Menino to Occupy Boston: Pick an issue, go to Washington, D.C.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino today offered Occupy Boston protesters some unsolicited political advice: Pick an issue to focus on, if they want to actually accomplish anything.

“If they had one issue, they could be a very powerful operation,” Menino said today after a policy speech at a Back Bay hotel. “They don’t have one issue; they have several issues.”

While Menino’s administration has battled with Occupy Boston in court, Menino has spoken in support of the economic and social justice issues championed by the protesters.


“It’s issues that middle America cares about,” Menino said. “But until you focus on one, use your energy on one, you are not going to have any wins.”

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The five-term mayor also defended himself and other mayors around the country. Menino said the focus of the protesters should be at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., not at their local city halls.

“You know, mayors can’t do much about what they are talking about,” Menino told reporters after speaking to the Boston Chamber of Commerce today. “It’s Congress and the US Senate that can make these decisions, but nobody is talking to them at all.”

“Mayors can’t make decisions about bank regulations. Mayors can’t make decisions on scholarships. Mayors can’t make decisions on housing. It’s all done in Washington,” Menino continued.

“They are aiming their fire at the wrong place,” Menino said.