Three mayoral candidates stump in Chinatown
By Sherrie Choong and Ling-Mei Wong
The governor’s Asian American Commission and the Chinatown Resident Association welcomed three more mayoral candidates on July 31 and August 7 at the Josiah Quincy School. Seven of the 12 mayoral candidates have met with residents through the Chinatown forums so far, with an eighth candidate scheduled.
Rob Consalvo touted his experience as a city councilor for district 5 since June 2002. Before then, he spent four years in Washington, D.C. with late Sen. Ted Kennedy and was director of constituent services for state Rep. Angelo Scaccia.
“As your mayor, I can fight for you in City Hall,” he said. I can fight for you in the Statehouse and be your voice in Washington, D.C. on the federal level.”
Consalvo advocated for more affordable housing, better public schools and greater citizen access through a new office of innovation and ideas. He also proposed increasing youth jobs by 15 percent.
To make Boston’s streets safer, Consalvo would add an office to reduce gun violence and another office to deal with violence against women.
Bill Walczak campaigned as a community organizer, who led the Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester for 30 years. As vice president of Shawmut Design and Construction Company, he advocated for more constructions jobs for women, local residents and minorities. He would reform vocational schools so more people are trained for construction jobs, which represent $6 billion each year.
For the Boston public schools, Walczak would add a city chief service officer to recruit college tutors so every school child learns to read by third grade.
Walczak spoke against casinos, citing personal experience with his aunt and mother’s gambling addictions. As the South Boston innovation district is nearly full, he proposed a second innovation district in East Boston close to the airport. “I would build a new innovation district so Bostonians have better jobs than cards and craps,” he said.
As Chinatown is one of the most congested parts of the city, Walczak suggested planting more trees and adding open space from public land parcels to clean air better.
State Rep. Marty Walsh campaigned for bilingual ballots as a civil rights leader. Walsh is able to identify with the struggles that immigrant communities face after arriving in Boston, and will fight to protect the rights of all people in Boston.
Walsh advocated for more affordable housing, transparency in the Boston Redevelopment Authority, convenient city services for senior citizens, improved K-12 education and increased public safety by improving the police department service and availability. If elected, Walsh will plan for a Chinatown library during his first year in office.
Dan Sum Chan, Chinatown resident, raised concern regarding the cleanliness of Chinatown’s. Walsh said, “I will work with the Chinatown Main Streets program and public works to make sure Chinatown is clean.” He cited the hygiene level of San Francisco’s Chinatown as the standard for Boston.
All three candidates signed a petition supporting a Chinatown library. The petition is from the Chinese Youth Initiative, a summer internship organized by the Chinese Progressive Association.
Dan Conley, district attorney, was unable to attend on August 7 due to a shooting in Dorchester. At the previous forums in June and July, other mayoral candidates included Felix Arroyo, John Barros, John Connolly and Charlotte Golar Richie. District 8 City Councilor Mike Ross will speak on August 14.
This post is also available in: Chinese