Future Boston Alliance Takes Aim at Menino’s Status Quo [Video]
Now this is interesting.
This morning Boston Herald reporter Dave Wedge had a story in the paper about the Future Boston Alliance, a group spearheaded by KarmaLoop CEO Greg Selkoe that aims to position itself as a prominent voice in civic affairs.
Normally, we wouldn’t blog about Boston political’s rat maze (aside from maybe the Ghost of Faraone) but this deserves some attention, and not just because we appreciate the steady supply of glassy-eyed models that Selkoe consistently manages to pluck from all corners of the Commonwealth. One of Future Boston Alliance’s major platform components is loosening City Hall’s grip on the city’s entertainment and nightlife scene; or more specifically, how much Mayor Menino has done to make sure bars and clubs are only slightly more tolerant than those in Pyonyang. The article cites examples of Hizzoner’s officers hitting the House of Blues with a citation for moshing during a punk rock show, and for shutting down Cure Lounge on Tremont for three days for allowing dancing (insert Footloose joke here) without a specified permit. And all the while, Menino is hanging with this fuck.
In general terms, the FBA takes issue with, among many other things, Menino’s overall attitude towards the arts/culture industry, which involves everything from the awarding of liquor licenses to the lack of late-night public transportation to the bureaucratic red tape that impedes the creation of new businesses. They’ve taken their message straight to YouTube, in the form of one of those animated ads that are usually reserved for explaining some new iPhone app…which I guess is the audience they are looking to reach (check after the jump).
A little cheesy though it may be, the video makes its point.
It’s a little early to start prognosticating, and no one should be under any illusions about the difficulty of breaching the massive political fortress Menino has built around himself over the past two decades in power. This is his city and he hasn’t shown any signs of loosening his grip. Many have tried and failed to knock him off his perch, people with more money, influence and connections than Greg Selkoe or whatever potential candidate the FBA hopes will emerge to challenge him. It will be very tough, but this is an important first step that I personally support.
I won’t pretend to know everything about city politics, but as someone who’s lived in Boston for the past eight years, and someone who’s been involved in the city’s arts/culture /nightlife scene, it’s obvious to me that Boston is falling behind. How can you have a city that welcomes people from all over the world and have a law against happy hour? Or have a mandatory shut down time of 2 am, filling the streets with every shit faced bro and screaming chick to fight for cabs all at once, with public transportation long since closed? Or that strangles innovation while Cambridge welcomes companies like Google? And on a larger note, how can having one Mayor in office for 20 years really be a good thing? The FBA are at very least advocating for some new voices in the civic conversation, and nothing pisses off a 69-year old civil servant with tenuous job security like new voices.
In short: I fucking hate Flogging Molly, but I don’t want to live in a city that doesn’t let you mosh at one of their shows. I’ll be watching the Future Boston Alliance continue to shape its message and plan of action, and hopefully toasting beers during a Boston happy hour sometime sooner rather than later.
[A special shout out goes to Dave Wedge for this awesome story. One of the city's best reporters and also a friend.]