No time for a real post. But this is why I’ll be voting for John Connolly on Tuesday.
This is a tangible thread in the fabric that comprises John Connolly, the potential future mayor of Boston. Yes, he’s a people person. But he is a man legitimately interested in hearing what you have to say. And then acting on it.
“I start everything with a lot of listening,” he tells me.
I ask him how he’ll help Boston’s younger generation find their voice here, from the artists to the startup founders, the investment bankers to the musicians.
“Our job is to build the infrastructure and let that talent define it and give it its signature,” he says. “That comes from listening and really being out there and talking to everybody who’s living this right now; the people who see what’s great about living here but who also see potential that we need to go fulfill.”
So yeah, John Connolly wants your signature. Not in writing; not on a petition or your ballot ticket come September 24. But on the rudder of Boston itself. We, the people who live here, should shape where this city is going, he posits. If he becomes mayor, he wants to build a new City Hall ship, but it’s up to us to plot its course.
John Connolly didn’t just inherit his consistent first-place finishes. He hasn’t bought them either. He’s earning it. And he’s run a textbook campaign to date. So far, he’s been the almost perfect type of candidate for Boston in 2013 — bold, smart, energetic, with new ideas, and a great issue in his focus on improving the city’s public schools.
Connolly connects. People that meet him or hear him speak, come away impressed. The result is that he has pockets of support where no West Roxbury/Roslindale kid normally would. He has many progressives on board, as well as lunch bucket guys in other areas. He holds his own in minority neighborhoods. His support is across the board.
Connolly, 40, has been an at-large city councilor for six years. As head of the council’s education committee, he understands the centrality of the Boston Public Schools to the city’s challenges better than any other candidate. While many of his rivals sing a similar tune on school reform, only Connolly has put it front and center in his campaign.
Connolly also appreciates the importance of creating more transit-oriented development to strengthen the neighborhoods, and of greater City Hall involvement in the arts to cultivate more vibrant entertainment districts downtown and throughout the city.