Boston is one of the wealthiest cities in the country. Yet ordinary working people of this town are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. Like other major cities in the U.S., Boston is dominated by corporate interests.

Companies like Bechtel made huge profits from the Big Dig (an underground expressway, the most expensive construction project in U.S. history), leaving the state to foot the bill for repairs on the poor job they did, not to mention the ceiling panel that collapsed last year, taking a woman’s life.

The cost of living in Boston is skyrocketing, while working people face stagnating wages and budget cuts to important social services. At the same time, the city government gives big corporations all the tax loopholes and breaks they need.

More and more workers in Boston, especially young people, can only look forward to low-wage jobs with no benefits. Youth violence is on the rise. Schools are critically underfunded, with curricula dominated by standardized tests. Boston schools have reached a level of segregation that rivals the Jim Crow era. Education, transportation, and housing needs are especially denied to Black and Latino communities.

This fall, Matt Geary is running for Boston City Council as a candidate of Socialist Alternative. He opposes all budget cuts to social programs. Matt demands that military recruiters get out of Boston schools. He says that the federal government should fund our cities, not the Iraq war.

Matt calls for taxing the richest corporations, banks, universities, and hospitals to pay for building affordable housing, job training, free quality education and healthcare, transportation, and other social services. He stands for a living wage for all and supports workers’ right to organize.

Of course, Matt Geary and Socialist Alternative have no illusions that one city councilor can take on these powerful corporation and the corrupt politicians that represent them. What we need is a social movement for better jobs, healthcare, and social services. We need protests and ongoing organizing campaigns. Mass movements, not politicians, can win the real victories that affect the day-to-day lives of working people. In the campaign for City Council, Socialist Alternative will use election material to promote this fall’s antiwar protests and looming labor struggles.

If elected, Matt Geary will donate over half of the $87,000 salary of a city councilor back to the social justice and labor movement. That way, he would be paid the wage and be living the lifestyle of the people he would represent: the ordinary Bostonians. The only thing that can force corporations and their politicians to bend to its will is the organization and struggle of working people. Matt Geary would use his position as a platform to aid these struggles.

Last year, Socialist Alternative helped workers at the Boston Children’s Museum keep their jobs. Recently, Socialist Alternative helped Zipcar drivers in Boston win union representation. Matt Geary and Socialist Alternative have participated in numerous workers’ rallies, like one recently for UMass Boston janitors fighting for a better contract. Matt can continue the fight in Boston city government as a representative of worker’s struggles.

Socialist Alternative members and supporters have been campaigning over the summer many times every week. We have gotten coverage from some of the major TV stations and newspapers. We got good responses to our ideas at a community forum in a working-class neighborhood on the issue of public housing.

Workers and youth have been receptive to our ideas when we go to the grocery stores, bus stations, and street corners to campaign. We may not have the money and resources of the corporate candidates, but we have dedicated activists.

Struggles against war and for better conditions need political representatives independent of big business. That is why Socialist Alternative is running Matt Geary for City Council. It is also why we welcome and support Cindy Sheehan’s independent antiwar challenge to Nancy Pelosi for U.S. Congress in California. Support for the Geary campaign has come from all over the country, with a donation coming from a NYC Green Party candidate.

Support Matt Geary for Boston City Council. If you live in Boston, vote on November 6. If you don’t, you can still help by donating to the campaign and spreading the word about the need to break from the two parties of war and corporate power. Visit votegeary.com for more information on our campaign.

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