Last night I had the opportunity to meet Tomás Gonzalez, who is running for Boston City Councillor At-Large. Gonzalez is running on a platform that promotes a stronger creative economy, including the expansion of support for spaces in underdeveloped neighborhoods like Roxbury and Fort Hill. He has also championed a plan to re-allocate Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) money to provide 1% for art, which mirrors many other cities around the country.
Gonzalez met with a group of artists and arts advocates at an event hosted by George Fifield and Janet Bailey, at Fifield's home in Jamaica Plain. He took some tough questions (a few tossed by yours truly) about how the city can support artists, foster incubator spaces, and include a more diverse group in the creative economy. He responded strongly with his ideas concerning growth, re-allocation of current funds, and the importance of the creative economy to Boston's future. It was great to hear tough questions asked of a candidate that is clearly pushing to be an arts advocate on the city council.
With the election coming very soon, we at Big RED & Shiny think it is important that everyone who cares about the arts and creative economy of Boston (or any city, really) pay close attention to the policies of the candidates and consider their votes carefully. Via the City of Boston Board of Elections website (PDF), there are 8 candidates on the ballot for City Councillor At Large. They are: Stephen Murphy, Doug Bennett, Felix Arroyo, Tito Jackson, Tomás Gonzalez, John Connolly, Andrew Kenneally and Ayanna Pressly. Looking through their websites, only one candidate has a dedicated Creative Economy plank in their platform. If a strong creative economy in Boston is a key issue for you on election day, make sure you press the candidates for their stance (or record) on the issue.