The former members of the 272nd Field Artillery Battalion extend their gratitude and thanks to the staff of the Bay State Banner and Howard Manly for the recent black history article about our old outfit.
It is indeed another feather in the cap for the Bay State Banner as they continue to keep our community enlightened about our history. We hope to see a “Veterans Corner” in the Bay State Banner in the very near future, where we could continue to keep our community apprised of what’s going on in the military community with our servicemen and veterans.
In 2011, we are dealing with both redistricting and a municipal election. Both processes will take us into November and will work to inform and engage us.
In Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, both of these issues have major implications that have one real common denominator, “representation.” The re-districting process is to ensure that state representatives, state senators and congressmen represent an accurate number of the population.
Completed once every 10 years, redistricting also ensures that communities have the ability to be represented by a person of color, a person of similar community interests and be in a contiguous district.
This is different than creating seats or districts for a black, Latino or other ethnic representation. Re-districting should create the ability, but not pre-determine the election of someone of color. The determination of your elected officials should always happen through a democratic election.
This year in Boston, we will elect a 13-member legislative body. We will be able to vote for a district councilor and up to four citywide councilors. It is my hope that race will not be the focus of these races. Instead, I hope that candidates are chosen due to skill, leadership, engagement, ideas and results.
In the last city council municipal election the top city-wide, vote-getter received about 65,000 votes. There are more eligible voters than that in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan alone.
These are three neighboring communities that share similar issues like public education, public safety, violence, drugs, poverty, health disparities and other quality of life issues.
We suffer from the toughest of social ills, yet possess the political power to address these issues beginning with a vote. Without these communities taking action, neither re-districting nor re-elections will make a difference in creating change.
Your vote is what counts. The future is in our hands and the only question is, “What are we going to do with the opportunity?”
5th Suffolk District