Politics

Activists hold court at civic summit

Many were from Dorchester. But they were also from Back Bay, Roslindale, Brighton and Mattapan. Most of the 450 attendees, many of them leaders in their communities, stayed at the unprecedented civic summit through the drizzly Saturday afternoon, trading business cards with each other and taking in workshops on fundraising, zoning, communication and voter education.  Read more

Haitian-American activist plans council

Boston's city elections are a year away from getting started, but one Haitian community activist is already revving up a campaign for an at-large seat.

Jean Claude Sanon, a community organizer who has been on the radio since 1985, launched a bid this week for one of the four at-large seats on the City Council.  Read more

In magazine's power rankings, Feeney comes in at No. 32, Menino No. 1

City Council President Maureen Feeney wants to be clear: when it came to Boston magazine ranking the 50 most powerful people in the city, she had nothing to do with coming in at No. 32.

"I did not nominate myself," she says with a laugh. She came in ahead of Arline Isaacson, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus and Alan Solomont, CEO of Solomont Bailis Ventures and heavy Democratic fundraiser (#33 and #34), Cardinal Sean O'Malley (#36), MIT President Susan Hockfield (#38) and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (#43).  Read more

Galvin still opposes 'Sticky Rice' ballot translations

A proposal before the Boston City Council to provide bilingual ballots and translate candidates' names into Chinese characters appears poised to reignite debate over the practice as the state's chief elections officer says he remains opposed to the translating.

As part of a 2006 law stemming from an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, Boston provides bilingual ballots for Chinese and Vietnamese-speaking voters.

But the agreement expires in December 2008, which has prompted Sam Yoon, councillor at-large, to file a bill making the agreement permanent.  Read more

Local reps put focus on youth in budget moves; Amendments target violence

State representatives scrambled to file amendments totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars last week after House leaders proposed a $28 billion budget, and Dorchester's delegation was no different, bringing a focus on youth violence prevention programs. As it stood at press time, the Haitian Multi-Service Center would receive $158,000; Close to Home, a domestic violence prevention program, would receive $200,000; and the Ella J. Baker House would get $260,000.  Read more

Menino says new budget offers city 'stability'

Mayor Thomas Menino unveiled last week a proposed $2.42 billion operating budget for Boston, a 5.1 percent increase that would be mitigated, in part, by increases in parking fines. A five-year capital budget of $1.5 billion was also highlighted, with expenditures expected to total $151 million in the coming fiscal year.

Some of the moves, particularly the increase in some parking fines, drew criticism from city councillors, who have 60 days to consider the budget and were still looking over it this week.

Menino said the budget provided "stability in a time of uncertainty."  Read more

Potential Wilkerson foe to back her chief rival; St. Fleur, Allen, Hart could face fall competition

One candidate who was challenging state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson has stepped aside as others have jumped in for their shot to represent parts of Dorchester.

Roxbury filmmaker Robert Patton-Spruill, who pulled nomination papers earlier this year, is now throwing support to Sonia Chang-Diaz, he said this week.

"I think if I did [run], it would just divide the vote," instead of furthering his goal of new leadership, he said. "I don't think state senators should be in there for life," he added, taking a shot at Wilkerson's eight terms in office.  Read more

FBI to join task force on mortgage fraud cases

The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that between $4 and $6 billion in losses can be attributed to mortgage fraud nationwide in fiscal year 2007. It has 35 task forces working across the country on the problem and considers 16 states hotspots for the crime, but Massachusetts is not on the list. The task forces work in places like Florida, where swamp peddling is still alive and well. But the FBI will soon participate in a mortgage-fraud working group with state and city agencies, said a spokeswoman for the agency.  Read more

Hidden votes for McCain in Dot?

A recent call to the state Republican Party inquiring about Dorchester supporters of John McCain, the presumptive nominee, yielded only one name: that of a woman who bought a bumper sticker.

But don't be fooled. Susan Kelly says she isn't the only one who'll be pulling the lever for McCain this November. "There are a lot of closet Republicans that I know," who remain in the closet thanks to the job positions they hold, she says.  Read more

Wilkerson bill would freeze subprime takings

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Apr. 2, 2008

Saying that lawmakers on both the federal and state level have not done enough to stem the worsening tide of foreclosures, state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson filed last week a triad of bills that would put in place a 180-day moratorium on foreclosures resulting from "unfair" subprime loans, give tenants four to six months relief from eviction and provide for a foreclosure judicial process.  Read more