Mayor Marty Walsh officially kicked of his re-election campaign this past weekend with a video called “One Boston for All” and an event in Dorchester, the Boston neighborhood in which he grew up.
Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, a challenger to Walsh, had already announced his run for mayor back in January. The two recently took part in separate town halls with reporters from WBUR and the Boston Globe.
“Ultimately, what drives me inside is helping people,” Walsh says in his official announcement video. “I love that. That’s my passion.”
In the video, Walsh details recent progress he says has helped Boston improve in the last two years that he has held office, including a $207 million investment into Boston Public Schools.
“When we talk about income inequality, education is the long-term answer to that,” Walsh says.
He also points to his efforts with Imagine Boston 2030, specifically mentioning the plan to add 53,000 units of new housing by 2030, with 8,300 of those units set aside for low- to moderate-income residents.
Walsh also turned personal in the video, mentioning how he grew up in the Savin Hill section of Dorchester, which he describes in the video as a “working class neighborhood [where] things weren’t handed to you,” mentioning his alcoholism and acknowledging that he “made some bad decisions in life.”
“Those experiences in my life shaped me into the human being I am today,” he says. “I see a whole bunch of people in the city that grew up like me, but I see a lot of opportunity in the city of Boston and I won’t give up on anybody.”
Recently, Jackson criticized Walsh over the uptick in violence the city has seen this year, though Walsh said that violent crime is down 9 percent. In the town halls, Jackson also took issue with the way Walsh brought General Electric to the city and argued that not enough is being done to truly make housing affordable.
Two others have thrown their hat into the election ring as well former school committee member Robert Cappucci and businessman Joseph Wiley.
According to a Suffolk University / Boston Globe Media poll from late June, Walsh has a 31-point lead over Jackson, with 54 percent of voters saying they will choose the incumbent to 23 percent who prefer the city councilman. Cappucci and Wiley trail behind the two with 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.