Why bother to make the effort, especially for a local city council election, and take two minutes to exercise one of the most important acts in a democracy?  The answers are steeped in philosophy, justice, history, psychology, and experience.  There was a commonly expressed wish for a productive, fair, and respectful city council that can tune into the needs of the everyday citizen. The conduct of construction projects, on-going traffic and safety issues, schools, and preservation of green space were named more than one by South Boston voters. Here is what a sampling of residents voting on a summer-like day at the Condon Community School of Oct. 27th had to say about voting and their hopes for the community. Despite serious concerns, voters came with the hope that their voice can matter.

“I’m a member of the Painter’s and Allied Trades Union (DC35), and I make sure to vote for our endorsed candidates. I grew up on D. and own a house now on Bolton St. and know the community well. My concerns are that the elected people deal with parking and traffic. Broadway from E. to Broadway on Friday and Saturday nights is like a one-way street. Safety is a problem with this going on.” Bob Lafferty

“I vote because I want a say in what is going on. What is important for me here is that the streets are clean, and the trash removed. I also want things to move faster, and I think there is too much bureaucracy.”    Ricardo

“I always vote because if you don’t then you have no say. It’s a scary world and I want the right people. Our responsibility is to vote. You can’t complain if you don’t vote, even if it is the least of two evils. It takes people to make a change.” Catherine Mullen

“We care about government and how it is run. I’m old fashioned enough to think it matters. We complain so we can at least do what we can and one of those is voting. My major issues for the city are the schools, and that maintenance of space and preservation of open space. I want a good environment.” Jean

“I vote because my ancestors didn’t have the right. I always take my kids to show them even when it feels like it won’t matter. We were granted an opportunity to vote and now we should. I would like to see attention to West Broadway and the West Broadway Development. Everyone should have the same response regardless of whether you are in the Seaport, East Broadway, or a project. For example, there is construction that goes on without respect for people trying to live here. When people give up on voting it is because they can’t believe their input is important, and I try to think it does.”  Beverly Benton

“I like to feel that I have some input into decisions in my community. I want the government to function optimally. The way to do this is to get good people elected. I’m glad there are people with energy. The most important issue to me is the schools. Everything else is secondary. Beyond that I would like to see that space is utilized for things other than development.”  David

“I vote because I always came with my mother and I ‘ve seen her try to speak out. I want to be seen and heard. There should be equal representation for all races, and everyone treated equally. My concerns here are about construction, safety, disposing materials from sites near school areas. This wouldn’t happen in other places. The City Council and other elected people should be about the people and not yelling at each other.” Naajauh

You may have issues and hopes for the City Council or complaints you wish to express. Start with voting on Nov. 7th and in the elections to follow. Contact Boston City Hall if you have not yet registered.