One of Boston’s most hard-fought city council races is in District 5, which covers all of Hyde Park and parts of Roslindale and Mattapan. No fewer than eight candidates are running in the Sept. 24 preliminary election to replace the retiring incumbent, Tim McCarthy. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 5 final election.
The Globe endorses Ricardo Arroyo, a public defender who grew up and still lives in Hyde Park and whose well-known name shouldn’t obscure his own strong qualifications for the job.
Arroyo — whose brother and father are former Boston City councilors, and the only Latinos ever to be elected to the body — announced he was running to unseat McCarthy before the councilor decided not to seek reelection.
If elected, Arroyo wants to bring a dedicated bus lane to Hyde Park Avenue. He also wants to restore the trust of Mattapan residents, who he says feel they’ve been ignored by a succession of Hyde Park-based councilors. Arroyo, who is of Puerto Rican descent, would also be the first person of color to represent a district that’s grown increasingly diverse.
Arroyo takes a refreshingly direct position on a local controversy: the proposed Roxbury Prep building at 361 Belgrade Ave., which is located at the district’s edge. Roxbury Prep is a public charter school, and while Arroyo says he has concerns about charters, he would not hold that against the school’s predominantly black and Latino students. “I also understand that these are children in this school and they deserve the best that we are able to give them. I wouldn’t stand in the way of giving them the facilities they deserve,” he said — standing against the NIMBYism that threatens the project.
Mimi Turchinetz, a lawyer and community organizer, is also well qualified for the city council. Other candidates include Maria Esdale Farrell; Cecily Graham; Yves Mary Jean; Justin Murad; Alkia Powell; and Jean-Claude Sanon.
As Arroyo himself says, his last name is a mixed blessing, depending on how voters felt about his relatives. But judging him just on his own merits, Arroyo’s the right person for the job.
Who’s on the ballot?
The following candidates are on the ballot for the Sept. 24 preliminary election, listed in the order they will appear:
■ JUSTIN MATTHEW MURAD
■ CECILY LETICIA GRAHAM
■ ALKIA T POWELL
■ YVES MARY JEAN
■ RICARDO ARROYO
■ JEAN-CLAUDE SANON
■ MIMI E TURCHINETZ
■ MARIA ESDALE FARRELL