|“Man, if we had acted that way toward any other president, the Secret Service and the FBI would be down on us.”|
The decision of Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon to run for Mayor of Boston opened two of the four at-large seats on the Boston City Council. Four of the eight candidates to survive the Sept. 22 preliminary election are minorities. Felix Arroyo finished third and Ayanna Pressley came in fourth. Tito Jackson finished sixth but he is by no means out of the running. Tomas Gonzalez is unlikely to move up from a distant 8th place.
Unlike district councilors, those elected at-large are supposed to represent every section of the city. However, the reality is that in Boston’s strong mayor form of government, the most important function of all councilors is to provide constituent services.
Fortunately, Arroyo, Pressley and Jackson all have close ties to Boston’s black community, and all have work experience that makes them well qualified to serve in office. Arroyo worked as an aide to city councilor Chuck Turner for almost five years. He was the political director for SEIU Local 615, a labor union, and was field director of Northeast Action, a public issue agency.
Pressley was on the Congressional staff of Joseph P. Kennedy, 2nd and she was an aide to Sen. John Kerry from 1996 until she resigned last spring. She will certainly bring some Washington D.C. skills to City Hall.
Jackson is the son of the late Herb Jackson, a long time community activist who worked ceaselessly to assure that construction projects employ community workers. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Jackson has been working as a director in Gov. Deval Patrick’s Office of Housing and Economic Development. Like his father, Jackson’s duty is to create jobs.
Felix Arroyo, Ayanna Pressley and Tito Jackson all deserve a vote on November 3.
The Nobel Prizes are the most prestigious international awards, and the Peace Prize is the crown jewel. Many conservatives in America have been outraged that the 2009 Peace Prize has gone to President Barack Obama.
The Nobel Committee has clearly expressed the reason for their choice. Obama has been recognized “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
The Committee continued, “Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position…” The Norwegian Committee affirmed that “Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman” for that stated international policy.
Clearly, the Committee sees world peace as a process rather than an event. They know that the former reluctance of the United States to collaborate with its traditional allies in the industrialized nations created political tension in the world.
The Committee claimed “only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.” However, critics assert that the award to Obama is undeserved. A member of the Committee pointed out that such comments patronize Obama. All past Nobel Laureates have not negotiated a peace settlement. Some, like Dr. Martin Luther King, create an environment for peace.
It is un-American for citizens to berate and insult publicly an American president, regardless of their political views. That is like burning the flag. Of course criticism is always appropriate in a democracy, but it must not be indecorous. Not only are conservatives wrong about Obama’s accomplishments, their defamatory opposition is unpatriotic.