Mayor Sullivan Calls Remarks by Former Councilor “Racist”

Lawrence Mayor Michael Sullivan Calls Councilor

Carlos Matos’ Remarks Racist

Tom Duggan – June, 2008

Lawrence Mayor Michael Sullivan issued a press release this week calling comments in the Boston Globe by former Lawrence City Councilor Carlos Matos in the Boston Globe “racist.”

Sullivan also complained about similar comments Matos made when he was spearheading a Voter ID proposal at the State House and told the Valley Patriot that he was “furious” Matos would cast aspersions on the people of Lawrence who “only want to make sure that the voting process is fair and cannot be abused.”

“I guess if you plan to benefit from cheating at the ballot box on election day you will say anything to oppose rules that make voting more fair. I just think the City of Lawrence deserves better. “

Sullivan said Matos has been on a campaign to defame him for months now and that the latest comments in the globe were the last straw.

The article, written by Russ Contreras, detailed Sullivan’s plan to change the city charter and create a city managers position which would in effect, decrease the responsibility (and power) of future mayors.

The Globe reports:

“But now comes the rub: Sullivan has proposed creating a city administrator position to help him with the finances and day-to-day operations at City Hall – in effect, shifting some decision-making prerogatives from the mayor’s office to an unelected city employee.

Some Latino politicians and local activists are upset. They say Sullivan, who is barred by city charter from seeking another term, is trying to dilute the power of the mayor’s office as he heads out the door – and just when a Latino might have the best chance yet at becoming mayor.

“I find it coincidentally suspicious that this idea is coming now,” Carlos Matos, a former city councilor and mayoral candidate, said recently of Sullivan’s move.

Sullivan said when he read the comments by Matos in the Globe “I felt like I had to respond.”

“In yesterday’s Boston Globe,” Sullivan wrote in his press release, “in an article that appeared in the Northwest Weekly section, I was both alarmed and appalled by quotes that were made by a former City Councilor, Carlos Matos as well as Giovanna Negretti, Executive Director of the statewide organization known as Oiste. This article was both condescending and damaging to all people living in the City of Lawrence as well as all elected officials that have served and continue to serve our great city.”

“I think it is repulsive that Mr. Matos, who served on the City Council and Ms. Negretti would use divisive quotes such as “The city is paying for the incompetence of previous white Mayors”.

I would encourage all of you to read the article: on line at

Sullivan also urged the people of Lawrence to contact Oiste to protest their involvement in perpetuating racism by opposing the measure and making it an issue about race. contact information:

“The City of Lawrence has come too far,” Sullivan wrote. “…working together with all ethnic backgrounds, to make this the great city that it is. I am personally offended by the actions of these individuals and the groups that they affiliate themselves with. I call on all of you to voice your opinion and demand a public apology for these outrageous remarks made by people who should know better.”

All pictures and material are (C) copyright, Valley Patriot, Inc., 2008