On Tuesday night, we will know who will be filling the biggest, boldest, and hardest working shoes in Boston. We love this City because of what was built by the man who still walks in these shoes, and yet I am still undecided as to who should be next for his job.
I am undecided. I shouldnít be. I am not alone.
I feel totally empowered that I will help hire the next Mayor, the next man to take something really great and make it even greater. But at the same time, I feel utterly despondent, not because I havenít done enough homework on the candidates or paid enough attention.
Itís because I am torn. Both seem to be hard-working, deserving, nice guys. We are lucky to have this problem, but someone has to emerge as Mayor. I know there are differences on key issues; Iím not naÔve to who is behind which candidate. But every time I feel like Iíve come to a solid conclusion, I hear that someone that I respect, someone close to the inside, is for the other guy.
A friend the other day said that it doesnít really matter who gets elected. ďBoth candidates seem to have good experience. We should be fine with either.Ē I was shocked by what he said and gave my ďlocal government matters so much more to our daily livesĒ speech, but when asked who I am behind, I just looked blank and embarrassingly replied, ďI donít know.Ē
The current Mayor is known globally for having personally met over half of the residents of this City. There may not be voicemail throughout the building. They may not satisfy every demand, but unequivocally he or his staff in City Hall are accessible and responsive, especially online. Iíve been there, Iíve seen it, and Iíve done it. Thatís the type of administration I want in City Hall. One who responds to us: our faces and our avatars.
I was at the #NextBosMayor event recently with both candidates. Each had 45 minutes to answer questions that were tweeted from the audience. Many questions didnít necessarily get asked publicly, which is fine. But they also didnít get recognized afterwards. They still linger in the Twitterverse, left to dangle in last weekís thread. There are questions that are not answered that could and should be. A number of attendees, including some from our host organizations, remain undecided.
Not surprisingly for this narrative, the friends I sat with from both camps question their instinctual choice. In a town where passionate voters are hyper-connected and engaged in media meant to be social, we (and our votes) are easily accessible.
Regardless of which candidate becomes the next Mayor of Boston, there will be a gigantic void that will be left, one that will be felt to the core, painfully missed, and forever revered. Let us, the rest of the City, help.
But first, help us decide.
This #UndecidedinBOS Forum is for those of us that will vote on Tuesday and are still unclear on a choice. Shamelessly collect and post your questions for the candidates and letís see what they have to say, if anything at all.
Sam Hammar is the Executive Director of The Capital Network. She is a former staffer at City Hall and worked on digital communications for the Innovation District from its second day and other civic engagement projects alongside the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics. Also a retired Boston Public High School teacher, it's hard to believe she is #UndecidedinBOS.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
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