Most Boston voters who participated in this week’s Dorchester Reporter-WBUR-The Boston Foundation sponsored-poll remain undecided about their pick for mayor later this year. The Reporter spoke to a sample of the poll participants who agreed to speak out about how they are approaching their decisions.
Galen Beebe-West, 34, of Dorchester, said she would vote for Michelle Wu if the election had been held on Tuesday.
“I had a really good impression of her from the city council elections,” she said. “And she is a strong supporter of the transit system. And I would say overall, it's like, I just don't know enough about any of the candidates. But I had a good sense of her.”
Beebe-West said she feels that Mayor Walsh did not do enough to address an issue that she feels most strongly about: climate change.
“I just think we have a lot of problems, especially around racial inequity in the city. And I did not see him do enough toward that,” she said. “And all of our current issues, especially equity issues in the city, are going to be exacerbated by the issues that climate change will bring to the city.”
Dr. Omar Reid, a Dorchester resident who serves as president of the Black Mental Health Alliance of Massachusetts, said he would most likely vote for Kim Janey.
“She appears competent. I like the work that she did on the city council,” said Reid, 62, who added that he also likes Michelle Wu and John Barros.
“These are the people I've dealt with in the community. And I feel that those are my top if I were to vote.”
Cynthia Rosner, a 51-year-old Dorchester resident, favors Janey, who she has found to be “pretty impressive, so far. Well, for one,” she said, “ the fact that her co-workers basically voted to elect her [City Council] president says to me that she not only is smart about politics, but also that she can get along with a lot of different kinds of people. So there's an element of, I guess, diplomacy and awareness that I think would serve somebody who is mayor very well.
Rosner watched Janey’s swearing-in ceremony and found her to be “genuine and authentic.”
“So, I was glad to learn that she's going to be running. I'll be sort of watching to see how she does between now and whenever the election is.”
Sonia Mclean-Mathurin, a 60-year-old from Dorchester, said she’s leaning towards a vote for Wu, whom she knows more about than the other candidates. But she is open to any of the female candidates.
“I think we need a different type,” she said. “I think it's good if maybe a female was probably in charge, you know?”
Douglas Skyers, 29, of Dorchester, represents the largest segment of Bostonians captured in this poll: He’s in wait-and-see mode.
“I'm undecided thus far because of the current social and political climate of things,” he said. “I am on the lookout for candidates who are informed socially. And that are – how do I put it in a good way – who are balanced? I wouldn't want someone who's only business minded and I wouldn't want someone who's just only socially aware. I would want someone who is a little bit of both. You know, what I mean? Who's aware of how the economics flows, and how that impacts the society and themselves.”
Like most people polled, he thought the last mayor— now Secretary Walsh— did a pretty good job.
“If it ain't broke, don't fix it kind of thing,” said Skyers. “I've heard good things about him. I've seen him do good things.”
Rosner, who favors Janey looking forward, was also impressed with Walsh.
“I just think he did a really good job and then he was very active. He was very visible,” she said. “He was very innovative. I think, in the last year every week, the briefing about COVID you follow the city on the Facebook page on Facebook and Twitter and all that; you're getting, you know, the updated information you need to have. He's a politician, obviously, but he's not slick. He wasn't slick. He was very real still.”