Thursday, January 05, 2012

Will of 10,000 Doors

The next knock you hear may be Will Dorcena. He's talking of going to tens of thousands of Boston doors in the next 600 plus days. He's announced his run for Boston Mayor in the 2013 election.

In case you've forgotten two months ago, he came in sixth on a ballot of seven for the four at-large Boston City Council slots. It was his first run for public office and he even got in late. His 8,739 votes were about a third to a quarter of those of the four incumbents who were re-elected.

Assuming our longest-serving Mayor ever, Thomas Menino, in his fifth four-year term, runs again, the big question from the outside is what chance could Dorcena have? Let us pause to replay Cassius' words in another Will's Julius Caesar:

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world 
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about 
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.

Not only is this Will not in that mood, but he also said he'd run the same campaign whether Menino is in or not. He said at his announcement this morning at the Reggie Lewis Center that he won't have the money or GOTV machine that the Mayor has, but he intends to win by connecting with voters on doorsteps and in living rooms one-to-one, one at a time.

That certainly has worked in various times and places. Locally though, recent visit-'em-all types Doug Bennett and Sean Ryan fared poorly in Council races. Those with big organizations and healthy bank accounts beat them.

I'll do a future post on Dorcena's positions in detail. He joined us on Left Ahead last year. He covered much of the same ground, many of the same topics. Today, he was consistent in the issues he stressed and his solutions to our problems in that show. These also appear on his Council campaign site. Problem/solution statements that seemed overly ambitious for a Councilor make much more sense in a mayoral context.

His Facebook page is already converted to his new candidacy. His eponymous website surely will soon.

The punchlines include:
  • Will Dorcena is in for Mayor for 2013
  • He intends to win on shoe-leather, retail campaigning
  • He promises 10,000 or more visited in all 22 precincts in a little over 600 days
  • He wants an elected school committee (or a hybrid if that will guarantee ed experts)
  • He pledges two terms and out — he believes in term limits for Mayor
  • He wants all city expenses public, including the quarter billion school budget portion currently hidden
  • He says we can't even know how much money we have or how to deploy it without full, open accounting
  • He wants all major decisions, like casino siting, fully open to public view and comments
He's sure to rile Menino with his evaluation of the state of the city, including:
There's a serious push to close community centers, close libraries and close schools. Crime and violence are prominent in our neighborhoods to the point where it's the norm. And many decisions continue to be made without public scrutiny or participation.
We need a strong leader in Boston, who will fight for the people of this city and fight for these decisions that are in our best interest as a collective and not jut the few.
In a future post, I'll break down his positions a bit more and quote more from his announcement. It'll also be time to ask him back on Left Ahead in his new role.

By the bye, there may or may not be a previously announced 2013 mayoral candidate. In August at his 50th birthday party, entrepreneur and TOUCH radio co-founder Charles Clemons said he'd be in the race. I can't find any evidence of a campaign in print or online material and sites beyond the initial DOTNEWS coverage.

Series Note: This ended up taking on its own life. The second post was on his platform. The third is on his campaign strategy. I am intrigued about whether this early candidacy raises interest and money, and whether it colors the entire election. 

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Anonymous said...

Good luck to him. He is a good guy. I think Tommy and his political cronies need to move onto another career.

Anonymous said...

Not all the Councilors that won did so because of large endorsements and hefty bank accounts. Mr. Sean Ryan's platform was hollow and his tactics are less than approachable. I like William Dorcena, but he is hard pressed to think he will beat Menino with grunt work.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Bennett, but when Dougie ran at-large in 2009, he won the primary by finishing 7th out of 22 original candidates and got 17,000 votes. For a door knocker that lived in the city for less than 2 years before that is pretty impressive. His 4th place finish in a large field in the recent district race to more established candidates in a large field was good too considering he lived in Feeney's District for a year.

Bennett wasn't fortunate to have 13 brothers and sisters like Baker, but his performance shows that grassroots is effective. Don't be suprised if Dorcina if he does work hard does well especially with the emergence of the minority vote this past cycle.