In spite of being a local political powerhouse, there has not been an at-large candidate from Charlestown in a muncipal election for more than 30 years. However this Tuesday’s primary ballot will include Jack Kelly who is a lifelong Charlestown resident and the only one from the neighborhood vying for one of four At-Large City Council seats. Kelly, a former Mayoral liaison to Charlestown has so far run a widely successful grassroots campaign across the city. Kelly is one is the top candidates when it comes to fundraising and picking up key endorsements across Boston.
On Tuesday, September 24 Kelly will try to become one of eight candidates in a crowded field to go on to November 5th’s General Election.
The Charlestown Patriot Bridge recently sat down with Kelly for Q&A on his campaign and the issues affecting Charlestown and the City.
CPB: Why are you running for City Council and what sets you apart from the other candidates?
Jack Kelly: I am running for city council because I believe I am the right person at the right time for the job. With a new Mayor, the city is changing. We need new blood and fresh ideas without sacrificing experience. I spent 5 years working in the office of neighborhood services dealing directly with constituents. My experience working in the Mayor’s office sets me apart from the other candidates as I can hit the ground running.
CPB: How has the response been to your candidacy?
JK: The response has been great! I have a personal story of addiction and redemption that has appealed to people. But more importantly , the work along the trail has been the major reason our campaign is getting positive feedback. We have worked day and night talking to voters across all of Boston.
The hard work is paying off !
CPB: Out on the campaign trail, what have you seen as the most pressing issues here and citywide?
JK: Schools and public safety. And in my opinion they are 2 issues that are related. If we fix the issues that contribute to public safety concerns- substance abuse, mental health and violence , then fixing the school system will become an easier and less convoluted path forward.
CPB: The Wynn casino has become a hot button topic in Charlestown. What are you thoughts?
JK: The Wynn casino project is a perfect example of why the community in which I reside needs an elected official. If I have the honor to become a city councilor, I will do everything in my power to stall the casino in Everett until a long and thorough community process is conducted.
Many people in my community are completely in the dark with the casino in Everett. As a city councilor who would happen to live in Charlestown, I would end that darkness immediately