Rather than season like firewood, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim has been all in his first term. Like the other dozen councillors, he is up for re-election in November. He is very comfortable in his role.
Locals know the family name, at least for the entry to the city over the bridge named for his social-activist father Leonard P. (Lenny) Zakim. His parents were role models that inform his current life.
We spoke of the many areas he’s led and insinuated himself in during his first term. You can delve into them on his Council-site link above or at his campaign site. Those also have details of his background and his various causes.
His District 8 sprawls from the West End and Beacon Hill through the Back Bay, Fenway and Mission Hill, that is from the very richest to the most downtrodden neighborhoods. He sincerely seems to support all Bostonians from the privileged to the poorest immigrants. In fact, he authored and drove through the Boston Trust Act, which makes a hardline pushback on the federal policy of crushing undocumented immigrants. That policy in turn made it unlikely that immigrants, even those with documents would report sexual assaults, domestic violence and other crimes they experienced or saw. Instead, Zakim wants them to feel comfortable in approaching authorities without fear of government retaliation or deportation.
Listen in to hear Zakim speak of:
- Getting bucks for the city in the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program from universities and other non-profits
- Ensuring acceptable living conditions and rents for students and others in rental housing
- Helping keep mortgage payers in their homes in a rapacious realty market
i kept looking for trouble, as in getting Mayor Marty Walsh or the PBD to guy into the Trust Act or getting buy-in on various legislation from fellow Councillors or having Northeastern (he’s an alum) cough up more PILOT money. Yet he got it done, and as he said about the vote on the Trust Act, it didn’t start as unanimous in Council but got there.
It looks like we have a continuation of Zakims from parents to son in coalition building.