The Dorchester Reporter talks to Ayanna Pressley about how she's now splitting her time between Washington and Boston - where she still has some unfinished business as an at large city councilor before she is sworn in as a member of Congress.
maybe she'll use her powers in the house to get funding for the opiate crisis in mass. but i doubt it.
last night i had to swerve twice to avoid people nodding off into the street at the corner of melnea/mass/southampton. this intersection is an outright black mark on the city of Boston, and should be a point of considerable shame for all of our elected officials
Surprised she hasn't already resigned from the City Council. Can she step down now and give Garrison a head start?
We actually want to minimize the time Garrison has on the city council.
If only she honored her commitment to the voters who elected her to the City Council, rather than jumping ship and leaving us with the deeply regrettable Ms. Garrison. I wish her luck, and I hope she does well, but as far as I'm concerned, she's starting off in a deep hole she dug for herself.
Meanwhile, Boston needs to reform its process for replacing councilors who vacate their seats, so this debacle doesn't happen again. Hold a special election. Keep the seat vacant. But no more of this next-highest-vote-getter BS, or next time we're liable to wind up with the clown.
I always wondered which of my policies it was that people didn't like so much. I'm sure here in Boston that people don't judge people because of the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their name, but they make smart, informed judgments about candidates, what they promise they are going to do, what promises they have followed up on, etc.
As Adam will tell you, Payaso continually talked about Universal Health Care and making the BPS better and more accountable, and was the only candidate who promised to visit each of the BPS schools to try and learn how to improve them. Obviously, that didn't resonate with the voters. We voted for the incumbents. Because our policies with the schools, the MBTA, income inequality, housing costs and the opiod crisis couldn't possibly be improved. I was thinking about that today as I was cleaning the leaves out of my yard and throwing away heroin needles.
BTW, I have gotten to know Althea, Domingos, William and I think all of them could make fine city councilors. It is an at large councilor, they have virtually no power, as another person noted, no direct constituents, they are one of 13. I for one would enjoy having different voices and ideas having the chance to be heard. Something other than the standard candidate talk of 'we need to do better'.
Here were my published stands on the issues and promises of what to do. I'm interested in where we differ?
I would always advocate for UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. I would ask each elected official from Boston on the City, State, and Federal level where they stand on this issue and publish the Yes/No answers online so the citizens know where their officials stand on the most important issue in America today.
I would visit all the Public Schools in an 18 month period. I’d meet with parents, teachers, students, stakeholders and present a plan to eliminate busing, insure equity and present a comprehensive plan to the City on July 1, 2019. This would save nearly 100 million dollars a year that we can invest in the schools including a new State of the art STEM school to be built in conjunction with and as a pipeline to MIT and other great local science Universities. I would not vote for any pay raise for any public official until this school is built.
I would professionally audit the Boston Public Schools.
I would professionally audit the BPDA. I would initiate the process of eliminating the BPDA and creating separate Planning and Development agencies controlled by the citizens of Boston.
I would take any and all agreements that the City of Boston, the BPDA and any other agency has made with any public space, private property, private, public or business entity in regards to taxes, uses or benefits and put it PERMANENTLY on the City of Boston website for all the citizens to monitor. I would also put all public documents online. Both would have a searchable data base. I would invite Don Sakland to consult to make sure stenographic records are properly available to all citizens.
I would ban the spending of public funds on putting politicians names on signs, clothing,buildings and other non-temporal items.
I would move the election cycle so that the election of the Mayor coincides with Presidential elections. This would expand turnout and decrease the power of the incumbents employee base.
I would eliminate the waste of taxpayer funds on the Greenway Conservancy and roll the Greenway into the State park system.
I would not allow any buildings to violate State Law and cast shadows on the Boston Common, no matter how much I received in campaign contributions or alleged promises of money to be paid to the City. I would not give any tax breaks or exemptions to the developer of this building.
I would not give any public lands or tax breaks to rich corporations and developers. This only increases the inequality in the City of Boston and America.
I would investigate and enforce and make all public projects report their City of Boston jobs policy results on a searchable database on the City of Boston website.
I would ensure that we work to eliminate ‘no show’ jobs, redundant jobs, political hires, etc. We should not tolerate full time pay for less than full time work.
I would make sure that public properties go to the highest bidder in open, honest bidding processes so that citizens get proper value for their assets.
I would engage the local business schools at Northeastern, Boston University, Harvard, MIT and Babson to use their brainpower to examine each of the different departments in the City of Boston. We will ask them to do case studies on each department so that we can eliminate inefficiencies and redundant jobs. We would plan and model for the future and truly have a government that reflects the cutting edge private sector we have in Boston.
I would take the T at least once a week to work (and bicycle in the good weather) and advocate working with the State for a truly modern public transit system equivalent to the excellent systems in Asia and Europe.
I will work to create a new class of zoning for inexpensive micro units that we can build to provide less expensive housing for our poor and middle class workers and to house our homeless, which is the shame of our city and country.
I wouldn't have the answers to the opiod crisis, but I do know we need housing, mental health facilities, and that Long Island bridge and shelter should be fixed to help the problem not sold off to developers or used for Olympic events.
I would not support any use of taxpayer money on events like the Olympics, Grand Prix’s, tax breaks or giveaways of public roads to private sports teams.
I would be open to receiving tips and ideas on waste, fraud, abuse and corruption in the City and would not be afraid to investigate, no matter the political connectedness or ramifications. I would advocate for the budget of the Financial Commission to be at least doubled. I would also be open to Citizens Ideas on how to save money. For example: having the Big Belly trash compactors have LED’s on the street side of the Big Belly’s so workers don’t need to stop, idle, get out of their trucks and walk around to see if the LEDS are red or green. This would save time, money and reduce Greenhouse gases.
I would advocate for instant run off voting and term limits for Mayor and City Council.
I would love, adore, respect and protect all the citizens of the city no matter race, gender, orientation, and would not be afraid to call out injustice, corruption and intolerance even if it challenges the status quo.
Finally, I would take $10,000 of my salary each year and award it as scholarship split between two graduates of the Boston Public Schools who write the best essay on the topic of ‘The value to democracy of open and honest government, public schools, public parks, public transportation and the public welfare.’
Seeing Ayanna's tweets, it's pretty incredible how someone can go from city councilor to US congressperson like this, all within a few days. The excitement (and, fear) she is feeling must be dizzying, something few of us will ever feel.
I don't have a problem with the way the runner-up rules go in regard to the Boston City Council. It's three months, tops - who cares? She's an at-large, for one thing; not as if she has actual constituents.
Wu 65,040 (24.47%)
Pressley 57,520 (21.64%)
Flaherty 51,673 (19.44%)
George 45,564 (17.14%)
Garrison 18,353 (6.87%)
Darosa 11,647 (4.38%)
King 8,773 (3.30%)
Payaso 6,124 (2.30%)
Note the huge drop-off after the top four. The current system is way too likely to elevate a fringe candidate. One can argue that it just did.
To their everlasting credit, Boston voters rejected Garrison in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 (mayoral race), 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. She has never won a Boston election. Boston voters have never wanted her, yet now they're stuck with her because of this stupid system. And she makes off with an annual salary of $99,500 and generous benefits.
That's why the anger.
The voters preferred the incumbents and returned them to office. If Pressley had opted out (a laughable idea as she is basically a career pol by now) the numbers might have been different, but at the end of the day, this is the system we have.
We've had several city councilors, including the guy who got 19.44% of the vote and the guy who he replaced, get on the council through this system and get re-elected at the next election. In my mind, that means the voters think the system as it stands works. Does that mean Garrison is a shoe-in next November. Honestly, no, and I appreciate her gumption for running for office after being rejected over and over again.
Still, Garrison did receive 6% of votes, which is not insignificant. And it's not like the system locked out anyone else living in Boston from running in the last election and gathering >7% of votes. Garrison has earned this seat fair and square, albeit in a roundabout way.
It's a shame she doesn't have experience working for a sitting US representative or senator.
... that you are so intent on negging her for not paying her dues in some mythic old boy network and for doing something so brash as to get elected by the people who wanted her as their representative without your permission!
she doesn't have experience working for a sitting US representative or senator.
AND YOU ARE WRONG, TOO! Pressley worked as a district representative for United States Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II, for whom she had interned during college.
She was also John Kerry's political director.
She has extensive political experience. She got elected. Deal with it.
I think the point was that she should not be surprised at how the transition is due to her Kennedy and Kerry experience. As the saying goes, this ain’t her first rodeo.
It’s called sarcasm. This was pretty blatant and kind of funny.
Or is this a slightly more sophisticated "but it was JUST A JOKE" defense of bullies and misogynists everywhere?
After 50 years of being female, I'm not so quick to assume "joke".
im quick to assume that you are “woke”
It’s obvious. He was parroting her bio. That she worked for Kerry was well known, with the work with Kennedy also known.
Were he really trying to be mean, perhaps he would not have posited that she should know how Capitol Hill works because she lacks the experience. Have you really reached that stage where you need jokes to be explained to you.
Sometimes you remind me of some of the people in my Bigfoot erotica book club.
What should perhaps also be mentioned is that, unlike former Boston City Council member Charles Yancey, Establishment Democrat Kerry's former political director was apparently one of the Boston white corporate power structure-backed Boston City Council members who voted to illegally expel Roxbury's anti-war and pro-tenant representative in the City Council, Chuck Turner, in her early years as a Boston City Council "at-large" Establishment representative. And, subsequently,the Massachusetts judicial system declared that it was illegal for the Boston City Council's white corporate power structure-promoted politicians to expel Roxbury's representative.
Are we talking about the Chuck Turner who was convicted of a federal offense and sent out of state to serve his sentence?
Pressley on Turner:
Two of Turner's past supporters, Felix Arroyo and Ayanna Pressley, joined nine other councilors in voting to eject Turner. Both had tears in their eyes as they explained their votes. Both of them praised Turner for his tireless work, both said they loved him - but both said the federal conviction left them no choice. Pressley said she was heartsick and was "deeply troubled" by the way the feds went after Turner; Arroyo, who once worked for Turner, said everybody has made mistakes and regretted the vote was a black-and-white issue rather than something that could be seen in shades of gray.
Who are potential Staff for the Office of the new Boston City Councilor?
But residency in Boston is a requirement. Too bad, Zak.
She sets up shop at the Copley library and has been interviewing people there for the past couple months. She has been inundated with people wanting to talk to her. In a way, she has already begun doing the job.
Althea connects with a lot of people who are not the typical Universal Hub reader or contributor. They are no less citizens than we are just because they don't necessarily have a fancy degree or experience behind them. That is what democracy looks like.
She is pretty sure who her chief of staff is, and that person is very experienced in the ways of City Hall.
Both you and I know Althea and we also comment here.
I'm just often surprised at the vitriol towards Althea on UHUB when she hasn't done anything except have the audacity to continue to run for office thinking she can do a better job than others.
If she does negative things while on the council, then criticize her. I highly doubt she is going to get many of her issues passed, like say rent control. But when people see how she performs for 11 months before the election, they will be able to pass judgment then.
I'm not worried in the slightest that Boston is going to come crumbling down because Althea takes her earned place on the council. As always, if you don't like the candidates...then run yourself!
she’s a pro-Trump Republican, with a few policy platforms where she disagrees with the GOP. That’s not what the people of Boston generally want in a politician, as evidenced by the small number of votes she got. I actually agree with her on all the issues where she’s diverged from the national Republican platform, but those are the exception rather than the rule. I’m willing to give her a chance, but it’s not a huge mystery to me that the generally-leftist readership here is opposed to a very-right wing pol who got into office with less than 10% of the vote.
What planks on the national platforms of either political party have anything to do with the nuts and bolts of local government?
I just want a City Council that makes sure local government is responsive to the residents of Boston. If Garrison does that, bully for her. If she proves herself inept, she’ll always have that one year on the Council on her resume.
So proud of her I hope she keeps shinning. As for the heroin problem, I hope the parents of the addicts stop feeding there kids habits and enabling them. All the gov. funding in the world isn't gonna change the fact that heroin is for sale, kid has the money from daddy and the dealer sell it. The police don't care and it's there job so why should we.
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