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Get involved in the District 3 race

To the editor:

For a non-mayoral election year, 2011 is of huge importance to Boston’s largest neighborhood.  Voters will choose a new District 3 City Councilor to fill the seat held by Maureen Feeney, who served Dorchester with energy and commitment for 18 years. Members of Ward 15’s Democratic Committee encourage voters to become better informed and more involved.

Ward committees can be a pathway into politics and elected office, presenting residents with a chance to become engaged in the political process.  And “engaged” is what we need from our electorate, as there is much at stake. 

You only need to turn on the TV or surf the Internet for details about the recent crime wave in sections of our community. High unemployment and budget cuts to local programs and services will give our next district councilor a long “to-do” list. 

We expect a lot from our elected officials: We want our next councilor to have integrity, to value diversity, to welcome inclusiveness.  We want her or him to support policies that will make our society more just, more secure, and that will benefit the lives of working people and those who are struggling.  We want our councilor to be a leader and a collaborator, a goal-setter who can achieve results, a person with has fire in the belly and is passionate about our community and the people who live here!

We want the next district councilor to be visible and to represent the needs of residents living on both sides of Dot Ave. that is, to promote Dorchester as one neighborhood!

As newly elected chairs of the Ward 15 Democratic Committee, we’ll aim to carry on the tradition of our outgoing chairwoman, Sandi Bagley, who forged ties with other ward committee members in order to advance goals and ideals.  This year, all of us in District 3 need to join in the effort to preserve the gains and that solidarity that have been achieved over the last 18 years. 

Join us on Thurs., Aug. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the First Parish Church, 10 Parish Street, Meeting House Hill, where Ward 15 and members of Dorchester’s other ward committees will gather for a candidates’ forum on the District 3 election. Come to meet the candidates and learn about their priorities, skills and experiences – and see for yourselves if they have what it takes to represent our district on the Boston City Council.

Eileen Boyle and Winston Richie, longtime Dorchester residents, are the co-chairs of Dorchester’s Democratic Ward 15 Committee.