^ Jack Kelly of Charlestown : endorsed
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We have decided to endorse and suggest candidates for Boston’s four at-large council seats before the primary.
Why ? Because the Council race has been pushed aside by the huge Mayor campaign. If we do not turn up the volume on the Council conversation, some very worthy candidates risk not rising above the general silence. So here goes.
We make ONE endorsement at this time : Jack Kelly of Charlestown.
We endorse Jack Kelly because, first, he is as universally trusted a voice for organized labor as we’ve seen in this city’s electoral politics in a very long time. With both Boston’s daily neswspapers taking an explicitly adversarial view of Unions — both public workers and private — a voice for all of labor is vitally needed in the halls of power and at the deciding table.
Second : of all the candidates on our radar, Kelly has run the most city-wide effective campaign. An at-large Councillor must work for, and show, support in most Boston neighborhoods and from a variety of constituencies. Otherwise, why run at Large ? Jack Kelly has done it and proved it with endorsements from nearly every area of the city and with diverse communities of voters.
Third : Kelly has secured these endorsements — and excited voters wherever we go — because he seems genuinely enthusiastic about people politics and by discussing issues extremely well — public health and drug addiction, school reforms, the BRA and more. No wonder Mayor Menino wanted him as a neighborhood co-ordinator (for Charlestown).
Please give Jack Kelly the first of your four at-large Council votes.
As to your other three votes, we offer six names. Five are first-timers listed alphabetically. All merit your serious consideration :
Chris Conroy of Roxbury
Annissa Essaibi-George of Dorchester
Marty Keogh of West Roxbury
Catherine O’Neill of Dorchester
Jeff Ross of the South End
Each brings worthy and distinct qualities well needed on the Council. All share a devotion to progressive or neighborhood, issues. We withhold full endorsement, however, because, as we see it, all of them need to broaden their geographic reach and/or develop support among diverse constituencies. The Primary will tell who has it and who doesn’t. We can’t say it enough : an at-Large Councillor must show that he or she has at-Large strength. It’s a pre-requisite to winning our endorsement.
Our sixth suggestion is an incumbent : Ayanna Pressley. Her, you already know. Her Home Rule petition to give Boston control of its liquor licenses — of which we were skeptical till we heard her explain it — is a must. She should definitely be a powerfully in your consideration when you vote on September 24th.
—- Michael Freedberg / Editor in Chief, Here and Sphere