John Barros hears it so often that no one could blame him if he’s getting a little tired of the back-handed compliment.
“I like you so much, but I don’t see how you’re going to win.”
Barros is the most dynamic of the 12 candidates for mayor and probably the one who has converted the most voters since he entered the race as a near-unknown in April. Now, with two weeks to go, he races the clock in a bid to win over voters who have waited until the homestretch to focus on the race.
His pitch is simple and effective. At fund-raisers, T stations, and coffee shops, he offers it over and over: “Believe in your vote,” Barros says. “Believe in true democracy. Change the conversation from who can win to who do I want to win. That's true empowerment.”
The thumbnail biography of Barros is impressive. He runs the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, and until he quit to run for mayor, was a member of the appointed Boston School Committee. He has been a neighborhood activist from an absurdly young age and has had a hand in many major and successful efforts to bring stability to what was once a forlorn part of Roxbury.
The son of Cape Verdean immigrants, he grew up in Roxbury and went to Dartmouth College on scholarship. He returned home and threw himself into civic life at the neighborhood level.
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