Connolly kicks off mayoral campaign
BOSTON, MA – More than 400 enthusiastic supporters attended a rally March 20 to kick off Boston City Councilor John Connolly’s campaign for Mayor of Boston.
“I am running for Mayor of Boston to transform our public schools, to bring a more inclusive, open culture to City Hall, and to usher in a new era of innovation across the City of Boston that puts us in the lead when it comes to creating safe, healthy and livable neighborhoods,” Connolly said.
Connolly’s campaign kickoff, which was held at the Omni Parker House in Downtown Boston, featured a diverse and energetic crowd, reflecting his campaign’s efforts to target both new voters and young voters as a cornerstone of his candidacy.
“This campaign is about Boston’s future, and the need for new ideas, new energy and new leadership,” Connolly said. The kickoff was emceed by DJ Val Beatz, a DJ and on air personality on Big City 101.3 Radio, and included a performance by the Boston-based band Bad Rabbits. Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe, Connolly’s wife, Meg Connolly, and Melina Munoz, a former middle school student of Connolly’s, also addressed the crowd.
At the event, Connolly unveiled an innovative social organizing tool to engage voters. This feature, which will be available when the full campaign website launches in April, gives supporters the opportunity to mobilize their friends and neighbors through social networking sites.
Connolly, a former teacher and father of two young children, said that his campaign will focus on the need for new ideas and a transparent and inclusive approach to solving the challenges facing Boston and, especially, its public school system.
“The success of our schools directly impacts our ability to create safe, healthy, and livable neighborhoods as well as our ability to create jobs, attract talent, and retain families in Boston,” Connolly said. “As Mayor, I will remake our system by decentralizing a school department headquarters that spends over $1 billion per year by focusing on investing in people and programs at our schools and in our classrooms.”
In addition to his focus on schools, Connolly also highlighted the need for change in the City’s approach to public safety, job creation, housing and open government. Connolly stressed the need to connect public safety, health and housing resources to ensure a comprehensive approach to healthy neighborhoods, and he called for the creation of an Office of Recovery Services in City Hall, which he would direct to expand the number of beds and addiction recovery programs available to women. Connolly also envisioned an expansive start-up ecosystem across the City and he vowed that, as Mayor, he would lobby for better transportation infrastructure for Boston.
Calling for a more open and inclusive city government, Connolly called City Hall “a real life drama that puts reality TV to shame,” stating that City Hall makes “‘Southie Rules’ look like a serious news show.” “Too often, City Hall operates in a manner that puts who you know above who you are,” Connolly said. “City Hall stifles innovation, pushes talent away, pushes families away, and in a recent report, earns a D- for transparent and open government. We should have a completely transparent city government focused on an inclusive approach to problem solving.”
Connolly was first elected to an At-Large (Citywide) seat on the Boston City Council in 2007 and was reelected in 2009 and 2011.