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GOOD RIDDANCE: FAREWELL TO THE MAYORAL CLASS OF 2013

NEWS_Menino-1

 With such a sweet graduating class, we see no standout valedictorian,
but rather a combined force poised to help Boston forge ahead. 

To fair weather spectators, the current mayoral sprint has primarily been a gruesome quarrel underway since Labor Day, with our dozen hopefuls kicking and politicking for the final few weeks of their fight for the top spot. But for those of us who have been ogling the race since even before Mayor Tom Menino announced his imminent retirement in late March, it feels like we’ve been chasing them around for years. Though politicians are typically reprehensible rubes—with a few exceptions—this is a remarkable smorgasbord of candidates that Boston should be proud to choose from. They are accomplished bureaucrats and public servants, activist-minded, and most importantly, not completely full of shit. With such a sweet graduating class, we see no standout valedictorian, but rather a combined force poised to help Boston forge ahead. As such, for those who haven’t been tracking their every move and blunder, we’ve parsed the candidates  accordingly in the accessible voter matrix before you. As for which pair will prevail through the preliminary … it’s something unpredictable, but in the end, it’s your right to choose—not ours.

We hope they had the time of their lives, though, because we sure as hell enjoyed tailing them around the Hub.

Felix Arroyo
Address: 93 Wachusett Street, Jamaica Plain
Now: Boston City Councilor (At-Large)
Then: Field and Political Director for the SEIU Local 615
Though sometimes cited
as being less than serious enough
(and, at 34, too young)
to be mayor of Boston,
Arroyo—the race’s sole Latino contender—
has nevertheless built
a Teflon coalition of everyone
from minorities to progressives,
from Hyde Park to East Boston.
An underdog to watch for sure.

 

John Barros
Address: 48 Virginia Street, Dorchester
Now: Dudley Square Neighborhood Initiative Executive Director
Then: Boston School Committee Member; Co-owner of Restaurante Cesaria
Suddenly a rising favorite
due to star turns in recent forums,
Barros is an entrepreneurial
bleeding heart who has built
more affordable housing units
than any of his rivals.
It’s becoming cliche to say this,
but if he fails to graduate from this round,
expect to see more of
him in the near future.

 

Charles Clemons
Address: 60 Rosseter Street, Dorchester
Now: Co-owner and radio host at TOUCH-106.1FM
Then: Boston Police Department officer; small business owner
Though John Connolly is often credited
as getting in the race first—
before Menino stepped down,
even—in reality
that stripe belongs to Clemons,
the sometimes socially conservative and
community-minded Roxbury father figure
who announced his candidacy in mid-2011,
but only found his rhetorical
stride in the final few debates.

 

 

Dan Conley
Address:
265 Corey Street, West Roxbury
Now: Suffolk County District Attorney
Then: Boston City Councilor (District 5)
The most frightening candidate by far,
DA Conley has a troubling history
of clearing police officers
who beat and kill
unarmed minorities,
and recently called two prominent
black activists “knuckleheads”
at a community forum in Roxbury.
If you have even
the smallest bit of decency,
Conley’s not your guy.

 

 

John Connolly
Address: 12 Shaw Street, West Roxbury
Now: Boston City Councilor (At-Large)
Then: Teacher, Attorney at Schofield, Campbell & Connolly, LLC.
Connolly calls himself
the education candidate,
and positioned himself
for a mayoral push
by spending 2012 fighting the
outdated Boston school
assignment system.
Ostensibly, however,
his most tangible school-related
accomplishment has been finding
expired food in cafeteria freezers.

 

 

Rob Consalvo
Address: 18A Chittick Road, Hyde Park
Now: Boston City Councilor (District 5)
Then: Aide to Massachusetts State Rep. Angelo Scaccia; Aide to U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy
Often seen as an obvious heir to Menino—
both are Italian, from Hyde Park,
and on the shorter side—
Consalvo has come into his own
persona this election,
dominating several forums
and acting mayorly, if that’s such a thing.
Furthermore; for what he lacks in
radical liberalism,
the councilor has seemingly
made up for in support from
public school teachers.

 

Charlotte Golar Richie
Address: 29 Percival Street, Dorchester
Now: Senior VP at YouthBuild USA
Then: Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (5th Suffolk); Executive Director of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development.
Though she is probably
the most qualified candidate
due to her extensive advocacy
and legislative experience
—plus the only female in the group—
it is believed by many political observers that
Golar Richie ran a lackluster campaign.
Whether voters feel
the same way, however,
is yet to be seen.

 

 

Mike Ross
Address: 214 Parker Hill Avenue, Mission Hill
Now: Boston City Councilor (District Eight)
Then: Attorney at Prince Lobel Tye LLP; Aide to Mayor Thomas Menino
If ever there’s a clever liberal hipster candidate
who’s deservingly adored by everyone
from Back Bay debutantes
to bistro owners
and bicycle folk, it’s Ross.
The big question, of course,
is whether many
of them actually vote.

 

 

 

 

Bill Walczak
Address: 20 Rockmere Street, Dorchester Recent: VP of Community Relations at Shawmut Design and Construction
Then: Co-founder of the Codman Square Health Center
Widely regarded as
the smartest of the contenders—
often referring to himself as
the only C.E.O. in the race, albeit a benevolent one
with non-profit experience—
Walczak has the tendency to
get frustrated around people
who aren’t so swift.
Which is, unfortunately, pretty much everybody
in the Hub’s political orbit.

 

 

 

Marty Walsh
Address: 12 Tuttle Street #1, Dorchester
Now: Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (13th Suffolk)
Then: Union laborer; Head of Boston Building Trades
To the casual observer,
Marty Walsh is the token union guy in this race,
with labor groups across the country
pumping cash into his war chest.
His high polling numbers, however,
are more reflective of the rep’s hustle,
mostly reliably progressive voting record,
and personability.

 

 

 

David James Wyatt
Address:
62 Weaver Court, Roxbury
Now: Boston Herald Delivery Man
Then: City Council Candidate; BPS Teacher
The closest thing
this race has to
a Tea Party nut job,
Wyatt is running on
a pro-life platform
for a seat that has
nothing whatsoever
to do with abortion.

 

 

 

Charles Yancey
Address: 3 Hooper Street, Dorchester
Now: Boston City Councilor (District 4)
Then: He’s been in office for 30 years
At first considered a serious candidate
due to his tireless advocacy
for countless constituents,
Yancey went on to make a joke
of his campaign by
simultaneously running for
his City Council seat,
and by incessantly announcing,
“My name is Charles Yancey,
and I am running for
mayor of the City of Boston.”

 

Drinking Game:

Final Forum Before Prelim: September 19th
Place: The Boston Foundation, WBUR and UMass Boston’s McCormack School, UMass Boston Campus Center Address: 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Dorchester Time: 7-9pm live streamed and on WBUR.org

Shot:
When Connolly says “Apple Store”
Sip of Beer: When Ross says how much he loves Cambridge
Half Beer: When Yancey says his own name
Full Beer: When Arroyo uses his soft voice
Bong Hit: When Conley cuts off a black opponent
Keg Stand: When Golar Richie takes a definitive position

Final Homework Assignments
Commonwealth Magazine: “The Natural,” “Vote Hunting,” “The Yancey Show” by Paul McMorrow
Boston Magazine: “A Tale of Two Schools” by Rob Gurwitt, Everything by David Bernstein
Jamaica Plain Gazette: All “Politics As Unusual”
Dorchester Reporter: Everything by Gintautas Dumcius
WGBH & WBUR: Candidate Interviews




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