The Other Election :: The At Large Race Filled with Personality
With the first non-Menino mayoral race in decades, it's no surprise that the under-resourced local media and over-bombarded citizenry has not paid much attention to the the district and city-wide Boston city council races. (With one exception: the wildly smart and hard-working David Bernstein profiled all the candidates at bostonmagazine.com)
There are many contested races and new faces running for office.
In a regular Menino-for-mayor-year, the race for the citywide At Large seats would be making headlines. Along with incumbents Stephen Murphy (stephenjmurphy.com) and Ayanna Pressley (ayannapressley.com), former incumbent Michael Flaherty (michaelflaherty.com), voters have the opportunity to consider candidates running for the first time.
Jack Kelly, a former neighborhood coordinator for Mayor Menino, know first hand about the devastating effects addiction. Kelly spent time as a homeless heroin addict and was arrested several times. His is a passionate advocate for treatment and public safety. Kelly also has articulated his ideas to connect newcomers and traditional Bostonians.
Michelle Wu's background tells the story of many Bostonians. Her immigrant parents faced many obstacles in America. Wu attended Harvard, got a great job, but then had to quit to take care of her younger sisters while her mother battled mental illness. Wu's experience working for City Hall in the permitting arena, combined with her life challenges, has resulted in a candidate committed to streamlining government.
Long time activist Jeff Ross is also a representative of the Second Suffolk Senate District on the Democratic State Committee. Openly gay, ross is an immigration attorney and human rights advocate. Ross has worked tirelessly to raise awareness around the discriminatory St. Patrick's Day Parade and the rights and issues of transgender individuals. Ross has been subject of an attack website, jeffrossbostonlawyer.com, which details a significant number of financial and business issues. The charges of financial mismanagement were of such length that Bay Windows and South End News asked Jeff Ross to provide a statement:"Sadly, when individuals stand up to run for public office, we open ourselves up to the risk that others will try to tear us down. In today's climate people do this in a particularly nasty manner. I hope that a respected publication such as the South End News and Boston's politically savvy citizenry will recognize lies, distortion, and a sad attempt at a smear campaign.
I have been forthright during my campaign that I am running for Boston City Council in order to lift up individuals and families who need it most. I care about creating a city where access to opportunity is the top priority - that's why I've written in guest opinion columns in this very paper advancing CORI reform, aimed at breaking down racial barriers and stigmas around sexual violence, and raising awareness about our community's exclusion from the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
My commitment to these causes is not based on the simple progressive values that I hold, but also on my own past struggles to overcome bullying, adversity, financial hardship and a difficult divorce. I want to work on a better future for all of Boston's residents and especially for our future-our children."
Public school teacher, community activist, small business owner are a few of the adjectives to describe Annissa . She entered the At Large race to forward her commitment to public service and work toward better public education.
Martin ran six city-wide campaigns for former councillor Peggy Davis-Mullin. He's a criminal defense lawyer. The Hyde Park native see public safety and education as the most important issue facing the Boston.