By: Jamarhl Crawford Blackstonian Publisher/Editor
Editor’s Note: I was and am a supporter for Tito Jackson as an At-Large Candidate. However, as a resident of Roxbury, I do not think he is right for the District 7 seat. His personality is one that in an At-Large seat would ingratiate himself on the entire city; attending parades and attending to the needs of a diverse group of citizens across the city. Tito can be the Black Councillor who shows up at everything from Juneteenth to St. Patty’s Day and from the West Indian Carnival to the Gay Parade while doing the Tito slide. What may work well city-wide does not serve the very specific needs of District 7.
The Blackstonian has publicly endorsed the candidacy of Cornell Mills for District 7 City Council. However, this report is authored solely by Jamarhl Crawford and is not sanctioned or endorsed by the Mills’ Campaign. I want people to be clear that this is an analysis for our community not motivated by hatred or allegiance, as I have done many times in the past and will continue to do in the future.
The Perfect Candidate…. For Them.
Is Tito’s non-confrontational nature better for District 7?
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
A non-confrontational, conformist approach has historically never worked to advance people of color towards freedom, justice & equality. This approach was not used by Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, The Black Panthers, Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, Stokely Carmichael, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Amilcar Cabral, Kwame Nkrumah and many more who fought tirelessly for our comforts presently enjoyed. The very essence of confrontation is to be embraced when it is based on principle and becomes activism, organization and advocacy for the masses of disenfranchised people.
Unfortunately, for this position of District 7 City Council, Tito’s very nature will make it difficult if not impossible for him to confront the powers that be on our behalf and for our benefit. Politics in Boston is a full contact sport and I am not confident that Jackson has the ability to aggressively pursue our interest in the face of opposition.
Follow The Money
A look at who’s banking on Tito to win.
Data source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Office of Campaign & Political Finance.
In Tito’s Last Campaign (2009) for At-Large City Councillor…
In Tito’s 2009 candidacy nearly 19% of his funds came from District 7 – even though he was running citywide and District 7 has 10% of Boston’s voters.
In This Campaign (2011) for District 7
Tito Jackson has raised $37,421 for the District 7 race as of his latest Feb. 22 Deposit Report
Only 12.9% ($4,815
) of Tito’s donations come from District 7.
Which means 87.1% ($32,606) comes from donors who can’t vote for him.
Of the $32,606 collected outside District 7
$28,281 came from outside Roxbury, Dorchester & Mattapan.
52% ($19,485) of Tito’s donations come from the South End, Jamaica Plain, Beacon Hill, Back Bay & the West End. (D7 portions not included.) Tito is heavily supported by younger professionals who do not live in District 7, regardless of their racial or ethnic background.
28% of his donations come from non-residential addresses.
These are almost always business owners & unions.
48 donors have given Tito $250 or more. Only 5 are from District 7.
39% of his total raised came from just 30 People and Organizations who have given Tito the maximum $500. Only 4 live in District 7.
15 of the $500 donations – 20% of his total raised
came from non-residential addresses (i.e. business / unions)
This graphic is visually stunning and indicative of the very heart of this issue.
This image is representative of those who have invested money into Tito’s candidacy and is eerily similar to an image of Pac-Man gobbling up our community.
Tito has received $1,100 from partners at the highly-connected law firm McDermott, Quilty & Miller. Of that, $900 was received since 2/14. As Boston Magazine stated, “Nobody, it turns out, is better at getting a desired outcome from the Boston Licensing Board.” Yes, the SAME Licensing Board from Senator Wilkerson & Councilor Turner’s cases. http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/the_drinks_are_on_them/page1
Tito received $500 from Daniel Passacantilli on 30 December. It is unclear whether this is the Chief Probation Officer at Essex Juvenile Court, who was highlighted in the Boston Globe series on political corruption at the Probation Dept.; or, an individual with the same name (and also related to late City Councilor Fred Langone) who owns a telecom company. But the Passacantilli family has given over $71K to various Massachusetts candidates since 2002, spread out over 11 addresses and approximately 11 first names. The names and addresses often interchanged in the OCPF history. http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/specials/spotlight/probation_list/
Tito’s Donors include a who’s who of Lawyers, Real Estate Developers, Lobbyists, State Policy Makers, Bio-Tech and Pharmaceuticals none of whom are from District 7. We have to ask why would so many outside the district be so concerned and heavily invested in the outcome of this election? In my estimation it is because Roxbury is fertile land with many underdeveloped parcels and they see money to be made and opportunity to be had for their own advantage and they view Tito as the person who will offer up least resistance for their plans of conquest. He may actually unwittingly aid gentrification, misjudging empty promises of economic development and employment.
A few of the notable donors(list still being researched, updated as new information comes in)
Steve Crawford – Deval Patrick Campaign Manager
Paul Donovan – Kierney, Donovan, McGee Lobbyist Real Estate Development
Charles Harjar – Real Estate Development
Mary Beth Hefffernan – Ex. Office of Public Safety (Prisons, etc.)
Phil Herman – Goulston Storrs Real Estate Development Legal
David Abromowitz – Goulston Storrs
Stephanie Anderson – Ofram Sylvania
Keenan Bigby – Trinity financial (run by Pat Lee ‘Affordable Housing’)
Josh Boguer – Vertex Pharmacy (Bio Tech firm came to Seaport from Cambridge)
Ben Clements – Attorney associated with Menino
Mark Derhogopian – Charlesmark Hotel
Ian Ferguson – Next Street Financial
John Finley – Epiphany School
Richard Glovsky – Mintz, Levin (Legal, Lobbying)
Joan Goldstein – Dept of Labor
Ann Margulies – State Chief Information Officer
Gary Myrad – Lobbyist
Dan O’Connell fmr. State Econ. Development Dir. + wife
Isabel and Frank Pryor – Penny
Connor Yunitz – Lobbyist
Greg Bilucky – State Office of Economic Development
Judy Ann Bigsby – Secretary of Health
Steven Brodsky – Real Estate Development
David Greeny – Synergy Boston
Byron Burns – Microsoft
Thomas McNamara – Silverlink Communications
Stephen Clark – State Department of Energy
Helen Greener – founder, IRobot
John Fish – Suffolk Construction
David Friedman – Atty. Goulston Storrs
Pierce Haley – Lobbyist
Marty Nee – Cushman & wakefield
Doug Rubin – Casinos
Paul Scarpicchio – Mintz, Levin (Legal, Lobbyist)
Kerry Scarlett – Goulston Storrs
David Ballfagger – Lobbyist
Chris Benson – Rubicon Real Estate
Paul Vernon – Rubicon Real Estate
David Vegelfer – Real Estate Lobbyist
Relationships vs. Reality
Connections or Commitment what works for our Community?
Once you have accepted the support of heavily influential unions and taken major donations from so many varied interests, we would be foolish to think that financial support for Tito comes with no influence. Of course those who donate to his campaign will expect their fair shot at a sweetheart deal or expect his support for a future endeavor probably already in the works.
Fact vs. Fantasy
Take a look at claims made by Tito Jackson during the campaign and see how they measure out.
Tito Jackson: “I created 2500 Jobs”
Fantasy: 2500 jobs were created through the Gov. Patrick Administration, Tito was employed by the Governor and did not create any jobs, these jobs were created by the Patrick Administration and Tito’s job was merely to oversee the dispensing of these jobs.
Tito Jackson: “As long as I am alive there will be no Schuyler St. Gang”
Fantasy: While technically, there is no gang properly named “The Schuyler St. Gang” Tito lives in the middle of heavy Gang activity. The Grove Hall streets of Schuyler, Elm Hill, Maple, Cheney are all hot spots for Criminal Activity, including Gangs, Drugs, Guns, Murder, Robbery, Domestic Violence, etc.
Tito Jackson: “I registered 50,000 People to Vote”
Fantasy: Tito’s cousin, Ron Bell, founder of Dunk The Vote ran this organization which over the course of several years, registered approx. 50,000 people to vote. Tito also worked for the Deval Patrick campaign, a significant part of which was registering voters. While Tito may have volunteered as part of both of these efforts, he is not individually responsible for registering 50k voters.
Ron left Mission Hill Center to become a full-time community organizer. In 1992, he founded “Dunk the Vote,” a Boston-based, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that allowed him to organize and mobilize thousands of members of the hip-hop generation. Over the past 14 years, Dunk the Vote has registered over 40,000 new voters. In July of 2004 alone, during the Hip-Hop Summit, the organization registered over 7,500 people in a matter of weeks. In October of 2005, as the project director for the Selma March re-enactment, Ron Bell managed to involve 5,000 people and 400 interfaith and multicultural organizations.
Tito Jackson: “I will use my relationships to deliver for District 7”
Fantasy: We have no evidence or past accomplishments to prove that Tito will be able to use his familiarity with certain powerful people to deliver anything for District 7 that is not in their best business interests.
Tito Jackson: “A lot of our brothers in our community are on the street corners selling dime bags of illegally grown substances, I would like to see brothers on the corner selling dime bags of Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Collard Greens”
Fantasy: While it sounds nice, Urban Farming as Economic Development is not a feasible or sustainable solution to the unemployment in District 7. A. Current Farmer’s Markets aren’t exactly huge money generators and massive employment machines B. Remember this Winter?!?
Tito Jackson: “I told the unions I will support you if you support me. We need some jobs in those unions but I have to talk to my community to make sure Brothers can get up early and be on time to those jobs.”
Fantasy: That statement is reminiscent of those same unions who many times were the chief perpetrators of discrimination in this city. It is eerily similar to the opponents of Affirmative Action who always inferred that somehow Peoples of Color were not deserving of those jobs and that the main reason for our own unemployment is based in laziness and shiftlessness.
Tito Jackson: “I have the Governor on speed dial. I will go to Scott Brown’s office if necessary.”
Fantasy: Any citizen or organization can call or write or schedule a meeting with any Elected Official. The question here is once again, can Tito deliver for District 7 when those people are not in agreement with the position of the community.
Tito Jackson: “The Legacy of My Father, Herb “Kwaku Zulu” Jackson”
Fantasy: We can find no evidence that Tito has ever participated in any of his Father’s organizational efforts. Furthermore, since the unfortunate passing of Community Champion Kwaku Zulu, Tito has not carried on his work or participated in any efforts to enforce the Boston Jobs Policy his Father aggressively monitored often times by protesting sites that were in non-compliance.
Analysis of Media Coverage
Both the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe have been known as no friends of the Black Community. The Herald houses the rantings of both Michelle McPhee and Howie Carr and the Globe, while the more cerebral of the two, still does us no favors in the telling of our story. The endorsement of the media in this town is significant, particularly when the same people who are currently endorsing Tito are the same people who are still in the process of castigating Wilkerson and Turner. The Boston Banner since its bailout by the Menino Administration has been criticized for being compromised and while Menino’s city machine has been supporting Tito it makes sense that a Banner endorsement would eventually follow.
CAUGHT TAKING FALSE CREDIT; DOUBLE TALK
From the Article: “Deval Patrick dances, dines in D.C.”
By Jessica Fargen / Pols & Politics Sunday, February 27, 2011
A rough job market
District 7 City Council candidates Cornell Mills and Tito Jackson got testy with each other during a forum yesterday morning on 99.7 FM.
Jackson, the front-runner and a former director in the Patrick administration’s economic development department, boasted that he created 2,500 jobs in the state.
Mills refuted that, saying: “When Gov. Patrick campaigned, he said he brought those same 2,500 jobs. Is it realistic for an employee to suggest they are responsible for bringing jobs?” he asked.
“District 7 has the highest unemployment rate in the state. I would have made sure some of them landed in Roxbury or Dorchester and unfortunately, none of them did.”
Jackson responded by saying that the office drew to the state major IT jobs at companies such as Microsoft and Google. Jackson later told the Herald he could not say if any of those jobs were created in the district, but that people from the district have benefited from high-tech company jobs he helped lure to the state.
As industry director for information technology in the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Jackson has played a role in the Patrick administration’s efforts to bring more than 2,000 jobs to the Commonwealth by convincing tech companies like Google and Cisco to move business operations here. On the council, he said, he would also work to provide more job training opportunities and year-round positions for young residents.
In the below examples pay attention to the words used to describe Tito, multiple times, by multiple writers, in multiple papers “Affable”, “Amiable” “Earnest”, Upbeat”, “Inclusive” all of which are code words for non-threatening, non-confrontational Black Man, ie; “He’s Pliable” “We can work with him”
Boston Herald “Moving on in District 7”
Tues. Feb. 8 2011
Tito Jackson called “Earnest”
South End Patch “Tito Jackson’s Winning Appeal”
Tues. Feb. 8 2011
Tito Jackson called “Affable” “Earnest”
Boston Globe “Tito Jackson’s upbeat message”
Fri. Feb. 11, 2011
Tito Jackson called “Upbeat” “Honest” “Inclusive”
Tito Jackson called “Amiable”
Boston Globe “Amiable vs. edgy for council”
Sun. Feb. 13, 2011
Tito Jackson called “Amiable”
Tito Jackson “No one would think twice about introducing him to the folks.”
“…stability of a Jackson”
Cornell Mills called “Edgy”
“Mills came across as bolder…”
“…buzz of a Mills.”
In the very same articles they express their overwhelming support for Tito but the only explanations they offer are fluffy adjectives rather than qualifications and experience. They refer to work history but never list or cite anything specific. They refer to community ties, but other than where Tito resides, they never refer to specific current examples. The claims made by the Jackson campaign are not at all fact checked by any media that I have seen, even though misinformation like Tito “created 2500 jobs” or “registered 50,000 people to vote” is so easily verified or debunked.
Tito is continually marginalized by the media and time and time again either he makes himself the butt of a joke or he becomes one unwittingly.
SouthEnd Patch “Tito Jackson’s Winning Appeal”
By Christopher Treacy / About Town February 8, 2011
“Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for Jackson around town. He has a particularly soft spot for New York Pizza. “Approximately twenty-five pounds worth of my figure has been generously supported by New York Pizza,” he said with a genuine laugh. “As an avid client for so many years I believe I definitely helped finance those lovely new renovations.”
Consistently there seems to be trouble in actually stating why exactly he is supported. The pattern examined below can be evidenced in all media coverage and endorsements of Tito.
South End News endorses: Tito Jackson for City Council Wednesday Feb 9, 2011
(Blackstonian comments in red)
South End News endorses Tito Jackson, a man with a plan. (Never say what that plan is) That’s not the only reason to move this candidate to the final election by voting for him on Tuesday. Jackson, a lifelong Boston resident, knows how to make ideas and visions into reality. (Never say how or provide an example)
For example, every candidate wants to bring jobs to the district, but Jackson brings skills. He was an economic development director of the state. (Never show how that translates to delivery of services)
(After all that superficial mention of skills and plans and ideas and visions they can only come up with the following…)
He maintains his connection to lives of everyday people. This connection helps him to understand that the best program will fail without the right support. When asked on the campaign trail what he thought about banning smoking in public housing, Jackson told the Boston Globe “We have to make sure they have some kind of smoking cessation programs for the residents…I understand what they want to do, but it’s hard to quit smoking after 50 years.’’
At the same time that Tito is given the seal of approval and a pass from scrutiny, Cornell Mills is somehow portrayed as tainted, and his so-called criminal record (which is not a record at all) is continually brought up. They mention “arrests” and as an afterthought they show less attention to the fact that all charges were dismissed or Mills was found “not guilty”. The entire justice system is built on the fact that arrests DON’T COUNT. In this instance not only are we supposed to forget about “Innocent until proven guilty” but we are supposed to view Cornell Mills as guilty even after proven innocent.
The Media has even somehow attached a negative connection from Cornell Mills to his Mother Dianne Wilkerson. This is a very cheap and thinly veiled attempt to discredit and sully, as if any Son who is a real man is supposed to disavow his own Mother and have any position other than unconditional love and support.
TITO JACKSON VS. CHUCK TURNER; FIGHT OR FLIGHT?
Although Tito Jackson has the endorsement of Chuck Turner, a few points of clarity need to be distinguished.
Chuck Turner was quoted as saying “I believe Tito will make a fine successor.” This was in October well before any candidate had officially pulled papers. Candidates could sign up for papers on Dec. 16th and the papers were ready on Dec. 22nd. An “endorsement” of Tito in October was premature to say the least.
By John M. Guilfoil Globe Staff / February 16, 2011
Particularly if the endorsement was as it seems, based only on Chuck’s relationship with Tito’s Father Herb “Kwaku Zulu” Jackson. However despite this “endorsement” Turner secured legal counsel to bring a Federal case against the City of Boston for his ouster from City Council and this case in part sought to STOP THE SPECIAL ELECTION TO REPLACE TURNER. This is a simple question of pure logic. If I recommend you to be the new Director of a Division in my company and at the same time I am seeking to eliminate that entire division, then what is the value of my recommendation?
Judge denies Chuck Turner’s bid to halt Feb. election; Refuses to quash entire suit
Boston Herald By O’Ryan Johnson Tuesday, February 8, 2011
“City Council candidate Tito Jackson’s campaign spokesman — who said Jackson was endorsed by Turner even though the ex-councilor is trying to block the Feb. 15 election — declined to comment directly on Wolf’s decision to strike down the injunction and allow the campaign to proceed.”
Even more disheartening is the fact that Tito Jackson is a polar opposite to Chuck Turner and his Father Herb “Kwaku Zulu” Jackson who were both activists, community organizers and fought tirelessly and sometimes literally to ensure justice and fair access to Black/Latino/Women residents.
Tito has been endorsed and funded by IBEW Local 103 – A union that NEVER supported Chuck Turner and fought him tooth and nail because he consistently criticized them over workforce diversity issues.
Tito has been endorsed by Firefighter Local 718 – The firefighters union that consistently battles with Black/Latino Firefighters over diversity in hiring and promotion.
Why do these unions consider Tito so safe to support? Is Tito the legitimate continuation of the legacy of the Greater Roxbury Workers Association?
The media has in fact made it quite clear that they and many forces are truly endorsing Tito for the simple reason that he is the Anti-Chuck. They have successfully removed a constant thorn in their side and want to replace it with the soothing balm of Tito brand compl
acence. The Globe makes it quite clear.
CITY COUNCIL ENDORSEMENT | GLOBE EDITORIAL
Tito Jackson’s upbeat message February 11, 2011
“Yet a new generation of leadership is emerging in Boston — one focused more on tackling concrete problems and expanding the economic pie than on refighting the same old battles. Tito Jackson, a 35-year-old economic-development specialist, embodies this shift. He’s the standout among the seven candidates vying for the District 7 seat in a special preliminary election on Tuesday.”
“Turner’s antagonistic style lost its effectiveness long ago. Jackson, in contrast, is an especially amiable candidate.”
Is This What You Want?
When looking for leadership, particularly here in District 7 so under siege by drugs, gangs, violence, prostitution, gentrification and unemployment our community has to ask itself what we really want. Does it do us any good to place our faith in a leader who is not taken seriously, known for outrageous behavior and who is so supported and endorsed by the very same powers we have been fighting against in order to get even a small sense of justice?
What type of man do you want representing you for District 7? Do you want a leadership that exudes confidence and can stand eye to eye with the powers that be or do you want self-deprecation and buffoonery.
Disclaimer: Many people may ask why would we make the following pictures public? These pictures were already public, proudly posted on Tito Jackson’s Facebook page, so to me it’s fair game. The question is not why would we re-publish such photos, but why would he take them? I do not do this light heartedly or in jest, this is a serious question as to if you will choose leadership that can and will be taken seriously….
Ask yourself, what does leadership look like?
Does it look like this:
Part 2 of People’s Report