The Dorchester Board of Trade serves a number of functions, one of which is representing local business concerns to city and state government. In continuing that long tradition, the Meet The Mayor event was held at Phillips Old Colony House (pictured) on 18-Sep-2013.
To my recollection the candidates present were:
State Rep. Marty Walsh
City Councilor John Connolly
City Councilor Felix Arroyo
Former State Rep. Charlotte Golar-Richie
Codman Sq Health founder Bill Walczak
Dist. Atty Dan Conley
[Apologies for any inaccuracies or omissions.]
Well attended in the ballroom of the Phillips Old Colony House above the
Freeport Tavern, an ample opportunity for networking prior to meeting the
candidates took on a celebratory mood similar to social events there,
made all the more so by refreshments available for purchase.
DBOT typically hosts quality events.
After a time moderator Dr. Paul Watanabe of U Mass Boston began the proceedings and stated the guidelines. The questions ranged over a number of concerns, from education to marijuana legalization. One in particular was the status of liquor licenses for businesses in areas where they have historically been difficult to obtain.
Local residents are likely to opt for places where they have broader choices,
especially for special occasions. The prohibitive cost of licenses combined with the limited allocation stifled business development in those communities. Candidate John Barros, who is also a restaurant owner, had personal experience in this regard. All candidates committed to address the problem.
(Since then the home rule petition sponsored by City Councilor Ayana Pressley and supported by Mayor-elect Marty Walsh, authorizing legislation for Boston to distribute licenses, passed on 12/19/13 12-1.)
It surprised me to learn that details like this compared to crime control, taxes, infrastructure and traffic patterns can have just as much impact on business sustainability.
What may seem purely a matter of choice to maximize profit can in fact be a determining factor in the life of the business. Examining the history of liquor licensing in Boston from inception to present day is a reminder that hard work is just one ingredient to success. There must be a level playing field objectively defined.
It doesn't just affect where customers are drawn; it can mean the difference between greater commercial development and sustaining economic vitality of those areas that may have been impacted by eCommerce.
Clearly, DBOT is a leader in highlighting local as well as state-wide issues to change agents, which makes it a change agent as well.
The author attended the DBOT event 9/18/2013 and also referenced