|Congrautulations to Tito Jackson on his excellent
victory on voting day, March 15, 2011. On swearing in day, March 26,
2011, the full load of District 7 work will fall on Tito's shoulders - if
that's the way he chooses to play the game.
Another approach is
teamwork. In fact one of Tito's campaign themes was "Team
Tito." We encourage him to continue the team approach as he
carries out his day-to-day activities.
We encourage him to look to the most recent set of District 7 ideas
that came from the finalists prior to primary day. Let's make
sure their ideas do not get lost in the
winds of change.
On February 13, 2011 MassVote sponsored a forum just prior to primary
elections for district 7 councilor. Each candidate answered questions
and contributed ideas on how to engage voters, improve
our school system, make progress on economic development and more.
Candidate contributions came from Tito Jackson, Natalie
Carithers, Cornell Mills, Roy Owens and Danielle Renee Williams.
The depth and breadth of their suggestions highlights the quality of
the candidates. We encourage Tito Jackson to call upon these people and to add them, if possible, to his team.
- Involvement in local government
- Economic development
- Senior citizens
- Education and our youth
- Revenue generation
|Danielle Renee Williams
|Really! Who cares about elections? Apparently, almost nobody. Both
in the primary and in the final election, the turnout was low - 8.4% of
the registered voters on March 15, 2011.
Perhaps if the issues were taking from our wallets or limiting our
freedoms or dramatically reducing our city services, maybe that's when
would wake up. But by then, it's already too late. The set
has been cast.
need to convince our electorate that voting is but the last step in a
vibrant exchange of ideas that moves through the political process and
that leads to an understanding of who the candidates are, what they
stand for and who to vote for.
District 7 candidates addressed increasing voter involvement in several
|Philosophy - Engage in a campaign of promoting citizen
involvement around building community and participating in community
service with a clear attitude of giving back - helping those that are
less fortunate.||Cornell Mills|
|Organization - Form a District Council to bring together the
disparate neighborhoods and constituencies that make up District 7.
||Cornell Mills, Natalie Carithers|
|Attitude - Protect the rights of everyone in the district without disrespecting the rights of anyone. ||Cornell Mills|
|Facilitation - Open schools for use by community organizations||Natalie Carithers|
|What voters care about is jobs, so what steps can a city councilor take to promote "more jobs"?
Begin by promoting entrepreneurship. Look at the business districts in
District 7. Can the local business districts support new businesses?
Does the City of Boston facilitate the process of starting a new
Promote local shopping. Are Boston residents supporting their
local business districts? Not always. Some residents still choose to
drive miles away instead of shopping "locally." That leaves D7
businesses with a diminished customer base. It also affects the
business's ability to offer jobs to the community. The economic health
of the business district itself is diminished. Promoting the idea of
shopping locally is good for everyone's health.
our city have the types of training and educational facilities that
match up with the needs of our businesses? Businesses need access to trained and capable employees.
So what does this have to do with the district 7 Councilor? The answer
lies in our concept of community. How do we want our community to look
and act and portray itself to the world? Are we a city that promotes
entrepreneurship? Are there decisions made at the city level that
ultimately affect the ability for businesses to thrive in an attractive
spoke to the need for a visible, attractive and economically
viable District 7 face to the world and for they also raised the idea
of high school training programs so that our young people would be
ready for employment immediately out of high school.
|Make Dudley Square into a model for a world-class community. ||Tito Jackson|
|End the disparity in the appearances of businesses across
District 7, for example, the South Bend versus Upham's Corner||Danielle Renee Williams|
|Create HS technical training programs to improve ability to get jobs at graduation||Cornell Mills|
|Create high school healthcare training programs to create
immediate employability at hospitals at the time of graduation||Danielle Renee Williams|
|Promote entrepreneurship||Cornell Mills|
|Make sure labs like the BU lab are not allowed in District 7||Cornell Mills & Natalie Carithers|
|District 7 has many parks and green spaces dearly
beloved by its
residents. Cutting budgets could result in lowered maintenance
and a decrease in the beauty of our parks. Perhaps volunteers
could take on some of this
Franklin Park in particular is more than just a large open green
space. It is historically significant in the overall layout of
Boston. It needs to be maintained and improved.
|Advocate for Park and recreational services, especially Franklin
Park as it is used by many people outside of Roxbury
|Increase the usage of parks as this helps reduce crime
|Reintroduce "Playhouse in the Park" in Franklin Park
|Hold a kite Festival at Franklin Park
|As our society matures and ages, the number of people in the senior
citizens category will increase. Our local government must make sure
this constituency group is not forgotten. More than that, we know this
group has much to contribute. Let's find a way to get them involved.
|Make sure our elders have a voice in City Hall
|Create a senior center for one-stop senior shopping
|Danielle Renee William
|Create a senior services coordinator for district 7
|Involve seniors in youth mentoring and youth tutoring
|At the national level the focus of education is
necessarily strategic. What educational programs will maintain
our premier position in the world or prepare us for an economy less
dependent on fossil fuels? How will we provide students with the
flexibility they need to adapt to skill set changes required over a
As important as these strategic questions are, they do not necessarily
address the needs of a small community. Boston is a big city made up of small communities and small businesses. What
skills do they need? In an improved economy, what types of jobs
do they foresee offering to the local community? Will our
residents be prepared when the jobs are available?
Because of the flow of federal dollars to our local communities, the
focus of our school system reflects national standards and national
priorities. Yet we have to deal with the youth who are moving
through, and who will soon graduate from our school system. It is
not clear that a college prep path is the right one for everybody.
Addressing budgeting issues is important but difficult. Imagining that our
school system, in isolation from all other forms of community support,
will have to take on the full role of preparing our youth for their
adult working years equates to ever higher tax dollars funneled into
the school system.
- What essential services must a school system
- What else is needed to round out the education of the
- How can we use volunteer services to supplement the
education of our youth?
|Support, do not abandon, the Boston public schools through active involvement and spot checking
|Create a district 7 Read program and encourage all residents to get involved
|| Tito Jackson
|Allow faith-based organizations to participate in tutoring programs
|Effect greater transparency with the school board,
including more open meetings, elected members, a long-term plan and
require school board members to have children in the public schools
|Cornell Mills & Tito Jackson
|Create HS technical training programs to improve ability to get jobs at graduation
|Create high school healthcare training program to
create immediate employability at hospitals at the time of graduation
||Danielle Renee Williams
|Improve the Cory bill to protect our youth
|Promote our local businesses to hire local youth so that Cory is not an issue
Committing to fund our future requires money that may not be accessible
today. Revenues are falling, federal dollars are decreasing
and this affects our state's funding of local aid.
The most popular response to a decrease in tax dollars is the logical
one - cut services. In the long run this is a poor policy.
It generates a yo-yo effect. Cutting our support of educational
programs, health care, and infrastructure maintenance leads to an
increase in emergencies in the future - road, bridge and building
deterioration, a population with unchecked health problems and our
youth without employment. Hopefulness moves in the direction of
hopelessness and crime begins to increase.
A sane society does not find this acceptable anymore than would an
individual whose income has decreased. We have two choices: get
another job and/or live more frugally. Those are the two ways
that the City of Boston needs to redirect its energies in order to
maintain the viability of our community as we go through difficult
Any duplication of city services or the use of funds in a program
without demonstrable benefit should be considered for
elimination. At the same time the City of Boston needs to get "a
second job." Whether this be through an increase in taxes or
permission for volunteer groups to take on some tasks or moving events
from public management to citizen management, any creative idea that
allows us to continue to support what is deemed necessary to maintain
our future must be considered. We must be open to new, if
challenging, ways of handling city services.
We note that there were not many suggestions provided for "revenue
generation." That is typical for a government body but it doesn't
have to be. It is important that we identify the cost of essential services
required for a healthy city, then work creatively to generate the
|Identify revenue-generating activities for parks
such as sledding, cross-country skiing and other summertime activities
|Make sure the PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) program contributes fairly to city resources