As of today, the District 3 election is 12 days away. Here's a round-up of what some of the candidates are up to as they jockey for voters' attention and approval:
GALVIN PUSHES ANTI-FORECLOSURE MEASURE: Candidate Craig Galvin, who owns the real estate firm Galvin Group, is pushing a proposal to require mortgage lenders to place a bond to secure vacant or foreclosed properties that they own. The lenders would also be required to enter into mediation with homeowners they're trying to foreclose on.
The bond would total $10,000. The proposal, similar to ones passed by the Springfield City Council and spurred by Galvin's own experiences, also includes a $300-a-day fine for lenders who do not attempt to mediate. “It forces the banks to come to the table and negotiate and mediate,” Galvin said. “Right now banks don't have to come to the table.”
Galvin, who paid more for his property than it was worth and was not allowed to refinance, said banks took to the “last minute to talk to me and be reasonable." Liens were placed against his house, he confirmed. “I don't want to see other people get hurt,” he said.
Galvin's camp pointed to one Minot St. woman whose home is in foreclosure, and Tom Callahan, executive director of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, sounding notes of support for the proposal.
SEIU LOCAL 888 BACKS O'TOOLE: SEIU Local 888, which represents public sector workers, endorsed civic activist John O'Toole this week. The union represents 2,700 members in Boston - including workers at Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF), City Hall clerks and technicians and the Elderly Commission -- and 9,600 workers statewide.
From housing to schools, clerical and custodial, SEIU Local 888 provides essential services without which municipalities across the Commonwealth could not function,” O'Toole said in a statement. “I am deeply honored to have the hardworking men and women of SEIU Local 888 stand with me in this campaign.”
O'Toole, the former head of the Cedar Grove Civic Association, has picked up a number of other union endorsements, including IBEW 103, an electrical workers union, as well as unions representing pipe-fitters, bricklayers and carpenters.
BAKER PROPOSES 'SILVER HAIRED CITY COUNCIL': District 3 candidate and former city worker Frank Baker says he will create a 'Silver Haired City Council' in order to “bring seniors directly into my office” if he's elected. In a letter sent out to seniors, Baker wrote, “I hope to use this program to keep me vigilant and up to date on issues affecting seniors in our district so that I can quickly and effectively respond to problems you are facing.”
In the letter, Baker noted that he has two elderly parents living at home, and will also work to maintain “senior only” housing, so seniors are able to “live safely and peacefully with their peers.”
THE PHOENIX TAKE ON DISTRICT 3: Policy has largely taken a back seat in the race, with candidates knocking on doors and revving up their supporters. The Boston Phoenix's David Bernstein takes a look  at the race in this week's paper: “A small number of voters — probably between 5000 and 8000 of more than 36,000 registered voters — will take part in the preliminary, and most of them will hail from a few specific neighborhoods,” he writes. “Many will have some direct connection to one of the candidates, and will be voting because they were reminded that the person they know is on the ballot. It's almost, one campaign insider says, more like a school election than a political race.”
POLLING LOCATION CHANGES: And finally, a heads up to anyone in Wards 12 and 16 – your polling locations will be different in this preliminary. Details are available here .
The preliminary election is set for Sept. 27, with seven candidates vying for the job. Two candidates will face off in the Nov. 8 final election. The other candidates include Stephanie Everett, who took a leave from her job as an aide to state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz in July; Marydith Tuitt, an aide to state Rep. Gloria Fox; information technology consultant Marty Hogan; and former Nantucket selectman Doug Bennett.
Questionnaires for all the candidates are available here .