Yesterday was the mayoral and city council primary in town– now, Boston’s had the same mayor for sixteen years. We do that– unless something’s horribly broken, we muddle along. Hell, I sometimes think Ray Flynn would still be mayor if he hadn’t been gunning for that Vatican Ambassador thing– though really, and not to slam on the Catholics, but … Vatican Ambassador? Not sexy, Ray.
During the last mayoral race, there was one challenger, a long-time councillor whose theme was essentially “We can do better.”
Eh. She didn’t get many votes.
This time, though, there were almost a half-dozen challengers for the mayoral seat, including a republican (a thing hardly heard of in municipal politics) and a young councillor-at-large whose election was exciting when he first got his seat four years ago, simply because he’s the first Asian-American to get a seat in Boston, as well as a teacher by profession. We’re a pretty white town when it comes to the politicians who get elected, so it was exciting to elect him and then see him be re-elected two years later. There were a number of other candidates, clearly, and for the first time in a while the councillor-at-large position was also contested enough to be subject to the primary, because this man was running for mayor.
He didn’t make the cut for the general election– the more established city councillor running did that, and now Boston’s out a minority at-large councillor who (so far as these things go, which isn’t far, Boston’s executive is very, very strong) did some good work for the neighborhoods and was at least a young voice with a different perspective. There’s perhaps a longer post in here about experience or hubris or perhaps racism beyond a certain layer of politics, but to me, the factor was this– he just hadn’t been doing this long enough for me to want to put him in as mayor.
I also didn’t vote for him, though, for the same reason I didn’t vote for other candidates.
I have had 56 pre-recorded telephone calls from that candidate and several other mayoral candidates as well as some of the at-large contenders in the last month. 56. Including twice a day from this “young, exciting” mayoral candidate and another man running for the at-large position.
You know– the Do Not Call list exists for a reason, and just because you’re a non-profit caller doesn’t mean people don’t find repeated calls extremely annoying. A pre-recorded message asking me to vote for you is not impressive. A pre-recorded message asking me to vote for you featuring voice recordings from “ordinary people” that are cut off or garbled or nonsensical in their content? I’m going to tell people what a pain in the ass your campaign is– which I also did when some of these supporters accosted me on the way into my polling place.
“No, I won’t be voting for X,” I said when they asked. “Your campaign’s been ringing my phone off the hook and it’s a nuisance.” The volunteer pooh-poohed it, but when I said “Twice a day,” she did look a little concerned.
Okay– I am being a bit of a crank here. As I said, I voted for somebody else because I didn’t think Exciting Young Man had the experience (and yes, the BH did crack on the comparison with our President, but still, this candidate was no Barack Obama)– but honestly? If I don’t know anything about you except what you put out there in the media? The phone calls are a strikeout.
Rah. Damned electioneering kids on my lawn, clogging my phone lines.
And … though experience counts, I will note that the people who came out on top in yesterday’s voting were not the ones who were calling morning, noon and night.
So– dear city election candidates– Do Not Call with automated messages. The old ways of signs and personal calls and volunteers ringing on doorbells isn’t nearly so annoying. Mmkay?