I originally intended to meet every one of the candidates for mayor before making a decision on who to vote for.
But then things changed. We’ve lost 12 candidates with the whole signature certification thing. So I was down to twelve. In the last month, I’ve actually been a stone’s throw from all of the candidates. But, now that the race is in full swing, it is nearly impossible to have a conversation with them. They need a show of force, and that means big events with a lot of people. Meeting them didn’t seem so productive.
But there was a bigger issue for me. It has become clear to me in the last few weeks that corporate education reformers have Boston in their crosshairs. They are locked and loaded and ready to orchestrate a take over of the Boston Public School System.
This became evident to me after listening to the Mass Stand Mayoral Forum on Education. There were only three candidates who opposed raising the cap on charters: Felix Arroyo, Rob Consalvo and Charles Yancey.
So I was down to three. I knew what I wanted. I wanted someone who would resist handing the keys to BPS over to Walmart AND I wanted someone who could win. I am eager to join a campaign and show the corporate education reformers that you can’t just waltzed into Boston and take over our schools.
So I was down to two: Arroyo and Consalvo. (Sorry, Yancey, but if you thought you could win, why are you also running for Councilor at Large?)
I think Jen can attest to the fact that I found this to be a hard decision. Honestly, if either Arroyo or Consalvo make it to the final round, I will be thrilled. But my wife yelled at me, “Just choose one Googie. People have voted on a lot less.”
Felix Arroyo said something at the forum that really spoke to me. He talked about the link between poverty and education. In fact, I think he was the only candidate that spoke about the connection. And you know what, he is absolutely right. This isn’t about test scores or longer school days or high expectations. The problem with urban schools is poverty.
I feel a little like Flavor Flav here, but I am going to roll with Consalvo. His constituents love him. And like it has been pointed out, Hyde Park is a voting powerhouse. He has a strong connection to East Boston so I think they will come out for him too. I decided that I needed to think like a boss, and I believe that Consalvo has the right position on education, a good solid record of achievement at the City Council, and he has a solid chance of taking this thing.
So Rob Consalvo, I’m all in!
PS – I don’t know who Jen is voting for. Jen said she was going to vote for whomever I do. So you got two Mr. Consalvo!