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Some background info for the six of you planning to vote in Tuesday's city-council elections

Tuesday's election, which could have record low turnout, features a small field of five candidates for the four at-large council seats and contested elections in just four of the nine district races (Baker vs. Palmer in District 3, Yancey vs. Campbell in District 4, McCarthy vs. Sanon in District 5, Jackson vs. Clemons in District 7). Here are some articles about the races:

WBUR: Three things to know for Tuesday's Boston City Council election.

At large

At-large council candidates want reins on development, BRA

The Jamaica Plain interviewed four of the five at-large candidates:

Michelle Wu – Paid Parental Leave, Healthcare Equity and Accessible City Services.

Stephen Murphy – Helping Seniors Stay in Homes, Wants Privately-Developed Solar-Powered Transit and More.

Ayanna Pressley – Fighting for Girls, Women, Healthy Communities, Cyclists and More.

Annissa Essaibi-George, At-Large City Council Candidate – Teacher, Business Owner and Parent

Globe profiles: Murphy | Pressley | Flaherty

District 4: Yancey vs. Campbell

Yancey & Campbell on Policing, Affordable Housing and More at Forum.

District 4 candidates in final stretch.

Yancey, Campbell talk qualifications, negative campaigning.

Endorsements

Globe endorses Pressley and Wu for at-large, as well as Flaherty and Essaibi-George, although the latter two with reservations, McCarthy over Sanon, Campbell over Yancey.

Herald endorses Essaibi-George, Pressley, Wu and Flaherty and Campbell over Yancey.

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Comments

Six?

WHAT DO YOU HAVE AGAINST ODD NUMBERS!

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Former Boston City Council Candidate and Roslindale Parade Board Member, Andrew Cousino endorses.

Michael Flaherty
Michelle Wu
Stephen Murphy
Anissa Essabi-George

Tim McCarthy

Andrea Campbell

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Everything is unopposed except there are five candidates for four at-large alderman slots. But since one of them was rude to my wife once, I'll go over and fill out a ballot on behalf of the other four.

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The benefit of ultra-low-turnout elections: Your vote really does matter, so the candidates better be nice to everyone!

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the ten people on Twitter!

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What about the Cambridge City Council? Are there any resources on their elections? What are the boundaries of the wards/precincts in Cambridge? How can I get the stenographic report of the proceedings of the Cambridge City Council?

Inquiring minds need to know.

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Here is a page with information about the Cambridge City Council and the Cambridge School Committee candidates.
http://cambridgecivic.com/vote/

All Massachusetts voters can find the location of their polling place here:
http://www.wheredoivotema.com

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What are the boundaries of the wards/precincts in Cambridge?
Wards and precincts are the labels of the bourgeoisie. To ensure the separation of church and state everyone North of the Moskva River votes at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Lenin Ave.

How can I get the stenographic report of the proceedings of the Cambridge City Council?
Send a self addressed stamped envelope with a $10 check to Dan Ortega, FSLN, 4A Che Guevara Blvd. Cambridge MA 02138

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The postal service and currency are vestiges of the decadent capitalist system which continue to oppress the proletariat.

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https://www.cambridgema.gov/ccouncil

What is the best way to get people involved in voting?

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https://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/483A54C6BC8546F8AD407D87FACFFC5E.ashx

Does one need to list all the candidates on the ballot? What about the blind and hard of hearing folks?

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MA uses AutoMARK machines, at least one at each polling place. These can read ballots and mark them for the visually impaired. These can also magnify ballots and switch from black on white to white on black for better contrast (useful for macular degeneration compensation).

The visually impaired are adept with the audio cues and often have their own headphones (a set comes with the machine and it has dual plugs jacks to fit with those). They can set the reading speed and use the built-in reading control panel.

I'm a warden and have worked a couple of precincts that have many AutoMARK users. While ADA compliance requires a machine, I'm pretty sure most precincts never have any users.

There's also human help. A voter can bring anyone to help with voting. I've seen little grandkids read the ballots and mark them. That's perfectly legal. A voter can also ask poll workers for help. Policy requires two workers to avoid any appearance of influencing selection. Inspector or officer assisted voting happens several times an election per precinct.

We do not provide Braille ballots.

Oh, yes, there's the simple mechanical fix that several folks use too — There are full-page magnifying lens pages that voters can hold over the ballot. These too get a couple of uses per day per precinct.

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Thanks adam for posting this. OK I'm not a Boston voter.. but I'm sure others will appreciate the round up of information.

Now that you are armed with knowledge folks... GO VOTE ON TUESDAY.

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Wouldn't it be better for turnout if people who definitely show up in midterm and presidential years vote for city council and mayor?

My practical side thinks that the burden of changing laws to align these would be almost impossible. My cynical side thinks that it's because city office-holders would rather a smaller pool of voters re-electing them over and over.

I'll be voting, but I have to admit that it's largely because my polling place is my kid's school. Two birds one stone.

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Honestly, at one point there were annual elections, so there was no "off year." My gut, since most cities in Massachusetts, is that it was part of a civic habit. That and local issues could be viewed different from state issues.

I don't like this Cousino BS about city councilors having longer terms than Congressmen, but moving the elections one year (meaning either shortening or lengthening a single term by a year) would be a good idea. Probably tough to pull off the change, but cost effective in the long run.

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Having to vote for the city council every four years along with voting for the Mayor every 4 years saving that cost and utilizing it for the good of the city. Plus how often does an incumbent lose their seat on a non mayoral year election. Another thing we vote every two years for these councilors and they are not working while they are out there campaigning every other year.

This would be flat out common sense!!!

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Cost effective would be making all the terms 4 years because if the city of Boston would save over a half of a million dollars then how much do you think the state would save if they changed it to a 4 year term too. You must love throwing taxpayers money away and most of these politicians are in their seats for decades so why should we waste our time and money by voting every two years. Low poll numbers to because people can't be bothered to come out to vote. It's a pain in the butt to vote every year.

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a pain in the butt to vote every year? it takes about as much time as picking up Chinese take-out and less time than going to the grocery store. Most people do those things weekly.

I'd love someone to study whether those that don't vote are the people who complain the most about their elected officials.

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8 year terms for mayor and city council.

There, I've saved even more money for you.

I think Cousino has missed the point of the City Council, which is odd as he ran for it. They are closer to the people and more easily accountable to us. That's the point of frequent elections. That's why members of Congress have to get our votes every 2 years. (The Senate was purposely designed with six year terms to isolate it from the whims of the voters, as a means basically to cause gridlock.) We could just do away with the council and just have a mayor if the point is to save money, but that is not the point of democracy.

If you find voting every year to be a pain, just don't vote. It's all the more power to me as a super voter.

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Who the heck wants to be close to these people who can just give themselves a raise. Almost all of the people in office needs to be replaced

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But 3 years after passing BS ordinances, maybe we'll forget what they did.

That would be part of electing them every four years- 3 years of no accountability followed by one year of catchup.

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Actually, state laws require all cities in Massachusetts to hold their municipal elections on election day in November biennially in odd-numbered years. From the 1920s-1950s there were laws passed for every city making this change. The towns can hold their municipal elections whenever the hell they want.

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I mean, the charter would have to be changed via the General Court anyway.

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I can argue the opposite point: that having the city council elections on years when people vote for mayor and president would favor the mayor's picks (a la, Menino).

You might have a higher turnout, but would that change any of the results?

I think it's crummy that if you're a sitting city councilor, you have to choose whether or not to run for mayor at the same time. I wasn't sad that four of the sitting councilors gave up their seats, last time (Flaherty, Woo, Consalvo, Ross), (plus, Yancey, who ran for both) but maybe you'd get more people to run for mayor if they didn't have to risk their political futures. (I'm not saying they shouldn't risk it, just that they won't.)

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a) For an informed Election Tues 3 Nov 2015 how would you compile an easy to read/understandable TABLE/CHART of Roll Call Votes of Boston City Council?... from data
at
http://www.cityofboston.gov/cityclerk/rollcall/

For an informed Election Tues 3 Nov 2015 how would you compile an easy to read/understandable TABLE/CHART of Roll Call Votes of Cambridge City Council?... from data
at
https://www.google.com/search?q=roll+call+vote+2015+site%3Acambridgema.gov

b) Any software for compiling the data? City Clerks/City Councils should have software for compiling data!

c) Who could be potential Candidates for Boston City Council in 2017 ?... anyone that might reform Records Management practices at Boston City Council and digitize data?

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When the Herald outed her and her husband for having not paid their property taxes, she lost me big time. I still haven't forgiven (and never will) Stephen Lynch for not paying back his student loans. If you plan to run for elected office, you better have met at least the minimum level of responsibility to pay your debts. It's a good clue about who you really are.

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She didn't pay her student loans either but you liberals still voted her in over Murphy

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from the Phoenix 2004
"In November 2002, Governor Jane Swift appointed Cabral, a former prosecutor of Cape Verdean and African-American descent and a political independent — passing over Murphy, a conservative Irish-American Democrat from Hyde Park. The decision hinged, in part, on Cabral’s willingness to become a Republican: Murphy, who’d made unsuccessful runs for state representative and state treasurer, refused to consider switching parties. Six months later, Cabral decided to shed her new Republican affiliation, announcing in Senator Edward Kennedy’s Washington, DC, office that she was becoming a Democrat". Didn't know you considered the Republican party liberal.

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I have NEVER been a fan of Andrea Cabral.

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I can understand being late on tax payments. But according to the Herald, her husband was late in paying taxes on the 23 properties his business owns. What business is he in that has him owning 23 properties, and what effect does would her connections on the city council have on his business, and vice-versa?

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If she was a couple months late paying taxes on just her house, I'd give her a pass. (She's running for office and is busy...OK it could happen.) But the whole husband thing tells me that that's how that family chooses to operate and for me that's just not OK.

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Murphy spends more time in Florida than Boston...let's help him retire

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IMAGE(http://www.bostonherald.com/sites/default/files/media/2007/12/20/30fa647f02_dappercar12202007.jpg)

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I don't want any Halloween nightmares.

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I long-time Roxbury resident, I never voted for Albert L. "Dapper" O'Neil, I frequently sat next to him at the Victoria Diner, and I always called him first for constituent services.

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I'll vote, but my problem is this: I get to either vote for the incumbent, who's had the post for so long that he/she is The Political Establishment, or I vote against the incumbent, which means I'm voting for somebody I've never heard of because The Political Establishment is the one with all the fliers/lawn signs.

The new blood needs better publicity, or we need term limits for incumbents. Or even just "once you've had the job for X terms, you can't run again until anybody who isn't you has had the job for Y terms" (the Grover Cleveland model).

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Ages ago when I ran for City Council and Mayor I advocated for changing the election year cycle to even years with Mayor and President on the same ballot. (I agree with the posters that city council should be every two years as more responsive to voters) I asked the head of elections how much it cost to run an election and he told me 6 to 8 million dollars. That is money wasted that could go to the schools, tax rebates or New Years Fireworks at midnight.

Low election turnout is one of the things that keeps incumbents in office, especially Mayor. In Presidential elections we get roughly 200,000 voters. In Mayoral elections you only get about 100,000. To topple a sitting Mayor who has 'taken care of' the thousands of people whose livelihood is directly set by the City Budget you make it very hard to get 50,001 votes. There are roughly 20,000 city workers, plus their families plus contractors. Keep them happy and you are likely to win election after election after election. If you start out with 30 percent of the vote it is difficult to lose unless you are in jail (but not impossible! See Curley).

However if there are 200,000 voters then you really need to demonstrate to larger group that you are working for the interests of all the City.

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Your reporting is inaccurate, Annissa was endorsed by the Globe, it was tempered because of the Charter Cap thing which both Wu and Pressley also come down on the same side as her, funny enough!

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I missed the one sentence where they endorsed her, but couldn't miss the entire paragraph where they complained about her position on charter schools.

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