Reporter’s Notebook: Lottery gives Marydith Tuitt pole position on District 3 ballot

In the age of electronics and the internet, the City of Boston Elections Department keeps it low key. Yesterday morning at City Hall, fourteen names were tossed into a gold metal tumbler and then pulled out, one by one, to determine the ballot order in three City Council preliminary races this September.

In Dorchester’s District 3, seven candidates are running to replace retiring City Councillor Maureen Feeney. The ballot drawing put Marydith Tuitt, State House aide to Rep. Gloria Fox (D-Roxbury), first, followed by: Marty Hogan, an information technology consultant; Stephanie Everett, an aide to state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz; local realtor and civic activist Craig Galvin; fellow realtor and civic activist John O’Toole; former Nantucket selectman Doug Bennett; and longtime political activist and City Hall employee Frank Baker.

The seven will face off in a Sept. 27 preliminary. Feeney is retiring after 17 years on the 13-member council.

Two incumbents whose districts include part of Dorchester are facing challenges. The drawing determined the ballot order for the races in District 2, which is primarily based in South Boston, and District 7, based in Roxbury.

In District 2, the order will be as follows: Robert Ferrara, a local coach and community activist; former Josiah Quincy School principal Suzanne Lee; and incumbent City Councillor Bill Linehan.

In District 7, where Tito Jackson replaced former City Councillor Chuck Turner in a special election in March, the order will be: perennial candidate Althea Garrison; Jackson; Sheneal Parker, a member of the Fenway Community Development Corporation’s board of directors; and frequent candidate Roy Owens.

The preliminary election for those two seats is also on Sept. 27. The final election is on Nov. 8.

Endorsement Corner: Bakerpicks up pressmen’s union
District 3 candidate Frank Baker racked up another endorsement, picking up support from Boston Newspaper Printing Pressmen’s Union Local No. 3. Baker, a former shop steward in the city’s printing department, has been on an endorsement tear, grabbing endorsements from local state representatives and a local electrical union.

Via its Twitter feed, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus announced its own endorsements in the upcoming municipal elections: Suzanne Lee, one of two candidates challenging incumbent City Councillor Bill Linehan (South Boston); Sheneal Parker, one of three candidates running against incumbent City Councillor Tito Jackson (Dorchester) and Ayanna Pressley, who is running for reelection to one of the City Council’s four at-large seats.

Lee is a former principal at the Josiah Quincy School. Parker is a former Boston Public Schools teacher and serves on the Fenway Community Development Corporation’s board of directors.

 Three vacant properties up for grabs for urban agriculture

The city’s Department of Neighborhood Development has released a request for proposals in a pilot urban farming project. Three city-owned parcels in Dorchester are available: 23-29 Tucker Street, 131 Glenway Street, and 18-24 Standish Street.

According to Mayor Thomas Menino’s office, each property’s lease will be roughly $125 to $200 per year for five years. The administration has been pushing the pilot project as a way to directly bring fresher, healthier food into the local community.

“Urban farming is a great way to encourage small scale agricultural entrepreneurism in our city,” Menino said in a statement. “It has the capacity to bring fresh fruits and vegetables into neighborhoods and corner stores while teaching Boston families and youth about where their food comes from.”

Aug. 15 is the deadline for the proposals. The RFP is available for download at the Department of Neighborhood Development’s website and (cityofboston.gov/dnd) a conference for bidders is set for July 25 at 5 p.m. at 26 Court St.
 
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