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Friday, October 31, 2008

Wilkerson quits sticker race, does not resign

(Friday, Oct. 31)- Dianne Wilkerson has announced that she has suspended her write-in campaign. Wilkerson made the announcement moments ago inside the Charles Street AME Church in Roxbury, where a gathering of ministers had scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m., reportedly to demand her resignation. Reporters waited for hours as a conversation between the ministers and the Senator went on in a back room of the church. Wilkerson said she would not resign from her seat, but would make a further announcement "about the continuance of my term as Senator" next Wednesday, Nov. 5.

At right: Dianne Wilkerson with Rev. Jeffrey Brown of the Ten Point Coalition after Friday's announcement at Charles Street AME Church. Photo by Pete Stidman

Surrounded by leaders from the Black Ministerial Alliance and the Ten Point Coalition, a visibly emotional Wilkerson made brief remarks that she herself described as "short and sweet."

"This has been an extraordinary week," she said. "It may sound strange for me to say this, I feel like a blessed person."

Wilkerson went on to announce the "cessation" of the sticker candidacy which she had mounted to challenge Democratic nominee Sonia Chang-Diaz, who defeated her in the Sept. 16 state primary. In regards to the mounting calls for her to resign - including the unanimous vote of her Senate colleagues yesterday- Wilkerson then said she would have "no decision about that today."

Rev. Gilbert Thompson, president of the Black Ministerial Alliance, spoke next and said that the presence of ministers at Wilkerson's side was a recognition that "she is a part of our community."
"We dearly love her," said Thompson. "We are united in this effort for the sake of all of our congregations that are within the second districts, but all of the city. We are standing together with the Senator and praying for her."

Rev. Ray Hammond of Boston's Ten Point Coalition spoke next, saying that "in this very difficult season, we will continue to work to see that what is right is done. I want to thank the Senator for this step that she has taken."

No questions from the press were allowed.Wilkerson did not address the allegations revealed this week that she accepted more than $23,000 in bribe money.

"There was a conversation that happened today that needed to happen and hadn't happened," said Boyce Slayman, Wilkerson's campaign manager, after the announcement. He said the Senator and he had been discussing the matter all week. "It's a very difficult time for her. It's very stressful."

He added that part of Wilkerson's concern about leaving her seat and the campaign was that "this community needs representation more than most communities in the state," and that her campaign was not confident in Sonia Chang-Diaz's ability to be that representation.


Sticker race goes forward as Wilkerson stands accused
(Oct. 30)- Dianne Wilkerson vowed to continue with her long-shot campaign to retain her Second Suffolk senate seat in next Tuesday's general election, despite her arrest on Tuesday on charges that she accepted bribes in exchange for political favors.
Racially divisive election seen ahead as defiant Wilkerson presses on
Federal probe results in arrest, likely corruption indictment for Wilkerson
Reporter Editorial: Wilkerson must resign


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Critics press Johnson for changes to schools plan

First-time voters energized by presidential race

Big name pols push for 'No' vote on marijuana question

Bike patrols earn praise at Neponset meeting

Dot service station named in emissions scam

Baugh asked to resign from Lena Park CDC

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DotBike spawns imitators in city neighborhoods


Read Archived Reporter editions from 2008
Read Archived Reporter Stories from 2004-7

Neighborhood Notables
A comprehensive listing of upcoming events in and around Dorchester.
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Special Reports
Safe Streets deployment getting high marks after first year

Sgt. Lucas Taxter, supervisor of the District C-11 Safe Street Team in Codman Square, stands watch near the corner of Washington Street and Aspinwall Road on Tuesday evening. At left, officers Tahisha Skeen and David Hale gave the thumbs-up to passersby. Two teams attached to the deployment have been working in Codman Square since last August. The teams - each comprised of five officers and one sergeant - are currently working in Codman, Grove Hall, Bowdoin-Geneva and the Morton-Talbot corridor. Commissioner Ed Davis says he plans to add one in Uphams Corner by December. Photo by Bill Forry

Despite foreclosure histories, some condo-ized units still fetching big $$

This three-decker house at 43 Whitfield Street is one of several properties turned condominium that has repeatedly turned up in foreclosure filings. Despite its history and the slumping housing market, just one condo unit in this house was sold in June for $339,000. Chris Lovett takes a closer look at who is behind these condo sales. Photo by Chris Lovett.


Commander Robert A. Hall, Jr. waved to the crowds along the Dorchester Day Parade route on Sunday, June 1. The Billerica native led the men and women of the USS Porter (DDG-78) in a special visit to Boston for the Dorchester celebrations. The visit also marked an important milestone in Hall's naval career. Pictured, lr, USS Porter Exceutive Officer T.J. Dixon, Cdr. Hall, Command Master Chief Dominic Musso. A full report on the Porter's trip to Boston, inside. Bill Forry Photo

Read the original, May 15 story
In Grove Hall, radio rebels dig in

TOUCH FM emerges as the "voice of Black Boston"
They are facing huge fines from the FCC and
could even have their equipment confiscated - if the feds ever find their modest studio. But the radio team at TOUCH 106.1 FM are defiant, saying that their role as the "fabric of the Black community"creates a moral imperative that they stay on the air. Above, creative director and morning man MC Spice. Photo by Pete Stidman

Dorchester History
by Peter F. Stevens
Artwork courtesy of Celia McDonough

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