David James Wyatt, Republican Ex-Teacher, Seeks Mayor’s Office
Ahead of Boston’s preliminary mayoral election on Sept. 24, which will narrow the field from 12 to two, WBUR is speaking with all of the candidates about the city and issues.
David James Wyatt is a Roxbury native and a former teacher in the Boston Public Schools system. He now works two jobs, so he says he understands firsthand what hard-working families in the city Of Boston are going through.
Deborah Becker: Among the candidates, some say that you’re among some of the least well known. There have been folks who have been politicians, or business leaders in Boston, for a very long time. Tell us a little bit about you and your background and why you want to be mayor.
David James Wyatt: As the introduction stated, I was a teacher at one time for 13 years. I live in Roxbury; it’s in the inner city. There’s a lot of criminal activity in the area, but I personally have never been in contact with anyone in organized crime. I’ve never been offered any illegal substances. I’m a Republican; that’s something that people should know. I’m somewhat conservative, as one would expect, someone who would be fiscally responsible. And also as a Republican, I am 100 percent pro-life.
Why is that relevant in a city election?
That’s a difficult question. Involves a life, and it’s the unborn who do not have anything to say about that. My colleagues have spoken of the bully pulpit. I guess a mayor could, if he or she were so inclined, advocate for the unborn. There are people in the city right now who, they need someone who is pro-life to vote for. Frankly, every elected official in the city right now is a Democrat and pro-choice. If I do not win my race, then not only will these pro-life and also Republican people not have anyone to vote for, but there will be no balance.
You ran for office in 2007, for at-large city councilor. In 2001, you ran for mayor as a write-in candidate. Why run now?
I was OK, really, with Thomas Menino. However, there were — I had misgivings about who might replace him in the event that he did not run for re-election. Education is very important. I believe that the mayor should have the best educational credentials and expertise as possible. As it so happens, there are candidates who have been involved in the creation of schools. It’s a different thing to have actually been in the classroom and have taught, especially in the inner city, where the school department is failing students in the inner city currently.
Why did you leave teaching?
There was such a thing as a evaluation process, and if under that process you received four consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations, that was tantamount to a dismissal. One would have to receive a dismissal hearing, which is something I have never received. So without that hearing, that dismissal hearing, I am at a loss to know why I was dismissed. And at some point, I would like to revisit that matter, perhaps with a new mayor and a new superintendent.
You have $17 in your campaign account. There are other candidates who have more than a million dollars. And so this is an expensive race. Can you win without the funds when there’s such a big discrepancy there?
Well that depends very much on whether the voters of the city of Boston can be bought. There’s been the suggestion that there are low information voters, people who will simply vote for the person who has the most signs on the road. I think better of the voters of the city of Boston. But it’s up to the voters to prove that on Sept. 24.
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