Two-pronged Approach: Connolly and Pressley Defend Their Campaign Strategy

November 2, 2011
By

At-large City Councilors Ayanna Pressley and John Connolly.

When at-Large City Councilors John Connolly and Ayanna Pressley announced they were teaming up and campaigning together some accused the two of calculating a political ploy to keep out one or more non-incumbents from securing one of four at-large seats on the council.

Some political wizards think former at-Large City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michael Flaherty has a good chance of sneaking back into the council if one of the four incumbents is weak in the polls (some have mentioned Pressley as being vulnerable this time around) and several incumbents are doing what they can to keep him out of City Hall.

However, Connolly and Pressley said during a recent interview  at 303 Café in East Boston that nothing could be farther from the truth and their alliance is an evolution of where the two stand on many issues—specifically families and education.

“We have been friends for six years and have always had a good working relationship,” said Connolly of his colleague. “We’ve been across the city and people are excited by the partnership.”

Connolly, who chairs the city’s education committee and Pressley who chairs the city committee on woman and families both said it only makes sense for the two to work together to ensure the work they started that focuses on having more family involvement in education continues.

“Our background as educators and mentors has brought us to this point and we feel strongly that strong education has to start with strong families,” said Pressley. “There’s the old saying that it ‘takes a village’ to raise a child and we both want to approach education and fostering healthy families in the spirit of that adage.”

Some ideas that the two have been touting on the campaign trail is providing more resources and help in the home that would inevitably spill back into the classroom.

“We have too many kids that are coming from environments that are unhealthy so when they get to school they are dealing with a whole host of issues,” said Pressley.

Connolly then said that it would make sense to find ways to get a better understanding of a student’s home situation and address those concerns before attempting find the right education path.

“If the family is healthy, the student is healthy and the student becomes more focused rather than being on the margins for his or her entire school career,” said Connolly.

Both Connolly and Pressley worked to raise the dropout rate in the city to 18 and want to fight for more reforms together.

“We have a good working relationship and this is the main reason we continue to support each other during this election,” said Connolly.

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