I’ve got an idea that brings real positive change to the Commonwealth.
Let’s ask some of the moderate and level-headed determined protesters who gathered at the Rose Kennedy Greenway last year to serve as the members of the embattled Greenway board of directors, to replace the elitist crowd of rich people who have done a marvelous job of doling out money to people who are already sufficiently wealthy.
As the Hub feigns surprise – in a sort of “I’m shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment” way – regarding media reports of naked largess at the Greenway, we should ask ourselves if it is really any wonder that a board of directors comprised of the connected and privileged do what such cliques always do – take care of their own without concern for those who struggle daily to take care of themselves and their families.
The Conservancy Chief Nancy Brennan, who I hear is a good person, is paid $185,000 ($35,000 more the the Governor!) and enjoys the support of three separate PR firms. Brennan’s salary is more than 350 percent higher than the median income for a Bostonian, according to the 2010 figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Is there any wonder that there are those who are willing to protest this growing divide between rich and middle class, and this tremendous canyon which divides rich from poor?
The board of directors is comprised of not a single union worker, not a single human services advocate, not a single working mom, not a single neighbor to the Greenway, nor a single, solitary person who makes an average salary. Instead, the board of directors is a ‘whose who’ of the rich and famous who continually call the ball inMassachusettspolitics – something I think the protesters where nobly bringing attention to when they camped at the Greenway to make a statement that needed to be made. (And kudos to Governor Patrick for visiting them and showing his compassion).
Case in point, board member Gloria Larson, the high powered lawyer from Holey Foag and Elliot who not too long ago took the reigns at Bentley College. People of her lifestyle are about as in tune with working class anxiety as Mitt Romney; Gloria’s permanent residence is on Cape Codthat most of us could not afford in three life times. The Boston Herald noted that: “Bentley College president Gloria Larson, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. As a member of Massachusetts Blue Cross Blue Shield, Larson voted to approve a controversial $11 million golden parachute to outgoing CO Cleve Killingsworth — an action that led to a bill that would bar non-profits and charities from paying their directors.”
Men and women, union members, who understand that qualified people, can be found to administer the needs of the organization while being paid a reasonable salary – so that the public funding the organization received is used prudently? Is it really fair and compassionate to give out these salaries when we are cutting needed social programs in Massachusetts? Sometimes we forget to get to the core of the problem. I don’t think you need to be rich and a member of the Boston cocktail circuit to make sound decisions and manage money well.
The real solution to this controversy is to recognize that you can find just as much talent in the working class neighborhoods of Boston as you can at the mahogany walled environs of the Harvard Club. Some regular, qualified working class people would make great board members and would not give out money as if there are not other omnipresent needs in the Commonwealth.
Change the board, and you’ll solve the problem.
Candidate for Congress in the Fourth District
PS: Have I been warned that my opinion here is going to lead to increased donations for my primary opponents? Yes. But that is fine because their money is no good to honest campaigns like mine and so I look forward to pointing out that my opponents are in-sync with these type of political elites who think they are above the middle class and the working poor.