Walsh and Jackson enter final days of mayoral campaign

Barry Chin/Globe Staff photos

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and City Councilor Tito Jackson.

By Jeremy C. Fox and Milton Valencia Globe Correspondent | Globe Staff 

Boston’s mayoral candidates began a final push to get their message before voters on Saturday, as they counted down the hours until Tuesday’s general election.

In Roxbury’s Dudley Square, three-term City Councilor Tito Jackson sat in an inner office as supporters gathered at his campaign headquarters, where a bulletin board held newspaper articles about the candidate, and where Dunkin Donuts pastries and coffee sat alongside boxes of bananas, apples, and clementines — fuel for those who would spend the day canvassing and phoning voters.


As campaign aides and volunteers discussed plans, Jackson logged into Facebook and began a live video to discuss recent violence in the city and the need for “leadership that has a plan” to address the issue.

“I know there are those out there who dismiss this and say, ‘Hey, it’s not the mayor’s fault,’ ” he said in the video.

He said Boston’s city government puts most budgeting power in the hands of the mayor and leaves the City Council with the ability to only vote yes or no on the budget. On the council, Jackson is limited in his ability to help the city’s families, he said, while incumbent Mayor Martin J. Walsh has broken his promises and forgotten those families, Jackson claimed.

“Under the Walsh administration, the neighborhoods have been left on our own, with no support from the city,” he said.

He completed the video 34 minutes later with a simple message.


“If things are going great for you, I just encourage you to vote,” he said. “But if things aren’t going great for you, things aren’t going great for your family — your rent, your education issues, transportation issues, those issues are out there — you know what? Let’s make a change.”

About that time, two miles west of Dudley Square, Walsh was walking into his campaign headquarters on Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester to thunderous applause from roughly 150 supporters, who had come to receive their marching orders for knocking on doors.

Signs in the Walsh office read, “Welcome South Boston, Thank You for Everything,” and “Thank You Dorchester, Happy GOTV,” initials for “get out the vote.”

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg enthusiastically introduced Walsh to the crowd.

“Let’s go! We’ve got to get to work everybody, right?” she said to cheers. “We’ve got an important job today, don’t we.”

Goldberg said she’s known Walsh for years, and “he defies stereotypes, he always has.”


“He’s proven he’s a mayor for all the people,” she said. “This guy is one of the good guys . . . he is here for every single person, for working people, for immigrants. He is respected; he is known for his ability to cut through the BS and say it like it is, so I am here to say that I love Marty Walsh.”

Jackson spent the day traveling Boston with his mother, Rosa Jackson, in an SUV driven by his nephew, Justin Brown, among a caravan of his supporters.

He greeted men getting haircuts at Top Notch Barbershop in the South End and pedestrians walking through Mattapan Square. He shook the hands of parents watching their sons play football at Jimmie Lee Hunt Playground, waved at drivers in Hyde Park’s busy Cleary Square, and joked that he might steal someone’s ice cream at JP Licks in Jamaica Plain.

In Cleary Square, two women passing by in a Nissan slowed as the driver called out to Jackson, “We need you!”

Not missing a beat, he responded, “I need you too! Tuesday!”

Hyde Park resident Arielle Spivey, 28, was on foot, and stopped to chat with Jackson and his volunteers. She told them that she is part of a Tuesday night Bible study group and had persuaded the group to watch Jackson and Walsh’s televised debate last month.

“During the primary, he may have had a higher bump,” Spivey said, referring to Walsh, who garnered more than twice as many votes as Jackson in a four-way race in the September preliminary election. “That doesn’t mean anything. We have to keep going out and keep working.”

The work continued as well for Walsh, who is seeking a second, four-year term. He told supporters Saturday that he does not take success on Tuesday for granted, despite his advantage in September and in subsequent polling.

“Don’t worry about the polls,” he told them. “We just, have a good election day on Tuesday, continue to move forward. . . . Advance Boston, so we can make sure, as I said in this campaign, this is a Boston for all of us.”

Walsh later joined dozens of supporters, mostly from the Haitian community, at the Le Foyer Bakery near Mattapan Square, alongside Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and state Representative Dan Cullinane.

“This is the first time we have a mayor visiting Mattapan, as often as he is,” said Edna Etienne, who owns the bakery. “We are proud and happy to present our mayor, to all of you . . . for the next four years, to finish the job he’s done.’

Etienne’s granddaughter, Edna Etienne-Dupie, also joined the event.

“If you want better schools, you vote for him,” said the 10-year-old, who dreams of becoming a US Supreme Court Justice. “If you believe black lives matter, you need to vote for Marty Walsh.”

“Where have you been the last eight months?” Walsh asked the child. “I need you on the campaign trail.”

Jeremy C Fox can be reached at
Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox
Milton Valencia can be reached
Follow him on Twitter @MiltonValencia.