Michael Nichols still in running for City Council
By Natnicha Chuwiruch
BU News Service
The room resonated with the sound of applause at 9:50 p.m. when Michael Joseph Nichols walked to the middle of a small rented room above a bar on 1617 Tremont Street and declared that he was still in the running for Boston City Council in District 8.
Nichols is now running as the number two candidate after a winning Mission Hill in the preliminary election, following Josh Zakim in the City Council race in District 8. They have another six weeks until the general election on November 5 to push the name “Nichols” among Bostonians. He and his team will resume campaigning immediately. Compared to other District 8 candidates, Nichols is the only one with practical experience at both the city and state government levels.
“I honestly think he’s the smartest person in the race, certainly the most qualified,” said Dennis Burke, Nichols’ friend and supporter. “He knows the city, front and backwards, he will certainly have to overcome a certain name that has befallen our race.”
The small room was filled with 30 people, all friends, family, and supporters who congratulated Nichols for still being in the race and edging out the rest of his competition.
“He’s just a great person to be around, always fun, always thinking of other people. Anytime he’d have any Red Sox tickets and concert tickets, he would just give it to us,” said Adam Barrett, neighbor, friend, and supporter. “He’s just a genuine person, a really good guy.”
Nichols’ main campaign points focus on pushing for more K-12 schools in the district, an improved late-night public transportation system, affordable housing, and easier access to jobs, with a main focus on new start-up companies.
One of the many concerns and problems that a majority of university students have is finding accommodations. The majority of the new housing units that are under construction in Boston are luxury units, aimed at those with middle-level incomes. Nichols promised to address the supply of affordable housing to better accommodate people in the low- to middle-income bracket, which includes students.
“Students pay because they need a place and they’re eager and they just go with the first one in,” Nichols said. “We need a better and more modern housing stock.”
Touching on the subject of Boston’s inability to retain young talent in the job pool, Nichols described that the best way to remedy that is to make starting new companies. He said he believed that increasing the amount of small businesses in the city would help fresh graduates find jobs.
“We have to be friendlier to small start-up companies,” said Nichols. “Not just the big national, sexy companies.”
As friends, family, and supporters started to leave for home, Nichols shook hands and thanked them for being there and helping him throughout the campaign.
“Some of the other candidates in this race are paying people to be there, while everyone here is a friend of Michael’s,” said Barrett.