3 key clashes from the first Boston mayoral debate – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-10-13 22:46:06 –


“I think there is a very clear difference.”

Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George before the debate on the first Mayor of Boston election on Wednesday night. WBZ-TV

City council members Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu confronted each other on Wednesday night at the first one-on-one mayoral election debate, but in contrast, the event wasn’t short.

From police reform to housing Mass and Cass In the style of leadership, the two general election candidates made a clear distinction.And with poll It was often the attacking Essaibi George, suggesting that she had to fill the ground.

“I think there is a very clear distinction,” she said after emphasizing her record of “engaging” and “existing” in the community.

“It’s very important to think boldly, and I do it every day,” said Essaibi George. “I also work every day.”

Wu argued that both candidates, both democratic metropolitan councilors, are in the community, but their current approach does not address deteriorating problems such as housing and homelessness.

“We’re not going to reduce it anymore at the moment we wait and sit and want other levels of government and slow and comfortable conversations,” Wu said.

Clash over housing and mobility

Regarding housing issues, both candidates agreed on the urgency of addressing the Boston issue. Affordable crisis — With slightly different emphasis.

Essaibi George called for first-time homebuyer support for low-income households and increased investment in public housing. Meanwhile, Wu focused on renters, arguing that the city “needs to play a much more active role in managing resources and keeping people in the community,” and more affordable housing. Simplified the process of building.

That’s why Esaibi George set Wu’s aim. Candid support for rent management, The WBZ host John Keller, who was hosting the discussion, has a landlord who owns only one property. 68% of Boston home rentals..

“I’m going to make it clear that Councilor Wu (Michelle) doesn’t believe in the power of the little landlord,” said Esaibi George, rent management “creating further investment cuts in our city,” residents. Insisted that he would kick him out.

“Rent management is not the answer,” she said. “This is not the solution to the challenges in this city.”

“You can’t be afraid and you can’t listen to horrific tactics,” Wu said, emphasizing that residents are already afraid of evacuation due to rising rents. Wu revealed that he would pursue a multifaceted approach to building more affordable homes, but rent management was needed in the short term to limit mobility.

The implementation of such policies depends on state legislators who abolish the voter-approved rent management ban across Massachusetts, or at least approve a bill that gives Boston an exemption. Unlike Esaibi George, who is officially approved by more than 20 state legislators, Wu said he would work with state legislators on this issue.

“It’s not enough to simply reject a policy because it’s too complex or you’re afraid of unintended consequences,” she said. “Let’s have that conversation. Make sure everything is at the table.”

Esaibi George claims she is actually a leader in police reform

The two candidates also clashed on police issues.

Esaibi George who asked for Added 300 police officers to Boston Police Department When Remarked against so-called efforts to defend the policeHas gained a reputation as a more pro-police candidate in the race.

But she also said on Wednesday she would do it perfectly A city-consigned police reform task force made a year ago From 2 Social Workers Helping Police Respond to Mental Health Calls 19..

“It’s a job I led as a member of the Boston City Council. Michelle hasn’t led the necessary reforms,” ​​she added later.

Wu said he was “thankful” to Esaibi George’s leadership on the issue, but “becoming two to nineteen clinicians” was police in a city with hundreds of thousands of residents. Did not address the widespread need for reform.

“We need to be afraid to reach the scale of change that is appropriate for the population,” Wu said, adding that the city should be “dedicated” to the pilot program. Launched by Deputy Mayor Kim Janny Have paramedics and mental health workers answer 911 calls containing mental health issues without police.

Esaibi George claimed that the pilot was “a product of my work at the Boston City Council.”She also criticized Wu for voting against the city’s budget last summer and said she had lost 43 paramedics and paramedics (also Esaibi George). Approved by the local EMS union).

Wu argued that Esaibi George’s comment was “just not true.”Other city council members Said at that time The passage of the budget was by no means suspicious.

“We don’t have to make the wrong choices to confront each other or underestimate what is possible in this city,” Wu said Wednesday night.

How urgent is Mass and Cass?

Both candidates also emphasized the urgency of addressing the crisis of homelessness, addiction and violence around the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, but the details were different.

Asked about recent suggestions to commit homeless individuals Reused South Bay Detention Center or Former Shatuck Hospital in Franklin ParkWu said she was “open to both conversations.” But in her first 100 remarks as mayor, she focuses on auditing all empty buildings owned by the city to see if they can be converted into supportive housing. I emphasized that.

Essaibi George said he needed to “explore” the city using the South Bay Detention Center as long as it was an “initiative under public health surveillance.” She also said, “You need to use Shatack.” Reconstruct the bridge to Long Island, Hosting recovery services until the bridge was demolished for safety in 2014, many Deterioration in Massachusetts and Cass..

“We can’t wait until the first 100 days of the mayor’s administration are over,” said Essaibi George. “This is work that needs to be done today.”

Wu has shot back the reconstruction of the Long Island Bridge — now Legal issues from the city of Quincy — It can take up to 10 years. Wu said it was “much” quicker to repair residential buildings and enable ferry services to Esaibi George’s Long Island. oppose..

Wu added that the current approach was “incredible frustration” among community members. Esaibi George replied that the efforts underway under former Mayor Marty Walsh were “stuck” under Jenny, and Wu replied: [and] Take advantage of all the resources we have. “

Esaibi George, who was later asked to evaluate Walsh’s record, said his fellow Dochesters were “good mayors”, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wu praised Walsh, now US Secretary of Labor, as “a powerful leader in our city.”

But she again emphasized her dissatisfaction with the current trajectory.

“Over the last decade, Boston has put a lot of pressure on residents, including housing crises, pandemics, employment, transportation systems and schools,” said Wu. “We make sure that we don’t just keep taking the baby’s step towards where we need to go.”

The two candidates will meet again within a week for a second discussion at NBC Boston next Tuesday, October 19, at 7:00 pm.

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