Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Back to the Blog...

A soupcon amount of updates:

1) I was at City Hall yesterday for a zoning board of appeal hearing where I met Susan Passoni for the first time. As a professional in the financial field she shares my outrage at the waste and lack of planning by the City Government. She warrants your consideration in her race against Jimmy Kelly as she is a very smart, involved person who is working hard in the election.

2) Councilor Scappiccio's office returned my call! I will try and set up a meeting with them today. Thank you.

3) While at City Hall I ran into Mark Maloney in front of the elevator at the Mayor's office. I said "do you mind if I ask you a question?" and he said "sure".
McCrea: "Are you going to be holding any more of the secret, closed door meetings with city councilors that you've cancelled for the last three months?"
Maloney: "Sure, we may have them again"
McCrea: "When are you going to have them?"
Maloney: "We'll just have to see how things go"
McCrea: "Who decides to hold those meetings?"
Maloney: "I do"
McCrea: "thank you"

4) I was coaching an a group of 9 year old all-stars in the Mayor's Cup last Sunday in South Boston and we won over the South Boston Nationals 7-4. After the game I was campaigning and handing out literature. I was reminded once again about what a tiny town Boston is.
I was speaking with some members of the sober softball league and we were talking about drug and alchohol dependency. In particular there is a woman who asks for money at the corner of Melnea Cass and Massachusetts Ave. whom I see every day. She has a "boyfriend" who is more like a pimp, who makes her collect money then bring it to him to spend. I had talked to her last week about trying to get into Rosie's Place, and that I'd even bring her there if she would go. After our conversation, both of us had tears in our eyes. She, because no one ever speaks to her as if she is a human being, and she clearly was amazed at how much I knew about her life, and amazed that someone cared about her. I had tears because of my frustration at not being able to do anything, or being persuasive enough to get her to try and get off the streets. Anyway, the two women I was talking to were reformed heroin addicts, one a former bank robber, and they both knew the woman. They told me her name and some of her history. A real connection. We are all intertwined in this city, and there are many people who want to help and make things better. It is so easy to be cynical, but I really do feel that we are not succeeding as a society when people are living on the street like that.

5) Guns, Germs and Steel. Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize winning book has been made into a PBS special. If you have the time, watch it and show it to your kids. It basically explains how civilization came from the fertile crescent to being dominated by white europeans. No clear thinking person can read this book and have a racist thought left in their mind. I recommend it to everyone I know.

6) I fell one vote short of getting the endorsement from the Ward 9 Committee last saturday. I was then voted onto my neighborhood committee after the endorsement process. I asked if people who did not vote for me would mind staying after the meeting to tell me what they didn't like about me or my platform, and how I could improve as a candidate. No one took me up on the offer, or even acknowledged that they hadn't voted for me. (secret ballot) Even at the Ward Level there is "back room" politics going on, where people won't have an open discussion about the issues and how to address them.

7) Had a nice conversation with John Connelly and Matt O'Malley before a DFA meeting the other night. All of us commisserating about the press. John about how he is pigeon holed as just the son of a former politician without talking about him as an individual, and I said to Matt how unfair it is to him that he gets even less mention than the three political offspring, even though he has run winning campaigns, received union endorsements, and is working really hard (as all the candidates are) running around the city.

8) In today's Globe they did an article about mailings by City Councilors. Last year councilor Murphy sent 1 piece of mail, this year 6,240. The article says that Murphy said the mailing had nothing to do with election year politics. "I don't see any relevance", "Every councilor is different. They send out different things, depending on the issue. You send them as the issues come up." I guess there weren't any issues facing Boston last year.

9) Had a nice talk at the JP ward meeting, and met representative Sanchez. We talked a bit about NSTAR and how they aren't responsive to businesses. I am trying to get a 60 employee business open right now and I can't because NSTAR hasn't turned on the power and won't tell me when they are going to turn on the power. This is what happens when bad legislation gives companies monopolies without proper oversight. And I wonder why NSTAR execs give so much money to politicians. More importantly this makes for a harsh business climate in MA. Who wants to start a business when you can't get a straight answer about infrastructure questions.
When Sanchez discovered I was one of the plaintiff's in the Open Meeting Lawsuit against the City Council, he said "oh, you're the guy pissing off half the city!" A very funny guy.

more later, we have hired some Boston Public School grads to work on the campaign and we go fulltime next week.



the sak said...

A new staff director is needed for the council who is knowledgeable about technology that will open the council up such as software that would connect the stenographic machine with closed captioning on broadcasts, webcasts that people with hearing loss and anyone who wants a more clear idea of the words of the debate by councilors in public meetings.

The current staff director and staff have only spare knowledge about new technology that would open municipal government up to more people interested, concerned or affected by civic matters.

the sak said...

Here's an example of a city council public meetings stenographic transcripts