Democrats Square off at State Representative Candidates Forum

May 14, 2013

On Tuesday, May 7, the Beacon Hill Civic Association, the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay and the West End Civic Association presented a State Representative Candidates Forum for the 8th Suffolk District, which is made up of Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the West End in Boston, and Cambridgeport, Area 4 and MIT in Cambridge.

The forum was held in the Hill House Auditorium, located at 127 Mt. Vernon St. on the Flat of Beacon Hill. More than 80 neighborhood residents were in attendance in the overflow audience, including former 8th Suffolk District State Reps. Marty Walz and Paul Demakis.

During the hour-long event, the candidates running for state representative, Democrat Jay Livingstone of Beacon Hill and Democrat Josh Dawson of Back Bay, answered a series of questions posed by the event moderator, David Jacobs, publisher of the Boston Courant. The declared Republican candidate, Vic Navarro of Cambridge, was invited to participate in the forum, but declined the invitation, stating that he had suspended his campaign for state representative.

The topics covered during the forum included questions on: having more local schools in the downtown Boston neighborhoods; controlling institutional expansion in Boston and Cambridge; the pending legislation to protect Boston park spaces from shadows resulting from tall buildings; affordable housing and rent control; mass transit funding; state budget priorities; and the Patrick Administration’s pending state income tax reform legislation. The two candidates tried to distinguish themselves from one another on these issues, but, for the most part, they share similar positions on most issues. One major difference that did come to light, however, was each candidate’s position on the pending “anti-shadow” legislation, which had been originally sponsored in the state legislature by former Rep. Walz. While Livingstone stated that he was in favor of the legislation, and would join as a co-sponsor of the legislation if elected, Dawson stated his opposition to the Walz legislation.

Several questions were also posed by members of the audience.

The state primary election takes place on May 28.

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