Extreme Politics, Boston Mayor Edition: John Laing

There are 24 people running for mayor. I am going to try and meet all of them before I cast my vote in September (this probably won’t happen). I will blog about my interactions, intentional or accidental, as I go along. 

When I look at the power rankings that political insiders gave the candidates, I noticed that John Laing didn’t rank. Here’s hoping that they are wrong because I think that he should be a viable candidate.

I met John Laing at the kite festival in Franklin Park today. When I asked him how he envisioned the role of charter schools in education, he gave me a very nuanced and intelligent answer. He also told me that he was a father of five and that he has been an advisor to the Department of Children and Families.

I assume Mr. Laing’s big challenge is that he isn’t known to voters. I don’t know if he is going to be able to overcome this deficit. We’ll see if he makes it onto the ballot for September.

After meeting him, I did a little research and discovered that the radio station he founded is unlicensed. The only reason I bring this up is because I have worked in government. And it’s frustrating. I understand why an entrepreneur would want to bend the licensing requirements. But these are the sort of rules that he will have to navigate as mayor.

There is a kite in the scenario, it is just out of the frame.

There is a kite in the scenario, it is just out of the frame.

One thing I learned, my kids did much better at the kite festival than they did at Consalvo’s kick off party. So kites: Yes! Kick Off Parties: NO.

Impression: I had a favorable impression of John Laing from meeting. I am hoping that voters give this thoughtful man a look.

More or Less Likely to Vote for Candidate after meeting him or her: I thought that meeting all of the candidates would help me decide how to vote. But now I am beginning to think that it will make the decision harder. My favorable impression was tempered by my research. I guess you could say that I am undecided about him. I was impressed with his answer to my question, but now I am a little bit worried if an entrepreneur will be able to handle the bureaucracy of city hall.

Candidates website: http://www.johnlaingformayor.com  One thing that I appreciate about John Laing’s web site is that it lists specifics like making sure there is a social worker in every school (a great idea). I understand keeping a web site vague, but there are 24 candidates. It’s nice to have a hint about the candidate’s ideas.


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