Longtime community organizer Bill Walczak gathered two dozen friends, family members, and close business advisers in the living room of his Savin Hill home Saturday morning so they could deal him a dose of tough love and hard questions, and perhaps sway him from a mayoral run.
Instead, their enthusiastic support sealed the decision: He is entering the race for Boston mayor, Walczak said in a phone interview Saturday afternoon.
After decades leading a community health center, charter school, and hospital, he said, the next logical step in a life devoted to helping his city is to hold its top job.
“I’m looking for a way to continue my life’s work of growing my community,” Walczak said. “Being the mayor of Boston is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. This is the way I can continue to do that work.”
A 40-year Boston resident and co-founder of the Codman Square Health Center, Walczak becomes the fifth major declared candidate in the race to replace 20-year Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who said last month he will not seek a sixth term.
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