28 days to Nov. 5. Seven days until the first televised debate between the two finalists. Driving the day (no pun intended): An illegal, or "wildcat," strike by members of the city's bus drivers' union, which is represented by the United Steelworkers of America Local 8751. From Boston Public Schools: "Today’s unauthorized protest appears to be connected to the Union’s ongoing opposition to changes that ensure driver safety and suitability, steps to improve on-time performance, and the new web tool that allows families to track the location of their child’s school bus in real time." 300 drivers are involved, and the strike affected half of the 33,000 students who ride buses.
City Councillor At-Large John Connolly, a mayoral candidate and chair of the Council's Education Committee, released a scathing statement: "It is shameful for the school bus drivers union to use our children as pawns in a political game. This is about safety first and foremost, and it is totally unacceptable that our children were put at risk this morning, not to mention the impact on thousands of parents who will miss work. Missing even one day of school is a real problem for our children who face a daunting achievement gap." State Rep. Marty Walsh also condemned the "wildcat" strike. “Kids and parents must come first. This is wrong," he said in a statement. "The bus drivers have put our children in harm’s way. This is an illegal action, causing a huge disruption, and I call on the bus drivers to return to work immediately. This is a violation of the contract and cannot be tolerated.”
BARROS, ARROYO TO ENDORSE WALSH: Two former rivals are expected to back Rep. Walsh today in a campaign event in Egleston Square at Columbus Avenue and Washington Street at 10:45 a.m. Walsh will be joined at the park by City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo and former School Committee member John Barros. Barros emailed supporters at 8 a.m., saying he had met with both mayoral finalists. "I have been profoundly impressed with Marty's interest in our concerns and his commitment to leading an inclusive, participatory administration," he said in the email. "That is exactly what we need now."
THE DAY AHEAD: A list of happenings, as provided by the campaigns. Schedule entries are subject to change:
State Rep. Marty Walsh
(UPDATE - CANCELLED)11:40 a.m. Rep. Walsh will testify in support of An Act Relative to Dropout Prevention and Recovery (S. 208) (Massachusetts State House)
4:00 p.m. Rep. Walsh will appear on LEFT AHEAD BlogTalkRadio
8:30 p.m. Taipei Economic & Cultural Office – National Day of the Republic of China (Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Avenue)
City Councillor At-Large John Connolly
Testimony at Dropout Prevention Hearing
Gardner Auditorium, State House, Boston, MA
Interview on Fox 25
Omni Parker House, Boston, MA
Farewell Party at Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
38 Ash Street, Boston, MA
The Boston Politics Broadcast on Boston Praise Radio
1330 AM Radio or www.bostonpraiseradio.tv
ODDS & ENDS: Black, Latino and Asian activists with NAACP and Oiste to meet behind closed doors at Boston Teachers Union's headquarters in Dorchester tonight night to discuss possible mayoral endorsement, WBUR's David Scharfenberg reports .....Former mayoral candidate Charles Clemons said he's working with the candidates on scheduling a forum on Monday, Oct 14 at 8 am, on his low-frequency radio station, TOUCH 106.1 FM.....Mayor Menino's book  with Jack Beatty is up on Amazon.com: "Mayor for a New America" (h/t to Adam Reilly  of WGBH).