Monday, March 07, 2011

Dist. 7, Hie Thee to the Polls

In just under 8 days, the District 7 City Council polls open for the special election to replace Chuck Turner. Hyperbole would make it a new beginning. TBD.

Mr. Bald, Bold and Bright by his self-description was largely an energetic, involved and effective Councilor. Yet, he's shortly off to federal prison for three years after corruption convictions on four counts. On one hand, he set a high standard of constituent service. On another, he was an incredibly self-indulgent rabble-rouser with odd and unrealistic interpretations of history and politics. On one foot, he was well respected among the Council for his public advocacy in committee work. On the other, there is that sticky, stinking matter of that $1,000 bribe.

Four different ways, he can be a tough act to follow. He was awful in both respects of great and terrible. We can assume that with numerous pols at city and state level convicted or under indictment and with the Governor and LG plugging continuing ethics reform, no Councilor would solicit or accept bribes (and the moment). None of those chasing the Dist. 7 seat has echoed Turner's Trotskyite lingo. Yet, his virtues of toiling for constituents directly and in Council and committee meetings are well worth imitation.

Now we're down to two — Tito Jackson and Cornell Mills. I would be astonished if Mills won next week or even if he tries again at the regular re-election in November. Moreover. I have already endorsed Jackson.

We might well wonder what the implications are of a Tito triumph. Immediately, from observing him particularly in his role in Gov. Deval Patrick's campaign and administration, I have no doubt he'll be as tireless as Turner in finding out what the constituents need, generally and specifically. Likewise, he'll also be dogged in getting the services, money and other resources to the district.

In his own campaign, Jackson bills himself as a macher, but not in Yiddish. He does say he has the experience and contacts to draw on city, state and federal folk to help the locals. That, not coincidentally, was a successful pitch from at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who spent years in Sen. John Kerry's office. Neither she nor Jackson is afraid to say they know powerful people.

Otherwise, the District 7 residents will likely understand quickly why Turner endorsed Jackson. Moreover, I am pretty sure they'll appreciate a tireless advocate who does not fall back on questionable rhetoric. Jackson almost certainly has the passion and stamina for this 16 to 18 hours a day, six or seven days a week he has promised.

I don't think there's a thing that Turner did that Jackson can't match or beat. I don't see massive, sudden improvements, but in the long range, I bet Jackson will bring more to the community than they have hoped for.

I'll follow him, but meanwhile, I have a very good feeling about this.

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