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Tito Jackson Launches Mayoral Bid06:27
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Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson announces his mayoral candidacy in Dudley Square. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson announces his mayoral candidacy in Dudley Square. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson is challenging Mayor Marty Walsh in the November election. Jackson has to collect and submit 3,000 signatures by May 23 in order to qualify for the ballot.

Guest

Tito Jackson, Boston city councilor. He tweets @titojackson.

Interview Highlights

On why he's throwing his hat into the ring

"We've lost our way, to date. We've been paying attention to things like Indy Car as well as things such as the Boston Olympics and we've not been paying attention to fully funding our education system. We've not been paying attention to the issues of working families. And the displacement that we're seeing in the city of Boston. And that's not only in the Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, you're seeing it in East Boston, South Boston, as well as Brighton and Allston.

"So we need to deal with the serious issues of working families in the city of Boston. And we have not been paying attention to those families."

On his previous endorsement of Mayor Marty Walsh

"I believe that the people of the city of Boston deserves to have leadership that's gonna focus on working families. Yes, [the endorsement] occurred in 2013, but the time is now to focus and families can't wait.

"I deal with families all the time in my office, actually not only from my district, who were calling me who were being evicted or pushed out of their homes. Families can't wait.

"One of the biggest calls that I get in my office — and we talk about as a council — are jobs and economic opportunity in the city of Boston. Boston can't wait another term for that. We actually need to seize the day and ensure that opportunities are provided for people in the city right now, today. And you have leadership that's actually gonna be squarely focused on the people who are currently in the city of Boston, not only those who we're seeking to bring here."

On if Walsh has focused enough on the people who live in Boston

"I believe that we have been really distracted. When 4,000 young people have to walk out of school for us to fully fund their education and we still cut it by $22 million, that autistic students are in larger classrooms and we have librarians that were cut and we're not fully funding our public schools — that is a problem.

"That's not the type of Boston that we should see when we have families who can barely afford to live here based on rents. People are working full time who are being pushed out and making decisions such as do we buy food or do we pay our rent?"

On if he would be successful at getting legislation passed

"We would be thinking about budgeting 1, 3, 5 and 10 years as businesses do. I believe that there is an opportunity at the city level that there needs to be the will to actually use the dollars that we have.

"We had $115 million in net new revenue. Those dollars could've been better allocated to the people in the city of Boston. I would work with the state legislature to close the over $1 billion under-funding of public schools in the state of Massachusetts ... We would work to get more charter reimbursement ... We need to do what we can do at the city level now and that is focus on working families and communities who've been left behind."

This segment aired on January 12, 2017.

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