Nora Blake was desperate. Her autistic son had just been assigned to a third new school in three years. He would spend two hours a day commuting from Charlestown to an unfamiliar school in Brighton. This was not what she expected, living in Boston. She was ready to move.
“I was driving to work, just in tears, pulled out my cellphone and just called him,” said Blake. “Him” was John R. Connolly, then a city councilor who had been helpful on a neighborhood issue. He reassured her. He knew a mother of an autistic son at the school so he put Blake in touch. The women became friends. The school proved a good fit.
Four years later, when Connolly announced his candidacy for mayor, Blake was eager to volunteer, campaigning for him with an enthusiasm that borders on devotion. She credits Connolly for her decision to stay in Boston and thinks he will be a mayor who can persuade other wavering families to do the same.
“I’m trying to knock on every door in Charlestown to make sure everybody hears about him,” she said. “I really believe in him. He really cares about the kids, and I mean all kids.”
Every campaign relies on an army of foot soldiers to rally the troops for its candidate. For the Connolly campaign, that field features a contingent of dedicated moms. The campaign estimates it has about 200 mothers working as volunteers — knocking on doors, making phone calls, doing whatever they can fit between day care drop-offs and car pool pickups to help their candidate win.
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