Parade starts District 3 campaign season

Yawu Miller | 6/8/2011, 9:15 a.m.
City Council District 3 candidate Stephanie Everett greets potential and future voters during the Dorchester Day Parade. Seven candidates are vying for the seat, soon to be vacated by incumbent Maureen Feeney. Yawu Miller

While Everett will have to knock on doors in Dorchester’s predominantly white neighborhoods, the white candidates will have to do the same in sections that are predominantly black.

“It will be interesting,” says Henriquez. “You’re not going to be able to change your message in each neighborhood. You’ll have to boil your message down to something simple. You’ll have to have a message that resonates everywhere.”

Baker’s message: “We’re all the same,” says the lifelong Dorchester resident. “People are all looking for the same thing — jobs, a good education for their kids.”

Everett, who grew up in the Mattapan portion of the district, sounds a similar note.

“It’s time for Dorchester’s neighborhoods to get to know each other,” she says.

Getting that message out while vying with six other candidates will be a difficult task.

“It’s going to take a lot of shoe leather,” says O’Toole. “It’s a big district with a lot of diverse neighborhoods.”

Also in the race is former at-large candidate Doug Bennett, a former Nantucket selectman, who in the 2009 election season claimed to have knocked on an improbable 100,000 doors in Boston, and Marty Hogan, a South Boston native who overcame his carpet bagger status to serve as president of the Dorchester Day Parade Committee last year.

Then there’s real estate broker Craig Galvin, a former ceremonial mayor of Dorchester who, in 2007, raised more than $30,000 for the parade.

“I’m passionate about Dorchester,” he says. “I’ve lived 41 years of my life in this community.”

Because of Boston’s history of racial segregation, few candidates of color can claim the OFD pedigree. But Everett, an aide to state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Marydith Tuitt, an aide to state Rep. Gloria Fox, each bring a depth of political experience.

“All of us bring something to the table,” Tuit says. “All of us have a political background and knowledge.”

So far, Tuitt estimates she’s knocked on 200 doors in Harbor Point, Popes Hill, Codman Hill and Neponset.

“It’s different neighborhoods and different cultures,” Tuitt says. “That’s what I love about Dorchester. It’s so diverse.”