For the Dig‘s endorsement of Marty Walsh for mayor, click HERE.
BOSTON CITY COUNCIL
City Hall will be a markedly altered beast without the crop of current councilors who ran for mayor and already lost. But while we’re sad to see Felix G. Arroyo (At-Large), Rob Consalvo (District 5), and Mike Ross (District Eight) leave, we’re excited and a bit relieved at the prospect of promising pols like Frank Baker (District 3), Matt O’Malley (District 6), and Ayanna Pressley (At-Large) sticking around. We endorse those three, plus incumbents Mark Ciommo (District 9) and failed mayoral candidate Charles Yancey (District 4)–the latter of whom is still running for the seat he’s held for three decades–on the merit of their consistent constituent representation.
In District 5, we stand with Jean-Claude Sanon,
a passionate Haitian-American community advocate and radio host. His success already speaks to the power of that growing ethnic block in Boston politics, and that’s a great thing.
On the opposite side of town, in District 8, we choose civic booster
Mike Nichols over Josh Zakim, whose seeming coziness with businesses
across the board is troubling for someone
who claims such staunchly liberal laurels.
For the most contested race around, in District 2, it should go without saying that we back brilliant newcomer Suzanne Lee over wet City Hall sofa Bill Linehan, who we’ve found to be an asshole for some time, but who has really shown his stripes in this election.
For more new blood, we back
the staunchly anti-casino underdog Brian Gannon
Sal LaMattina in District 1.
District 7 was a much tougher decision. Current Councilor Tito Jackson is the coolest guy around, and said personality has opened doors for Roxbury that were previously closed during the contentious tenure of Chuck Turner. At the same time, the Dudley Square and Grove Hall areas need more than just a dedicated and beloved servant–they need someone willing to form massive and aggressive coalitions that will descend on City Hall like a mob. Longtime outspoken activist Jamarhl Crawford has proven he can apply such pressure. We recommend him for Roxbury, especially since Jackson could make a fine addition to the next mayoral administration in any number of capacities.
Which brings us to the citywide seats. In addition to Pressley, we endorse Michelle Wu, whose deep connection with voters has mesmerized us. No offense to former Councilor-At-Large Michael Flaherty and longtime fixture Stephen Murphy, both of whom have served this city well, but for our last two choices we pick Annissa Essaibi-George, a Dorchester small business owner, and Jeff Ross, a reliable progressive voice who, if elected, would be our only gay council member. Regardless of how this plays out, though, Boston can rest assured that the chamber will at least be in reasonable hands.
CAMBRIDGE CITY COUNCIL
We can’t think of a person we would rather see in office anywhere in Massachusetts than Nadeem Mazen, a former Occupy Boston media team member and co-founder of the Central Square design and laser magic outfit Danger!Awesome. A forward-thinker of the highest order, Mazen can help bring Cambridge City Hall into this century. Otherwise, while there are 25 hopefuls vying for nine seats–many of whom are no doubt talented in their own ways–we can only confidently recommend incumbent Craig Kelley, who has fought against popular but unfortunate measures in the past, plus small business advocate Janneke House and another newcomer, Dennis Carlone, who has area activists and tech smarties alike stoked about his candidacy. It’s about time that younger Cambridge residents made their voices heard at the ballot box.
SOMERVILLE BOARD OF ALDERMEN
As the Dig discovered while doing research for our recent series on municipal chicanery in Somerville, City Hall there is essentially run like a pay-to-play political machine in 1952. In the ward races, there are four candidates who could help curb the apparent criminal enterprise that is the All-America City: Iraq War veteran and labor organizer Matt McLaughlin in Ward 1, true progressive Suzanne Bremer in Ward 3, School Committee member Mark Niedergang in Ward 5, and longtime community voice Katjana Ballantyne (over local legacy Joe Capuano) in Ward 7. Most importantly, for Alderman-At-Large seats, we endorse all-around everyday guy Sean Fitzgerald and Bill White, the latter of whom has been one of the few Somerville pols with the courage to speak out against the municipality’s enduring plague of mismanagement.