Matt O’Malley for Council
By Boston Herald Editorial Staff| Monday, November 8, 2010
There is a lot to be said for persistence in the pursuit of public office and Matt O’Malley is nothing if not persistent. He has run twice for the Boston City Council and lost, but has always maintained a commitment to this city and its residents.
O’Malley is the Herald’s choice to fill the vacant District 6 seat on the Boston City Council in next week’s special election. The district includes West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain and parts of Roslindale and Mission Hill.
O’Malley, 31, has sprinkled his runs for the Council with other civic-minded work – he ran Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral’s first campaign for the office, and then served on her staff, giving him direct experience with important public safety issues that affect this city – the issue of prisoners returning to the community, for one.
With Superintendent Carol Johnson making plans to overhaul the city’s underperforming schools, now is a good time for a candidate who puts education at the center of his campaign. O’Malley supports a return to neighborhood schools and more choice in school assignments.
O’Malley has also said he opposed the idea of paying firefighters to undergo drug tests, a position that may have cost him the endorsement of the city firefighters’ union but wins him points here.
We have differences with O’Malley, to be sure. He wants to wring more ‘voluntary’ payments out of the colleges and universities that help drive the city’s economic engine, for example, and wants the City Council more involved in collective bargaining with city unions. While councilors ultimately played an important role in resolving the standoff with firefighters, the idea of them being involved in regular negotiations, which these days requires discipline and resolve, inspires chills.
O’Malley’s opponent, James Hennigan, is clearly devoted to his community both as a small business owner and as a civic volunteer. But O’Malley is the stronger choice to represent the diverse neighborhoods of District 6.