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While power brokers plot, citizens feel left out of mayoral race

I had hoped that the mayoral election would be an opportunity to energize civic life in Boston. However, after reading “Political group could break barriers for Golar Richie” (Page A1, May 17), my hopes are greatly diminished.

Call me naïve, but as a woman and a minority voter, I am uncomfortable with powerful white men entrenched in the establishment deliberating and eventually “coalescing” around the candidacy of an African-American woman, even if one of these men is my representative, someone I deeply respect both as a politician and a friend.

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I am even more uncomfortable with the dismissive answer of mayoral candidate Charlotte Golar Richie, who refused to acknowledge and address the implications, as your reporter put it, of “four [powerful] white men sitting in a pub, calculating political opportunities” around her candidacy. Don’t get me wrong. I think Richie’s candidacy adds great vibrancy to the campaign, and I wish her luck. But I expected to hear a direct answer to the important question she was asked.

Finally, I also take issue with lawmakers advising their local supporters not to commit to certain candidates in the race for mayor. I have felt the effects of such advice here in Brighton. There are no productive conversations or debates about different candidates’ positions. Everybody is waiting, but for what? To see how traditional power brokers will line up so that they can follow them as blind sheep?

What of the precious opportunity to make these few summer months a true feast of civic engagement and democratic debate over ideas and issues that could truly reenergize Boston?

Maria G. Rodrigues


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