(Ed note: Mel King, long time Boston activist, state representative, and MIT professor, lost to Ray Flynn in the mayor’s race in 1983. See the following excerpt from an interview in Sunday’s Globe.)
What issues do you think candidates should be addressing?
I believe, in terms of jobs and city resources, there really has to be serious enforcement of the Boston Residents Jobs
program [designed to increase the numbers of city residents, workers of color, and women hired for city-funded construction projects]. And police, with all this construction going on, are able to turn that into more income because they’re on the street to monitor traffic. Do the mostly women who guide our most valuable resource — our [school]children — get the same pay for that? There’s got to be some way to move in the direction that says we want a fairer distribution of resources.
I think that the PILOT payments [in lieu of taxes from nonprofits] program ought to be distributed through neighborhoods, so they can use it for economic development. The focus is not on the neighborhoods. It’s on downtown. The focus is not on the folks most in need.
The other thing has to do with the schools. I’m baffled by a mayor asking for charter schools. People running for office have to really come up with a way to put a system in place that gives every child what they deserve — a top quality learning experience.