Barros… best positioned to provide the wide-ranging leadership necessary to bring the vision to fruition. Out of a strong field, Barros…should emerge from next Tuesday’s preliminary election to carry the discussion forward in the general election campaign. The Globe is proud to offer them its endorsement in next week’s preliminary election.
Barros, at age 40, has lived a life that would feel familiar to many earlier generations of Bostonians. The son of Cape Verdean immigrants in one of the city’s most troubled precincts, Barros worked his way through Catholic youth groups to Boston College High School and Dartmouth College. In the years since, he has been an insurance underwriter, restaurant owner, school committee member, and founder of a charter school. In 2000, he returned to his childhood neighborhood to serve as director of the acclaimed Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, the landmark effort to empower residents to plan and develop their community. Through a land trust, the Dudley initiative has replaced vacant lots and crumbling properties with more than 200 units of new housing, and helped to turn around a deeply troubled neighborhood.
But none of these accomplishments fully captures Barros’s broad understanding of the city’s potential. He speaks eloquently of the needs of the poorest residents of Boston, but also of how to promote the city globally, thereby generating the resources to elevate all Bostonians. He has stood on the front lines of battles over crime and other neighborhood tensions, including those between native-born Bostonians and non-English-speaking immigrants. He has striven to heal those wounds with a message that stresses the importance of hard work, education, and entrepreneurship. But he knows the city can do more to spread economic development, including the opening of long-clogged transportation corridors and the creation of more neighborhood business districts.
To achieve these aims, a mayor needs a shrewd political sense — which Barros, despite his lack of time in electoral office, has shown on the campaign trail.
Posted by Samuel Dennen