Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Baker's Dozen Plus Two Candidates

Boston's race for At-Large City Councilor is even more crowded than the one for Mayor. So far, 15 have qualified for four seats. Among those are two incumbents, John Connolly and Stephen Murphy.

Conventional wisdom would have the incumbents retaining their seats. Because two Councilors, Sam Yoon and Michael Flaherty, are running for Mayor, that opened up their two seats this time. I'll be monitoring such sources as David Bernstein at Talking Politics for predictions and trends. He for one is headed downtown tonight for a forum where all the candidates are invited.

Even in the new century, local elections are not likely to pivot on websites and presence. Yet it's fun to see where the candidates start and whether they improve. It's not that far until the September 22nd primary. They need to do the web as well as hit the doorbells, forums, public meetings, and interviews.

By last name, the 15's sites are:

I have spoken with Pressley and Kenneally. My first and extremely subject glance suggests the following on the others:
  • Felix Arroyo — Son of former Councilor Felix D. Arroyo. field director of Northeast Action (universal health care), former SEIU political director. Worked for Chuck Turner for four years. Spongy collaborative platform.
  • Doug Bennett — former Nantucket Republican, promises to shake every Boston voter's hand. LITE issues -- clean streets, low property taxes and green buildings.
  • John Connolly — finishing first 2-year term as at-large Councilor, chairs environment and health, acting hair of education. chairs special committee on Livable Boston.
  • Ego Ezedi — Executive director of the Roxbury Y. Aide to Michael Capuano for four years. Street-level and micro improvements to whittle away at all major city problems.
  • Robert Fortes — Black Republican. Former MBTA executive. His website revels nothing other than he wants your money.
  • Tomas GonzalezSouthie native, who has been Menino's Latino liaison and elder affiars chief of staff. Self-made, poor to scholarship and well on his way to a masters. He doesn't seem to have a program other than claiming to understand everyone's problems and wanting to provide constituent and city services.
  • Tito Jackson — Mr. Vague, with a five-point plan for more jobs, cheaper housing, great schools, low crime, and civic engagement, each without any annoying detail.
  • Stephen Murphy — 12 years on Council. vice prez of Council, chairs public safety and federal stimulus oversight committees.
  • Hiep Nguyen — Free of Boston political stereotypes, a native Vietnamese CPA and civic activist. He also manages to put a measurement and tax spin on issues as diverse as schools and businesses.
  • Sean Ryan — Some of this, some of that. Classically trained pianist and conductor, libertarian somewhat affiliated with Ron Paul, not fond of the Federal Reserve, hotdog vendor at Fenway, wants a local Boston currency.
  • Jean-Claude Sanon — Teacher at the Haitian American Public Health Initiative until last year. He too promises to work for better schools, health care, and more jobs and less crime. You want specifics? Too bad.
  • Bill Trabucco — Hands-down winner of most amusing political website here..maybe anywhere. 41-year-old EMT from DOT. Claims a patent pending (05831190). Casts himself as Everyman. I am not an Insider; not an Outsider. . . . I am YOU. I have the same concerns and worries about the struggles encountered by the hardworking and the underserved. I want to ease those struggles, so we may live and not just exist. "No Nonsense...PERIOD!" is not a campaign slogan, it is my way of life, with a track record to back it up.
  • Scotland Willis — Management consultant with three non-specific issues -- sustainability, public safety and education. He's for 'em.


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