Last night’s losers in the Boston mayoral preliminary election shouldn’t go away angry. In fact, some of them shouldn’t go away at all, because they would make good Cabinet members for the new mayor. And you can be sure they will be receiving calls for support today from state Representative Martin Walsh and City Councilor John Connolly — if the two winners haven’t wooed them already.
City Councilor Michael Ross might make a formidable head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Ross played a positive role in the current build-out of 2 million square feet of commercial and residential space in the Fenway. And he did it without rancor, which is quite a feat. Walsh wants to dismantle the BRA. But Connolly and Ross might find plenty to talk about.
City Councilor Rob Consalvo promised to create a Mayor’s Office of Ideas and Innovation if he won. Now that he has lost, Consalvo could actually run it. He brims with ideas about using new technologies to improve the lives of Bostonians, right down to the installation of rubber sidewalks that don’t heave and crack. Consalvo might play better with Walsh than Connolly.
John Barros would look good as the head of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development, which oversees the city’s housing policy. Barros, a nonprofit director, has done an impressive job creating inexpensive housing in the Dudley Street neighborhood of Roxbury. It would be nice to see what he could do citywide. He could work well with either candidate.
Bill Walczak has spent his career running a health center and hospital that serve some of the city’s poorest residents. He would be right at home as head of the Boston Public Health Commission. He also would work well with either candidate.
City Councilor Felix Arroyo could put his organizational skills and passion for helping young people to good use as head of Boston Centers for Youth and Families. Arroyo’s labor background lines up better with Walsh than Connolly.
It would be a shame to waste the talent that emerged in this race.
Lawrence Harmon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.