Saturday, September 03, 2005

It's a less Big World out there

Ah, the lattice of coincidence:

-I was at Donovan Walker's end of the year picnic at Ramsey Park the other day. Where many politicians got awards for being so great from Donovan. Earlier in the week he had been essentially pleading with me and others for money because the Mayor and others hadn't come through with the promised funding for his summer league, he was not pleased with the mayor on the phone. But then he introduced the person from the Mayor's office "here representing our GREAT MAYOR TOM MENINO....."
Just a suggestion, but maybe one of the reasons Donovan doesn't have enough money for the kids t-shirts and stuff is because he is spending money on plaques for politicians which will just collect dust somewhere. As my fiance cynically said: "so let me get this straight, he begged you for money, didn't announce that you were there or that you helped out, and then your donated money went to buy plaques for politicians? Not too smart"

-Also at the park was Amy McNamee. This attractive, professionally dressed blond woman came up to me on the basketball court took off her sunglasses and said "kevin, do you remember me?" It was the former Amy Dray, a wonderful woman whom I dated 16 years ago!!! She said she was still crazy after all these years. She had two boys when I dated her who are now in college, she has remarried, has two more kids, and went to law school and is now a prosecuter in DA Conley's office. It was great to see her and nice of her to say hi. Back then I remember driving my 67 cadillac with the flames down the sides and the roof blowtorched off to her parents house in Milton. They were a bit aghast at first, but then quite nice. Her two boys who were about 4 and 6 of course loved it. She looked stunning, was always very smart, and extremely hip. Wonderful to see her so successful!

BULLETIN: While I was writing this, a phone call just came in and I got my first bullet vote! An elderly woman whom I had talked with at one of the nursing homes Patricia Katava called to make sure she could bullet vote for me, she had the absentee ballot in her hand and my brochure, had asked me a number of questions when I visited her elderly care center and wanted to make sure she could vote for just me. Thank you Patricia! I remember her as someone asking a lot of specific questions. It does pay (I hope) to not ignore the tired and poor, and I also believe it is correct to include all facets of society. (although I appreciate the bullet vote, I still think you should vote for 4)

Also at Ramsey Park was Councilor Murphy and one of his female staff members. Brunelli and Amanda were with me. Later, Amanda told me she knew this woman. Amanda said she was a substitute teacher at the O'Bryant School and that she had substituted in one of her pre-calculus or calculus classes. She said the woman had just come into class, turned on her DVD player and started watching the movie about Ray Charles. She didn't assign any work or tell the kids to study. I asked "what did you do?" and she said she just left the class. She had that look of helpless exasperation on her face which said, 'what can I do, I'm just a young kid in an inner city school, no one is going to listen to me, even though I know all the wrong that is going on right in front of me'. I confirmed with Murphy later that this staff woman had indeed recently been a substitute teacher.
Stories like this make me so Angry. Who is monitoring these schools???? Another question I've asked all the kids is if they have ever seen a politician in their schools. None of them have yet. That is another reason I want to visit the schools, to let the kids in Boston know that we, the city, believe in our kids and we will provide opportunities if they are responsible and study hard. Hiring these Boston Public School students has been a learning experience for me as well.

-Later that day we were at the Children's Museum for the Welcome to Kindergarten kickoff. An older black woman who was part of the kindergarten team came out and recognized Amanda. The woman was part of the team at city hall who selects the City of Boston Scholarships. We agreed on how great Amanda was, as she blushed. I then asked her why it is that in a city where 90 percent of the public school students are minorities, that half of the scholarships went to whites, and very few to blacks. To her credit, she agreed that is was a problem and that they had to do a better job of letting the kids know about the scholarships available. I told her of my proposal to have a place on the City Website where all available scholarships are listed. She thought it was a great idea, and also agreed with me that the city website is terrible. How difficult is it to let the schoolkids know that there are scholarships available??????? This is another example of lack of equal access to government.

As we tearfully say goodbye to Brunelli and Amanda, we welcome Amanda's next door neighbor Dominic who will be a junior this fall at Madison Park, and to Philip Lee who is a recent graduate of Suffolk University. Philip will be running my office for the rest of the campaign. He has experience working previously on Rappaport's campaign.

Amanda and Brunelli finally got an answer out of City Hall on how much the blue signs cost. I am not pleased with how they did it, and I chastised them for it, but I do give them credit for ingenuity. Brunelli had received no answer or response for over a month. So, Amanda called up and pretended she was Brunelli's mother and told the person at city hall something like "my daughter has been trying for over a month to get an answer out of you guys, she is trying to write a paper, and you need to be more responsive to our children and students" Amazingly, she got a return phone call almost immediately with the information she was seeking. So, if you want information from city hall, apparently you need approval or maybe a permission slip from your mother.

I will be debating/discussing the new Keg Rule for the City of Boston with Councilor Murphy on Joe Heisler's show Tuesday at 7:30.

Press Corrections:

Frank in the Bulletin: I never said that I had the benefit of going to suburban schools. The only suburban school I went to was Acton-Boxboro for about 6 weeks my freshman year in high school. He is correct that I am philosophically opposed to programs that are exclusive to people because of race.

Phoenix: I was there at the forum opposed to the Biolab, and voiced my opposition along with Garza, Rivera, Ready, Turner, and Yoon. O'Malley was there but didn't speak. Feel free to check my blog to verify the story anytime.

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