Click the player below for 17 minutes of Boston mayoral candidate John Connolly speaking of the last 15 years to the voting. Weeks in the making, I was pleased to have the other shoe today, the second of the two finalists in next month’s final for Boston mayor, John Connolly. See last week’s show for Marty Walsh.
I can whine briefly here to let you know that the main event, Connolly, starts at 8:30 minutes into the show. He was between campaign events. If you’d like to skip my intro, context setting and blather, drag bar ahead to 8:30 minutes in the player.
I had prepared policy questions, much like with Walsh. Today I scrapped many of those because of the short show and because polls have come out, much money has been raised, and lately many pols have endorsed, most for Walsh.
Listen in as we start with the largely artificial controversy about whether three years full time in the classroom gives him leave to say he is a former teacher. He believes those remain transformative years that inform his work and politics. He jocularly said those who would denigrate that as being like birthers.
For the next few weeks:
- He does not believe the campaign will get nasty or classist.
- He thinks both sides have enough money and staff for a fair race.
- He won’t be changing his approach for the next two debates (tomorrow and the next Tuesday evenings), that “my message will be the same and less about my opponent’s.”
- He thinks that voters will ultimately decide between the candidates’ platforms.
Note: If you’re wondering where normal co-host Ryan has been, be aware he recused himself from the mayoral shows because of political (and BMG commenter) activities that might conflict.
Among other topics we got to was housing. I challenged him on what seemed like spongy lingo in his development planks. Phrases like “As mayor, I would leverage the resources and influence of the Department of Neighborhood Development, the BRA an the Housing Trust” do not inspire me to believe his administration would drive enough of the right kind of housing. Listen in as he talks about how he’d get it done.
Voters can get an earful from both candidates on development, including the BRA, and we can hope that will happen in the next two debates. Connolly wants the existing redevelopment authority to switch to independent planning, get lots of community input, and produce bold visions for housing and other building. He’s big on transit-oriented-development and Indigo-Line projects, as Mike Ross campaigned on during the preliminary.
While he holds vast visions and admits the housing can’t happen in a year, he claims his mayoralty would lead to almost immediate results. He said that incrementally, Bostonians could expect to see improvements constantly.
He also claims that women, those financially struggling and communities of color like his economic plans to do more than bring some jobs. He also wants business startups via entrepreneurial centers. His vision is folks in places like Dorchester and Roxbury starting companies and hiring neighbors.
I may be too cynical. As with Ryan, Connolly also thinks voters will pay attention and decide in their wisdom who is the better candidate for an office. As a Boston election warden, I meet far too many voters who admit total ignorance as they come to the polling place. Here’s hoping that after the calls, porch chats, and debates, folks are paying attention.