Daily Archives: June 28, 2010

Yoon: No Work Left For Me In This Town

Published June 28, 2010

Sure, anyone can challenge Mayor Menino. Just don’t lose.

Sam Yoon did. He staked his City Council seat on it. Now he’s leaving politics — not for good, just for now — and heading to Washington to do non-profit work (running the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations). It’s back to his roots in community-based organizing.

Former City Councilor Sam Yoon is singin' the blues about Boston politics. (WBUR)

Former City Councilor Sam Yoon is singin' the blues about Boston politics. (WBUR)

For a guy with such an exciting new gig, he sure sounded sad on the phone with me today.

“It’s bittersweet leaving Boston,” he said. “My family has a lot invested in this city, but we move knowing there are opportunities to come.”

So why not look for opportunities in Boston?

“I did look for opportunities in Boston. And there was kind of a difficult political dynamic that was left in the wake of the election last year.”

Oh, yeah. That.

“Challenging a 16-year incumbent mayor as powerful as (Menino) is not without risk,” he told me. “When you do that, you have to realize there are consequences to that challenge.”

He did not get specific but said he tried to find work in Boston for six months. “The signals that I had gotten from the community here in Boston is that, to the extent that any organization is going to need to work with the city … it would be a risk to bring someone on who doesn’t have a clear ‘in’.”

[pullquote]”All politics is local, but all local politics is personal.”[/pullquote]

“I wasn’t shocked that that dynamic existed, but I wasn’t ever really sure how deep it went among the leadership in Boston.”

Yoon moved to to Boston in 1993 to attend Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He started a family in Dorchester.

He ran for mayor in 2009 and, after faltering in the primary, joined forces with Michael Flaherty to become the dynamic duo known as Floon 2009. For the first time in years, Boston began to imagine a city without Menino.

But the incumbent doesn’t lose, and Menino captured an unprecedented fifth term.

“Someone once said that all politics is local, but all local politics is personal,” Yoon told me. “I think Boston does have a reputation for taking that to a degree even beyond other cities.”

Tuesday Update: The Globe prints a story on Yoon. “Always dapper by the break of dawn during his council days, Yoon acknowledges that on occasion now he stays in pajamas through midmorning.”

Does Everyone Love Scott Brown?

Published June 28, 2010

Sen. Scott Brown

See, they love him. (AP)

You’d think Scott Brown is in the middle of a campaign these days. He’s everywhere.

In a new Boston Globe survey, Sen. Brown is the most popular politician in blue Massachusetts, out-polling even President Obama. Only 18 percent of people here don’t like the guy. I don’t think even my approval ratings would be that good.

Who are the 18 percent? Maybe labor unions, who are demonstrating outside of Brown’s Boston office in about an hour over his opposition to a jobs bill. “Brown is the Commonwealth’s only member of congress refusing to support a bill that would provide crucial funding for medical services in our state,” the unions said in a statement. (Brown said there is no funding for it.) The Boston Herald reported yesterday that Brown is feeling serious heat over this one.

[youtube width=”300″ height=”237″ align=”right”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY3CK881Z_U[/youtube]

That 18 percent might also be environmentalists, who are slamming the senator in TV ads about the BP oil spill. One you might have seen is furnished by Environment Massachusetts and features “real” people.

Earlier this month, the environmental group 1Sky awarded Brown the “Oily Bird Award” — a fake pelican covered in oil — for his vote to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions. (Worth clicking that link for the awkward photo alone.)

Nevertheless, the man seems unstoppable. “Few Democrats seem to have the resources or stature to challenge Brown,” the Globe reports.

And he’s starting to get comfortable in Washington. Brown recently purchased a modest, 498-square-foot, $290,000 condo on Capitol Hill. He says the parking space for his pickup is bigger.

Do you love Scott Brown? Say it in the comments.

Dancin' In The Streets

Published June 28, 2010

On Friday night, the place to be in this city was not in some swanky South End bar or downtown club. It wasn’t even in this city.

It was on Mass. Ave. in Central Square, where hundreds of people danced in the streets — from little girls and boys to senior citizens from the Cambridge Citywide Senior Center. It was the 14th annual Cambridge City Dance Party. Think of a giant dance floor with a breeze.

They danced to Michael Jackson classics and Top 40 hits, DJ’d by Worcester-based Immedia. I was there “covering” the event for you Hubbubers who couldn’t make it (and by “covering,” of course, I mean busting a move while intermittently snapping photos.) Here are some of the night’s best:

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