There is a spirited contest now underway in Dorchester to choose a replacement for Councillor Frank Baker, who has decided not to seek re-election to the District 3 seat that he has represented since 2012. Seven people have secured a spot on the Sept. 12 preliminary ballot: John FitzGerald, Jennifer Johnson, Barry Lawton, Joel Richards, Matt Patton, Ann M. Walsh, and Rosalind Wornum. The top two vote-getters on Sept. 12 will then compete head-to-head in the Nov. 7 general election, which will also feature eight candidates for the four at-large seats on the city council.
As we have in past election cycles, the Dorchester Reporter is preparing a questionnaire that will be sent to the District 3 candidates this month. Each individual will be invited to complete the questionnaire and send it back to the Reporter, which will lean on their responses for our coverage of the race. The completed questionnaires will be published at our website, DotNews.com, before the Sept. 12 election.
The questions are prepared by Reporter staff with input from our editors and contributors who pay close attention to city policy issues. But, as we finalize our survey, we invite you –our readers – to tell us what you’d like to know about the field of would-be councillors.
Here are some questions we have already, in addition to basic biographical information:
• What in your experience to date will most help you to be an effective leader? What is your party affiliation and how would you characterize your political ideology?
• Please name up to three of your political role models and explain their influence on your life.
• What would you do to increase voter turnout in the city of Boston? Do you favor same-day voter registration or lowering the voting age to 16? Do you favor mail-in voting?
• What is your top priority if elected?
• How will you approach the issue of gun violence in our communities?
• Is there a specific city agency you see as in need of urgent reform? If so, please explain.
• What is your position on residency, i.e. requiring people hired by the municipal government to live in the city of Boston?
• Do you favor a return to an elected School Committee?
• What is your position on rent control?
• What is your position on the reforms the Wu administration is undertaking, aimed at the zoning code and the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA)?
• Would you support the elimination of civil service for hiring of police to be better able to hire candidates who are not former military?
• Do you support Mayor Wu’s Urban Forest Plan? What should the city do to mitigate the impact of global warming?
• Do you think that Boston’s property taxes are too high, too low, or just right? If not just right, what would you do to make them so?
This is just a sample of what we intend to ask. What would you add to the list? Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sun., July 23.
We intend to survey the field of at-large councillors, too, ahead of the November election. It’s important that voters in Boston have a full picture of the men and women we entrust with city government.