would have a human-centered planning department. … Affordable housing is like “love”, it means different things to different people. … Right now, we require 13% as affordable for new developments, it’s 20% in Cambridge, I would increase it in Boston to 25%.
It’s critical we deal with homelessness. The Long Island Bridge is a stain on the city’s history. Mayor Walsh shut it down and 400 of the most vulnerable are being impacted. I would like to reopen it along with its services.
$11 million was cut this year from Boston Public Schools. We should fully fund the public schools. … Why bring Amazon, why bring General Electric if our kids cannot program computers.
We need to increase the safety in our neighborhoods. There are many neighborhoods experiencing huge increases in shootings. They are going up in the City of Boston. Only 4% of non-fatal shootings end in arrest. … I am a proponent of body cameras on police officers. They recently bought drones so they can buy cameras.
(1:30:00) City Councilor Sal LaMattina speaking on behalf of Mayor Marty Walsh
I want to thank the North End for the opportunity to serve you for the past 30 years. I am here tonight to support Mayor Walsh for reelection. … What I love about this Mayor, is that when I call him from the City Council, he gets me the help we need right away. … As a city councilor, I am big on basic services. I want my streets cleaned, I want good parks, I want safe streets and I want good schools. Look at the good things that have happened over the past four years under this Mayor.
Mayor Walsh is moving toward universal kindergarten. I commend him for continuing the renovations of the Eliot School on Commercial Street. He made a commitment to fix the Prado. We are repairing Langone and Puopolo Parks.
The mayor supported the study to get a new community center. I want to see something state-of-the-art in the North End, including an indoor swimming pool. I support the bid for Amazon at Suffolk Downs to help our budget for schools and parks.
In conclusion, I think he will be seen as one of the great mayors of Boston.
City Council At-Large
(1:00 in video) Annissa Essaibi George
Here I am for my first reelection. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on education given my background as a public school teacher. The bulk of my efforts on the council have been spent on homelessness, mental health and recovery issues in the city. My priority has been students facing homelessness, about 4,000 of the 57,000 students in Boston Public Schools.
(18:50) Michelle Wu
Our job on the city level seems to get more important every day. On top of city services, constituent services and schools, we are increasingly having to deal with defending our immigrant residents and climate change issues. My top three priorities are climate change, income inequality and racial disparities.
(37:00) Michael Flaherty
My experience and reputation on the council is to prioritize constituent issues. Your neighborhood is the closest to City Hall and you’ve told me that you are often the last to get the attention. … As far as Amazon, I think we as a city need to figure out how big we want to be. … With new development, no one really kept an eye on our struggling transportation system. … I am having expedited hearings on the small cell wireless poles that were installed with little to no community discussion. … Rats own our streets and parks in some instances and we need to combat this issue with dry ice.
(1:16:00) Domingos DaRosa
Some communities are represented better than others. I would like to change that. I worked in Boston community centers and some of these buildings are over 100 years old. We have a strong Mayor system and weak Council. I think we should challenge the Mayor on certain issues. There are different things we can do to make the city better. I’m just an average guy trying to make a difference and inspire the next generation.
(1:37:30) William King
I am 28 years old, born and raised in Boston. I entered the council race after being a student and then working at Boston Public Schools in their technology department. I think we are doing a disservice to our students by teaching to a test instead of life lessons to be independent, creative thinkers. I would like to see more vocational programs, college is not for everyone. I want students to graduate with a diploma and a certificate to be able to enter the workforce. On housing, we are pricing residents out of the city including our teachers. I want a 25-30% requirement on new development for affordable housing. I am going to be a councilor that is accessible and answer your calls. Climate change is also very important to me. I became a vegan to help the environment and traded in my car for an electric one.
(1:45:30) Campaign Manager, Ryan, on behalf of Ayanna Pressley
Ayanna has fought for equity and opportunity across Boston’s 23 neighborhoods. She has kept State lawmakers accountable on the war against drugs as cannabis becomes legal. She has worked on contracting and helping women in the trades. She has advocated for trauma services for BPS students. In Ward 3, she knows the concerns about AirBnb to ensure neighborhoods are not negatively affected. She is supporting Rep. Michlewitz’s legislation to regulate short-term rentals. She is following new and proposed developments in the North End as well as issues including parking and trash services. Councilor Pressley’s guiding philosophy is to make sure that everyone has an equitable opportunity to contribute to and to prosper.