A Boston progressive housing organization is throwing its support behind mayoral candidate John F. Barros, lauding his track record on permanently affordable housing, youth job creation, and revitalizing blighted land.
Right to the City Vote, the separate electoral arm of the nonprofit Right to the City, spent months trying to determine which of the 12 mayoral candidates’ vision for Boston best aligned with the issues important to the organization.
The group’s 2013 platform is based on five “rights:” The right to remain in a stable community; the right to economic justice and good jobs; the right to democratic participation; the right to the public good; and the right to a healthy environment.
“John Barros aligned best with what we care about as a multiracial and multineighborhood group of individuals, and we come from different parts of the city,” said Mariama White-Hammond, part of Right to the City Vote’s steering committee. “We are black. We are Latino. We are progressive whites. But we also mostly represent folks who have lived in the city and are concerned about ways that we are being pushed out of the city.”
Barros, who has a 24-year history with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, most recently as executive director, can walk the streets there and point to homes that used to be vacant lots and greenways that once were illegal dumping grounds.
During his tenure, the nonprofit took steps that resulted in 225 new housing units and a community greenhouse. Three neighborhood playgrounds were renovated. Two community centers opened, as did two new schools, including the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School.
The endorsement process of Right to the City Vote began in the summer. Questionnaires were sent to each of the dozen candidates, with 10 returned. Hopefuls were interviewed, a forum was held, and a vote was taken.
On Thursday, the group officially endorsed Barros, who said he was “proud to stand with them.”
“The endorsement of Right to the City Vote validates what my run for mayor is all about, bringing people together to build a better Boston,” he said in a statement. “This campaign is about the collaborative capacity of building the city we want together.”