Skip to Content

Mayoral Candidates Forum

After 20 years, Mayor Thomas Menino will step down at the end of his current term. This leadership transition provides challenges and opportunities for our profession and our communities. Mayoral candidates were invited to BSA Space on June 5, 2013, to explore a variety of topics related to community, development, jobs, sustainability, and livability in our city. Renée Loth, ArchitectureBoston editor and Globe columnist, moderated.

BSA President Mike Davis FAIA, Principal at Bergmeyer Associates, provided opening remarks. Said Davis, “The power of design is immeasurably increased when used together with enlightened, progressive public policy. The Boston Society of Architects looks forward to continuing our productive, collaborative relationship with the next administration so that we can sustain the evolution of our beloved City.”

The forum began at 8:30 am, and candidates were asked to come prepared to answer one opening question:

"Through the planning and design of buildings, architects shape the public and private places in which we work and live. Architects share our communities' deep concerns that the places we live, work and play are safe, healthy, and sustainable. We would like to ask each of you: What are your priorities with respect to issues in this campaign involving the building development, sustaining the environment, transportation, housing, and growth? And what actions will you take in these areas that will enhance the quality of life for the people of our city?"

Read highlights of questions and answers.

Participants included:

Felix Arroyo

City Councilor At-Large, elected in 2009
Councilor Felix G. Arroyo is a lifelong Bostonian, born in the South End and raised in Hyde Park. He is a graduate of the Boston Public Schools. Arroyo did his undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts/Boston, and completed his master’s degree in Community Economic Development at Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to being elected to the council, he served as a field director at Northeast Action and political director for the Service Employees International Union Local 615. Arroyo shares a home with his wife in Jamaica Plain.

John Barros

Executive Director, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
Mr. Barros is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he studied Economics and African/African-American Studies. He is a candidate for a Masters in Public Policy from Tufts University. While at Dartmouth, he was accepted into an executive training internship and placed at Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, which led to a full time position. Mr. Barros served as Vice President of the DSNI Board and of Dudley Neighbors, Inc. until assuming the role of Executive Director. He is co-founder of Restaurante Cesaria, a lay leader at St. Patrick's Church, and coordinator of the Cape Verdean Apostolate for the Archdiocese of Boston. Mr. Barros lives in Dorchester with his wife and son.

John Connolly

City Councilor At-Large, elected in 2007 Councilor
Councilor John R. Connolly is a former teacher, attorney, and a Boston Public School parent. He received his BA from Harvard University and later earned his JD from Boston College Law School. Connolly currently serves on the board of directors for Meridian Academy and the Board of Visitors for College Bound Dorchester, and is a member of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program—Department of Mental Health Team-Integrated Care Project Community Advisory Group. Connolly was born and raised in Roslindale and lives in West Roxbury with his wife and their children. .

Robert Consalvo

City Councilor, District 5, elected in 2002
Councilor Robert Consalvo is a graduate of Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Consalvo formerly served on the professional staff of the late senator Edward M. Kennedy in both Washington, DC, and Boston. He currently serves as a corporator of the Hyde Park Savings Bank and is a member of the board of directors of the Hyde Park Board of Trade and the MA 54th Regiment, a group honoring the participation of African-Americans in the Civil War. Consalvo resides in his hometown of Hyde Park with his wife and children.

Mike Ross

City Councilor, District 8, elected 1999
Councilor Ross holds a Bachelor's Degree from Clark University in Worcester, an MBA from Boston University, and a Law Degree from Suffolk University. Prior to his election, he was part of a team that developed the City of Boston's first website, which allowed residents to pay tickets online. The site received the "Best of the Web" award for municipalities by Government Technology Magazine. He has served two terms as President of the Boston City Council and currently assists as chair of the Public Safety Committee. Ross is a resident of Mission Hill.

Charlotte Golar Richie

Senior vice president at YouthBuild USA
Charlotte Golar Richie has a bachelor of arts degree from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and an MBA from Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management. She currently serves as the senior vice president for public policy, advocacy, and government relations for YouthBuild USA. For five years, she represented the 5th Suffolk District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where she chaired the Joint Committee on Housing and Urban Development. She then served as cabinet chief of housing and director of the department of neighborhood development for the City of Boston. She later became senior advisor for federal, state, and community affairs in Governor Deval Patrick’s administration. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Richie has lived for 26 years with her husband in Dorchester. They have two grown daughters.

Bill Walczak

Community leader and Vice President of Shawmut Design and Construction
Originally from New Jersey, community leader Bill Walczak has been living in Boston for 40 years. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts/Boston and is a current board member of the University of Massachusetts Boston Alumni and Friends and the CEO of Codman Square Health Center, a multiservice center he founded in the 1970s. Walczak is also a Senior Fellow at Boston University Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership. He is a resident of Savin Hill, where he lives with his wife.

Marty Walsh

House Representative, 13th Suffolk District, elected in 1997
Representative Walsh attended St. Margaret’s School in Dorchester, Newman Prep High School, and graduated from Boston College. He is the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics, and serves as a Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Labor Caucus. During his tenure he has also served as Chairman of Homeland Security and Federal Affairs Committee, and as co-chair for the Special Commission on Public Construction Reform. In 2011, Walsh became business manager of the Boston Building Trades, an umbrella group that represents unions of ironworkers, electricians, and others. Walk lives in Dorchester with his longtime partner and her daughter.