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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Mayoral Candidate Bill Walczak Visits Campus


“The next step in Boston is about innovation. It’s about being the exciting city, the one that everyone wants to live in, that people can afford to live in as well, and the place where our neighborhood folks are able to get into those jobs because we have a reformed and dynamic educational series of systems — charter, public school, private school.”




On May 8, the Political Science Department brought mayoral candidate Bill Walczak to campus as a part of the “Meet the Mayoral Candidates” event series at UMass Boston, organized by Professor Erin O’Brien and the Undergraduate Student Government.

Walczak, a community activist, graduated from UMass Boston in 1979 with a major in history. He is best known as the founder of the Codman Square Health Center, where several students from his alma mater volunteer with the nonprofit Healthleads.

When Walczak was chosen to help found the center in 1975, he was a 20-year-old dropout. “I was working as a spraypainter at the time,” he said. By the time the center was founded four years later, he was back in school at UMass Boston. It took him seven years to graduate.

“Being in the real world with real people who have real experiences — and professors that were able to nurture that — was a tremendous opportunity,” he said, adding, “If I had gone to another college that didn’t have those opportunities to interact with people, I don’t know if I would have done that.”

Walczak has also been a member of UMass Boston’s Alumni Association since 2004, and served as the president from 2008-2010. He has been a member of the Campus Council since 2006, serving on the advisory board to the chancellor until 2010, and on the Board of Visitors from 2010 to the present. He was awarded the Robert Quinn Award for Outstanding Community Leadership in 2008, and the UMass Boston Alumni Award for Distinguished Leadership and Community Service in 2012.

Walczak discussed housing with students, telling them what he plans to do “when I become mayor of Boston.” As mayor, he would institute “more housing development, so that maybe we can take care of the demand,” in order to “make it possible for young people to be able to stay in the city of Boston.”

Advocating for “a reformed and dynamic educational series of systems,” Walczak, who also helped found the Codman Academy Charter Public School, discussed the idea of education reform. He voiced the hope that improving Boston’s schools might bring about “opportunities for more young people to be able to get engaged in those kinds of jobs that are being created in downtown Boston.”

“That’s where I stand,” he concluded. “That’s who I am. I’m Bill Walczak, and I want to be mayor. I want to be the first mayor of the city of Boston that’s a UMass Boston graduate.”