11.1 min readBy Published On: August 5th, 2013Categories: News0 Comments on The race for City Hall

Who’s running by Michael Leahy

The summer of 2013 is shaping up to be a transformative year in Boston politics.  Each and every one of us has a unique opportunity to shape the city of Boston going forward.  One thing I love about Boston is how easily it is to get to know the politicians; this is an experience that does not happen in every community.  That said, please take some time to read and learn about the candidates.  What follows is a snippet of information to get you started as you learn about the candidates for Mayor.  The point is to keep it simple and consistent.  Who is the candidate and how did they announce?  What did they accomplish?  What are their ideas?  Where the information on the candidate is clear I included.  Please explore their web sites for more information and of course when you can, try to meet them in person.  Good Luck and enjoy the rest of the summer.   

Felix Arroyo
Felix Arroyo announced on April 9th at a press conference from SEIU local 615 that he is running for Mayor of Boston.  The 34 year old Democrat resides in JP with his wife and is presently one of Boston’s 4 At-Large City Councilors, winning the November 2009 race.  His prior career as a Political Director at SEIU and Field Director at Northeast Action gives him 10 years of service in the public realm.  Arroyo was born in the South End to a politically active family (His father, Felix Arroyo, was an active member of the community, his career culminated as an At-large City Councilor from 2003 to 2008).  From a public vantage point Arroyo’s accomplishments are not limited to but include Hosting a Rally to support summer jobs in City Hall Plaza and instituted smoke free zones in Tot Lots.  After the rally, Arroyo went on to work with the Mayor and other constituencies to continue the program that employs 10,000 youths during the summer.  What’s the big idea?  Among many is “Invest in Boston” a program that would require the city to deposit its funds in institutions that invest in Boston’s neighborhoods.

John Barros
John Barros announced on April 25th from the Haley House Bakery Cafe that he is running for Mayor.  The Bakery’s food  is locally sourced and the bakery is a make it from scratch place where people who face barriers to employment can find work to build further employment skills.  The 39 year old Democrat lives in Dorchester with his wife and their child and grew up in Roxbury.  He is a graduate from Dartmouth and worked in Manhattan for Chubb where he helped underwrite Initial Public Offerings for companies.  In Boston his career includes the “Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative” a Roxbury focused revitalization program.  He also was appointed to the School Committee.  What’s the big idea?  To name a few:  a single application for students to apply to city charter schools, an inclusive city hall and energize young professionals.

Charles Clemons
Charles Clemons announced that he is running for Mayor at his 50th birthday party at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury. Charles grew up in Roxbury.  The corrections officer turned police officer worked in these professions to promote the greater good.  Later he owned his own limousine company and then sold it to open a radio station Touch 106.1 FM.  The 35 year Fields Corner resident has 7 children and 2 grandchildren.  Charles has a many ideas to create a New Boston.  One idea is that he would work to help the elderly by reorganizing the assessing department to create a fairer system to help keep the elderly in their homes.  He believes this will promote social and familial ties that may create stronger communities.  On schools he would revitalize the infrastructure, pay teachers more and address disruptive and violent behavior in schools.

Dan Conley
On April 3rd, 2013 Dan Conley announced via an email press release that he is running for Mayor.  The Stonehill and Suffolk Law graduate lives in Hyde Park with his wife and 2 children.  The Democrat worked his way through and up the Suffolk DA’s office.   He started his career as an Assistant DA in the Boston Municipal court.  He steadily progressed through the office and is now the District Attorney for Suffolk County.  Dan talks about leading with vision, integrity, and transparency.  He states that he will manage and innovate.  The Suffolk DA is the largest DA’s office in the Commonwealth and prosecutes 40-50,000 cases a year.  He was D-5 city councilor from 1993 to 2002 then he was appointed the 14th DA of Suffolk County.  In 2004 the office was highlighted as being at the forefront in the US for developing procedures and partnerships to avoid wrongful convictions.

John Connolly
John Connolly announced on February 26th 2013 in front of Brighton High School that he is running to be Mayor of Boston.  The Democrat resides in West Roxbury with his wife and 2 children.  He is one of Boston’s 4 At-Large City Councilors winning the November 2007 election.  John grew up in Boston and attended the Roxbury Latin School then graduated from Harvard Cum Laude and received a JD from Boston College.  John was a school teacher in New York, then a teacher at the Boston Renaissance Charter.  He became an attorney and participates in pro bono work for various organizations.  What’s the big idea?  Education.  He is on the councils Education Committee and developed an alternative education plan to Mayor Menino’s.  His work includes efforts to reduce the dropout rate and provide children with more time in the classroom.

Robert Consalvo
Robert Consalvo announced April 4th, 2013 in a press release that he is running for Mayor.  The Democrat that represents D-5 on the city council lives in Hyde Park with his wife and 3 children.  Robert graduated from Xavier University and before that studied at Catholic Memorial.  He worked in Senator Edward Kennedy’s office and is a ‘Corporator’ of the Hyde Park Savings Bank.  Robert chairs the City Council Housing Committee which focuses on affordable housing in all neighborhoods.  He is a member of the Neighborhood Housing Trust which awarded $84 million to establish affordable housing.  Rob also led the implementation of Shot Spotter technology which pinpoints where a gun was fired from to help police respond quicker.  He proposed and passed “John’s Law” to keep drunks off the road.  He helped develop a community K-8 pathway and a law to hold banks accountable for blighted foreclosed property.  He introduced a special needs registry to help police with knowledge of participants so they know what they are encountering, which should help responsiveness.  Additionally, he passed a law to help senior citizens reduce their tax burden. 

Charlotte Golar Richie
Charlotte Golar Richie announced on May 1st, 2013 via press release that she will be the only woman in the Boston race for Mayor.  The Democrat is a former Representative for the 5th Suffolk District.  She hails from Brooklyn and went to Rutgers, then Suffolk for an MBA and Columbia for an MS in Journalism.  Charlotte lives in Dorchester with her husband and has 2 grown children.  Her experience includes work in both the Menino and Patrick administrations.  In private industry she was most recently a Senior Vice President at Youth Build USA.   She got a start as a volunteer for the Peace Corps. A funny thing happened to Charlotte while running for Mayor she bumped into President Obama in Charlie’s Sandwich shop before he went stumping for Markey; lucky for her Obama shares the same taste in burgers.

Michael Ross
On April 11th 2013 Michael Ross, in an effort to include and invite more people to the political process,  stood in a Park and Tweeted that he was going to run for Mayor of Boston.  Mike is a first generation American whose father was saved from the Holocaust camps by American soldiers.  Mike is an attorney and in 1999 was elected to the City Council from District 8.  He announced the opening of the first new downtown public school since the late 1970’s.  He was Council president for 2 terms and passed balanced budgets during the financial crisis and stood up to the firefighters union to settle an arbitration settlement.  This settlement saves the city $45 million over the life of the contract.  Mike is taking best practices from both the Harlem Children’s zone to promote education and an effort to streamline food truck permitting to improve and enhance small businesses.

Bill Walczak
On April 7th 2013 Bill Walczak became the 7th person to announce a candidacy for mayor.  Bill is a long time Dorchester activist that worked to create health and educational options for people. At 20 years of age, Bill co-founded and managed the Codman Square Health Center, continuing in this role since about 1979.  This internationally recognized health center combines health, education, and economic development.  In 2000 Bill founded and became President of the Codman Charter School.  The green theme for the campaign represents health in the form of the person and additionally the health of the environment, it’s in the colors and the conversation of the campaign.

Martin J. Walsh
Martin was to officially announce he was running for Mayor on April 10, in a refreshing turn he answered a reporter honestly a week before, much to the chagrin of his advisors.  Marty grew up in St Margaret’s parish.  He currently serves as a State Representative from the 13th Suffolk district since 1997.  He helped pass mass transit oriented smart growth legislation.  Marty helped bridge the gap between labor and municipalities to make significant savings.  He helped found the Neighborhood House Public Charter School.  He helped pass a law to allow the city to turn underperforming schools into in district charter schools, pilot, and magnet schools.  Marty worked his way up starting as a Union Laborer and recently resigned as head of Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District to which he was appointed in 2011.  Marty created a partnership with the BHA it is called Building Pathways and is an introduction to becoming an apprentice.  The partnership connects women and minorities to the program and this year the program passed an all-women class.            

David James Wyatt
David James Wyatt, the only Republican in the race.  He was able to muster the 3,000 signatures needed to put his name on the ballot.  Taken from David’s website:  “David believes that we are not only electing a Mayor, but also a School Superintendent for the city of Boston. Therefore, the best candidate for Mayor must be a person with the most educational experience and highest credentials. When he worked for the Boston Public Schools between 1980 and 1993, he was requested to hold the following positions: School House Master, School Guidance Counselor, and Head Boys Basketball Coach.  David declined to accept those positions to avoid the appearance that he had received them through affirmative action. He was also appointed to the list of teachers to be considered when a vacancy occurred for Head Master in the Boston Public School.” This was taken directly from David’s webpage for Mayor.  For more information please see the link to his website.   

Charles Yancey
On June 1st Charles Yancey qualified with the 3,000 needed signatures to be placed on the ballot, he turned in over 8,000.  Even so, he did not formally announce he will run for mayor until July 1.  He announced his candidacy on Fox morning news.  He will be on the ballot for both Mayor and his current position of City Councilor from the 4th district.     Charles was first elected to council in 1983 and is now in his 15th term.  Charles and Marzetta Yancey founded the Charles Yancey Book Fair in 1987 and has distributed over 500,000 books.    Charles has challenged the City of Boston to build a new High School.