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Old 03-11-2009, 09:48 AM   #1
JohnAKeith
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3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Hello.

As you know, I am running for State Representative of the 3rd Suffolk District. This is the seat (ex-) Speaker Sal DiMasi held before he stepped down, earlier this year.

The district covers a lot of the area that is of importance to everyone on this board. The Waterfront, Financial District, Rose Kennedy Greenway, South End, North End, Chinatown, and Bay Village, as well as parts of Beacon Hill and Roxbury.

I am very interested in collecting ideas, opinions, and thoughts from other archBoston readers / contributors.

I was wondering if anyone / everyone would be interested in getting together to talk architecture / development / etc. Not just people who live / work in these neighborhoods, but everyone who has ever written a comment or entry.

I would be happy to host at some local venue. The goal is social as well as information. I'm not sure how I'd want to handle contributions - I am more interested in turn-out, at this point, although we're starting to think about how we're going to pay for this campaign, too.

Please leave your honest thoughts on this. I know a lot of people don't live nearby, so presumably you're not going to fly in to meet. I'd like to know beforehand whether or not this would be something people would like to do.

Time and place are always the issues on this (we've tried before to meet, no?), but we can figure that out.

What are your thoughts??

Thanks.

John (K)
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:34 AM   #2
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAKeith View Post
This is the seat (ex-) Speaker Sal DiMasi held before he stepped down, earlier this year.
Best seat in the house. When do you become eligible for Speaker?

Who are your opponents?

Quote:
The district covers a lot of the area that is of importance to everyone on this board. The Waterfront, Financial District, Rose Kennedy Greenway, South End, North End, Chinatown, and Bay Village, as well as parts of Beacon Hill and Roxbury.
What kinds of legislation can be crafted at the state level to positively impact these truly special districts? Is zoning on the table?
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Boston has home rule, but it's pretty limited. From what I understand, the city law department is hugely deferential to Beacon Hill and almost never tries to preemptively act without its approval.

Harvard's professor of local government law, Gerald Frug, is actually launching his book on the subject, City Bound, on Monday at the GSD.
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:45 AM   #4
JohnAKeith
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

ablarc, I think I become eligible for it on day 1? Seeing as I am running as an Independent, the Speaker position may take awhile.

There are now six other candidates running. Five are Democrats and one, who announced today, is a Republican. I guess they don't know my name, because whenever I hear any of them talk about the race, they just call me "Other".

The Democrats will need to fight each other in the primary on May 19. The winner of that race will meet me and the Republican in the election on June 16. There's still time for more candidates to enter the race - we can only hope (sarcasm). None of the candidates has (have?) held elective office, ever.

I am deep into the analysis of what can be done to help the city take control of its own destiny, by improving Home Rule laws and regulations. It stymies the city (and other cities in the Commonwealth) in many ways.

At times, it's to our benefit, since having the city in charge of some things has led to terrible messes, but isn't it time to try once again?

At times, the Boston Redevelopment Authority "helps" the city by overruling the views of the citizens but, if you really think about it, is it ever really better to overrule the very people you are supposed to serve?

Which is my way of saying that the BRA's time has come and gone. I'd support dismantling it. It's a city issue, mostly, although I've been told it was actually formed through an act of state legislation.

I would much prefer that decision-making in the city of Boston be handled by a mayor, city council, city planning board, and residents / citizens. Yes, we may still get stuck with some bad buildings or proposals, but wouldn't it be better if we did with only the "right" people involved, not the BRA, not the state legislature?

I will find out more about that professor, czsz, sounds as if it's exactly the type of guy I need to get to know.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:31 AM   #5
ablarc
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

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Originally Posted by JohnAKeith View Post
At times, the Boston Redevelopment Authority "helps" the city by overruling the views of the citizens but, if you really think about it, is it ever really better to overrule the very people you are supposed to serve?
Sure ! ... when they're wrong !


Edmund Burke, 3 Nov. 1774:

Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own.

But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

My worthy colleague says, his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment, and not of inclination; and what sort of reason is that, in which the determination precedes the discussion; in which one set of men deliberate, and another decide; and where those who form the conclusion are perhaps three hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments?

To deliver an opinion, is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear; and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions; mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience,--these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor of our constitution.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:04 AM   #6
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

^ props 2 burke. It was always hard defending him in college, though.

If 18th century conservative political theory doesn't work, though, this might: the decision making processes masquerading as "democratic" in Boston actually just distribute power to a few neighborhood activists and their special interests. A representative is theoretically able to be less beholden to such people, even if they are still the ones trying to influence him or her less often.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:47 AM   #7
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Burke's point is so obvious, I don't even see how it can be discussed. If the people's will is invariably sovereign, why not do all legislation by referendum? Put a voting machine in every household.

You could start by polling voters on the question of gay marriage, as they did in California; and you might get the same result.

How much wisdom and understanding does the public show in matters of urban design, John? Would you like your career to parrot their opinions about height, shadows, wind and open space?
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:53 AM   #8
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Switzerland does lots of legislation by local and national referendum, and it generally ranks high on quality-of-life scales.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:07 AM   #9
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Ohhh.... it's like Jefferson vs Adams all over again!
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:35 AM   #10
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

I live in your district and would love to attend an event, help out, or whatever. Do you have a mailing list yet?
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:59 PM   #11
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Hello. Thanks! If you go to http://www.johnakeith.com you can use the contact-me form there, or just send me an email at john@johnakeith.com. We do not have an email list yet, but should by week's end.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:04 PM   #12
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)



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Old 03-17-2009, 03:33 PM   #13
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Youth vote!
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:17 PM   #14
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

That could be the basis of a memorable branding campaign. John Keith: the candidate who sticks in your mind.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:47 PM   #15
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

good luck, if were a few miles to the north id vote for you
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:39 AM   #16
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

I saw old friend Neddy's anti-Jimbo smear campaign in the South End News last week...what a super guy.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:11 AM   #17
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Yeah. Just read Ned's op-ed. It's great.

I'd love to know who Ned's voting for so I'll know who the candidate straight out of the dark ages is. Is he going for Aaron Michlewitz, former head of the North End Waterfront Assoc. or is he going for Susan Passaloni, former head of the Ellis South End Assoc.? Man, tough choice for Ned. So many good reverse vampires to choose from.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:19 AM   #18
JohnAKeith
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

That is one messed up picture! I didn't catch Jimbo's t-shirt logo the first time I looked at it. HILARIOUS.

I'll be at the Greenway meeting tonight, if anyone wants to say hello. At least I think there's a meeting, 6:00 PM at City Hall? Can't find the details.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:07 PM   #19
JohnAKeith
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

Hi. If anyone is a member of the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association, I will be at the meeting, tomorrow night. I'm not on the agenda but I'd love to meet as many residents as possible.

I'll also be at the Government Center Garage meeting on Wednesday night.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:31 PM   #20
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Re: 3rd Suffolk State Rep (Waterfront, South End, North End, Chinatown)

I'll be at both also
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