Boston’s District 2 city council candidates face off at forum
By Lan Nguyen
Bill Linehan and Suzanne Lee, candidates for District 2’s Boston city council seat, participated in a forum on Oct. 3 at the Boston Public Library in Copley.
Lee, a retired Josiah Quincy Elementary School principal, is challenging incumbent Linehan once more for District 2’s seat in the Nov. 5 general election.
Lee lost to Linehan by 97 votes for the same position in 2011. District 2 includes Chinatown, South Boston and parts of South End.
Throughout the forum, Linehan highlighted his six years of experience as District 2 city councilor. He served as chairman of the Economic and Planning Committee and chairman of the Redistricting Committee.
Lee touted her experience as an educator for more than 30 years and her ability to bring the community together.
Both candidates said public education needed improvement. Lee said, “Parents will go the lengths needed for their kids to do better. Parents don’t have to be physically there for them to be involved. That is not reality. People work. I know that when a student shows up to school, that the parent is involved.”
Apart from parental involvement, Lee said there needed to be “harmony” in the city and good programming.
Linehan said the community must come together to improve the quality of education. He suggested longer school hours, greater partnership for each school, and building more schools in “closer proximity” to the students’ homes.
On the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Lee stressed the importance of good planning and accountability. “Growth is not just about building but it is about the people,” she said. “These buildings have an impact on people.”
Linehan pointed out the BRA focuses on development and highlighted increased growth, particularly $180 million for public housing infrastructure in the past four years.
Lee highlighted her passion for the city and work ethic to bring accountability and transparency to the city council.
The forum was held by the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay and moderated by David Jacobs, editor of the Boston Courant.
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