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Road To City Hall Part 3: Education Tops List Of Issues In Race

By Mary Blake, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
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Mary Blake is an award-winning reporter and anchor who joined WBZ News...
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BOSTON (CBS) — Despite the sweltering heat, it was an overflow crowd at Boston Teachers Union Hall In Dorchester last Wednesday.

Union members, many of them standing, listened to eleven of the twelve Boston Mayoral Candidates field questions.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake reports

Rosemary Connnors, a nurse in the Boston Public School System for more than 30 years, was unimpressed.

Related: Meet The Mayoral Candidates

She says her main issue is child poverty.

“They really haven’t touched on the root, the core of our city,” she argued. “We’re in Dorchester here. If we were to leave the building and walk, what would we see in a mile radius? We’d go over to the University of Massachusetts that’s thriving, we’d see the waterfront, we’d see the homes where young ‘yuppies’, or whatever they’re called now, are living in Southie and then maybe we’d walk through the projects, where our children live,” she said.

I asked each of the twelve candidates to name their top three issues.

All but two put teaching Boston’s children in their top three.

For five candidates, it was priority number one.

“The top issue is going to be education,” Charles Yancey said.

“We need to understand that we need to have quality schools in every neighborhood,” said Charles Clemons.

“First thing is I”m going to engage an outside agency to perform a top to bottom forensic audit of the Boston Public Schools,” declared John Connolly.

“We’re going to hire a Superintendent who believes in our students,” promised Felix Arroyo.

John Barros said, “I will make sure that we hire the best Superintendent there is.”

The lone Republican and dark horse in the race, David Wyatt of Roxbury, joined State Representative Marty Walsh in putting public safety in the top slot.

“As far as terrorism that has taken place in the past year, that we have a Police Commissioner and a police force that is experienced,” said Wyatt.

For Charlotte Golar Richie, Mike Ross and Dan Conley, job creation was front and center.

“I would pull in a new Chief of Economic Development,” said Golar Richie.

“It’s a matter of creating innovative ideas to improve jobs,” said Mike Ross.

Dan Conley said, “Better jobs means closing the employment and opportunity gap in Boston’s inner-city.”

So, what advice does Boston’s current mayor have for his successor? “Seek out advice from other people. You can’t do this job alone and every time you stop and think you’re the smartest person in the world, that’s when you’re gonna fail,” Tom Menino said.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake reports on what the candidates think makes Boston unique in Part 3 of her series “Road To City Hall.”

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