Many in community stay by Chuck's side

Yawu Miller | 11/25/2008, 3:34 a.m.

His Dudley Square district office has become somewhat of a hub for activists committed to reform of the state’s Criminal Offender Record Information system. Many were at City Hall for Monday’s rally.

“Chuck is the only councilor who has a fully-operating office in the neighborhood,” said John Barros, executive director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative Executive. “Over the last decade, he has helped to bring services to his constituents and to bring people together in the neighborhood.”

Since his election, Turner has faced little opposition in his bids for re-election. His supporters say he has done little fundraising, financing his campaigns and get-out-the-vote work by borrowing against the equity in his Fort Hill home.

His most recent opponent, Carlos Henriquez, was among those standing in support of Turner at Monday’s rally.

“I’ve lived in Roxbury all my life and I’ve always known Chuck as a man of integrity,” said Henriquez, who challenged Turner last year.

Monday’s rally was a stark contrast to the scene outside Turner’s Roxbury Street office last Friday, when a stream of constituents passed by its locked doors.

Inside, the office was empty. Outside, several news cameras were perched on tripods, awaiting some sign of life.

But staff and supporters were in Worcester, where Turner was transported by federal agents to make his initial appearance in federal court.

Sister Verdaya Mitchell Brown, who stopped by to check on Turner’s staff, expressed disbelief.

“He’s a brilliant man who could have been anything he wanted. He chose to serve his community,” she said. “This is not a person who is self-serving. It would behoove our community to not jump to conclusions about Chuck and remember all the good things he’s done.”