Friday, September 18, 2009

Endorsements: John Connolly and Ayanna Pressley

It's a big weekend for local politics in Boston. Tuesday is the preliminary election, when Boston voters will go to the polls. On the ballot will be four candidates for Mayor and 15 candidates for four at-large Boston City Council seats.

I have already stated on this blog that I am voting for Mayor Menino and have been volunteering to help his re-election bid. I was hoping, tonight, to outline the four votes I will cast for Boston City Council at-large seats. However, I have only made up my mind about two of my four votes. The other two, frankly, might come down to the wire.

In truth, there are so many good candidates in the Boston City Council race. For the record, here are two that I will be voting for on Tuesday:

John Connolly
Councilor Connolly is one of the hardest working elected officials I have ever met. I got that impression when I first shook his hand four years ago, when he was unsuccessful in his first race for city council (I voted for him then, too).

Councilor Connolly understands well one of my biggest concerns about the City of Boston. Numerous younger families are leaving the city because they don't trust the Boston Public School system, and they can't afford private school. At the Ward 4/5 City Council forum earlier this year, Councilor Connolly had the absolute best answer about education. He is on board with experimenting, and he is on board with giving teachers the flexibility to do their jobs.

Ayanna Pressley
How can you not fall in love with Ayanna Pressley's story? A native of Chicago, she was raised by her mother, as her father spent her younger years incarcerated. She moved to Boston to go to college, but she dropped out to work full-time after her family fell on hard times. She worked her way in public policy as a staffer for Congressman Joe Kennedy and Senator John Kerry.

Ayanna is a young, smart, and sharp community-action oriented person, and her neighborhood focus is vital in Boston-- arguably a city of several distinct neighborhoods. It was bittersweet when Ayanna moved out of Ward 5-- where she was a Democratic Committee member-- to buy a home in Dorchester. I am thrilled she's running and am eager to vote for her on Tuesday.

So that's it for now. No doubt I will get to speak to many of the candidates running on Tuesday over the weekend, as I am spending the entire two days in Boston. I am in Mission Hill tomorrow for the Mission Hill road race. Sunday is a huge day for my neighborhood of Beacon Hill, with activities all day-- culminating with the annual Beacon Hill Civic Association block party, one of my favorite events of the year.

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