If you're in the Suffolk Sixth, you must vote for Willie Mae Allen as State Representative to replace Shirley Owens-Hicks. Of the three classes of candidates, she only a senior citizen. You won't have to watch your wallet or lock your door on her account.
Amusingly enough, there has been some whining about this office being contested by only two Democrats, both in their 60s. Widow Allen is coming up on 70. She's a hot ticket. Not only is she certain to live out her two-year term, her head's in the right place.
As a disclaimer, we don't object to convicted felons who have served their sentences from becoming civil servants or running for office. In fact, that's what the justice and penal systems are supposed to do -- tweak folk into productive citizens.
However, her opponent, William Celester, pleaded guilty to taking over $30,000 from police funds as Newark, New Jersey, police director in 1996. To us, corruption in office is a far cry from a crime of passion.
Celester made the choice easy at the Wards 11 and 19 Democratic Party forum. He didn't show.
As the other candidates whose opponents punked out, Willie Mae got to speak in her behalf and answer the question the Dems prepared for both candidates.
She's energetic. She's squat. She has both a quick wit and a faster smile. She's everybody's favorite aunt.
Web Whine: Somebody needs to take a properly exposed picture of her and spiff up her Website.
The other entrant in this race, Wayne Wilson dropped out in late June when the state AFL-CIO endorsed Allen. He had already been put on probation for drunken driving. He had court orders to pay thousands in child support and to stay after from a senior-services agency after threatening to kill folks there.
In her aunty way, Allen said of others only, "I want to go up to Beacon Hill with a clean record." Of course, she'd be the only one.
She had some nice answers. Her solution to Boston's traffic problems -- "Don't buy a car." Does she support same-sex marriage -- absolutely. Whom people love and marry is their business and "Isn't it a pity we have to vote on this?"
She did not have a sophisticated platform as some legislative candidates do. She is no intellectual. However, she has the two essential qualifications:
- She has a great empathy and understanding of what people need to be productive and part of society.
- She has well developed morality and knows civil rights.
We suspect that she would not concoct bills to introduce. However, we are damned sure that she'll come down on the right side of progressive causes. She'd be co-sponsoring fool. She could teach many 20-somethings about democracy and rights. Moreover, in legislative debates and caucuses, she's likely to cut to the essence of the matter at hand and clarify it. She's been around and she paid attention.
Finally, she was the candidate we saw at Doyle's when we went there after the forum for dinner. She and three women apparently with her campaign ate across the room from us. One the way out, we greeted her and found her as genuine and attentive as she appeared on stage. It didn't hurt that she has a real grip in a handshake. She's the real thing.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, representative, Willie Mae Allen, William Celester, Democratic Committee