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City Council At-Large Candidate Profile: Michael Flaherty

A son of South Boston, Michael Flaherty is one of 8 candidates on the final ballot for Boston City Council at-Large.  He is no stranger to local politics. He served on the Boston City Council, as well as ran for mayor of Boston in 2009.  He was also elected to City Council at-Large four years ago and is running for re-election on November 7th. He is married to Laurene (Farrell) and the father of four children, Patrick, Michael, Ella and Jack.  Here’s a little Q&A with Michael Flaherty:

Why do you want to be re-elected?
Since my return to the Boston City Council, I have worked hard everyday to ensure that the residents of Boston have a voice on the city council. Whether it’s day-to-day constituent services, proposing legislation to improve our city, or a residents’ personal matter, I am always here to help.

Development and overdevelopment is an issue that is important to our neighborhood of South Boston.  How do you plan to ensure that there is affordable housing for working class and middle class families to stay in the neighborhood?
For those who were not around at the time or otherwise unaware during the Menino Administration, development and planning was controlled 100% by the Mayor’s office! Under former Mayor Menino, overdevelopment happened throughout South Boston, despite mounting opposition from residents and local elected officials. Poor planning and transportation issues are a glaring result. The transit and density problems that are currently facing the neighborhood did not happen over night, they were 20 years in the making.

Working with Mayor Walsh and my City Council colleagues, I have held hearings and worked closely on various policy proposals that seek to protect residents from displacement. I believe middle class families, working class, and elderly residents should have a place to live in our city. Through incentives based on proximity to public transit, zoning flexibility that converts underutilized commercial space into family-based housing, and policies that distinguish between downtown neighborhoods and smaller neighborhoods, we can create more affordable housing and implement solutions to offset affordability issues within our city.

Public Transportation is a quality of life issue that affects South Boston residents daily. What are your ideas to improve it?
We need better public transportation service. It is unacceptable that people have to walk the distance of several bus stops just to have a fighting chance to get on the bus in the morning.

While this issue is too expansive for a quick fix, I have been actively working with innovators and city officials to develop solutions. Among these ideas is the plan for gondolas to transport people in and out of the South Boston Waterfront. Creating more effective public transportation and safer bike travel, partially through expanded bus routes and more protected bike lanes, will go a long way towards meeting our shared goals for both traffic and pollution reduction. By pairing creative solutions with traditional methods of improving infrastructure, we can enhance the experience for everyone involved.

Proudest accomplishment?
Having my mother see me elected to public office.

First job?
The Farragut House for Joe and Alice Toomey.

Favorite spot in Southie?
The Murphy Skating Rink where I grew up playing hockey and have long lasting memories of, especially teaching my kids how to skate and play hockey there.

Go to order at Sully’s?
A hot dog with mustard and onions, grilled cheese sandwich, fries, and a coffee shake.

To learn more about Michael Flaherty’s campaign visit his website! 

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Hockey mom, yoga enthusiast, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.