Today we are all Lawrencians


November, 2009


In last month’s race for the Mayor’s office in Lawrence, Willie Lantigua (da chief) defeated David Abdoo. While we have some serious reservations about Lantigua’s ability to manage the city of Lawrence, as well as the character of those insiders he has surrounded himself with, today is a new day.

The election is over. The people have spoken. The campaigning is done. And whether you like it or not, Willie Lantigua is going to be Lawrence’s mayor for at least four years.

He promised on election night that he would be the mayor for all the people of Lawrence. And while many are skeptical (including us) based on his refusal to address the concerns of white voters or speak to the English language press during the campaign, we are hoping that Lantigua means what he says (he usually does)  and reaches out to the minorities in Lawrence … the white people he disparaged and ignored during the campaign.

With full control of the mayor’s office, city hall, the city council, the school committee and as Lawrence’s sitting State Representative in Boston. Whatever problems he has inherited, whatever issues he is faced with, it will be Willie Lantigua who controls the debate, and the outcome of those challenges. Failure or success rests solely upon him. That is a heavy burdon to bear.

Those who did not support Lantigua during the election must now put aside their (our) differences and reservations about him and wish him the best. It is in the best interest of the city we love so much to give him a chance to do things his own way, make final decisions and strive for progress where others have failed.

Every time there’s an election in Lawrence, supporters of the losing candidate immediately become nay-sayers, criticizing everything the winner says and does to slow (or stop) their progress. They put up roadblocks, invent conspiracies, poison the debate with personal attacks and question the motive of every proposal because they do not want the person who won to achieve anything, or get credit for anything.

This has to stop. It only serves to drag Lawrence down and nobody benefits from that kind of demagoguery.

We urge all supporters of David Abdoo and other candidates who did not support Lantigua to now come together and congratulate the new mayor. More importantly, we urge you all to offer the new mayor whatever help he may need to tackle the enormous challenges facing the City of Lawrence.

Lawrence can only survive if we put the best interest of the city before political differences, party wrangling, racial division and personal animosity.

Leadership does start at the top, however, and it is Willie Lantigua who must lead by example on that front. Unlike others, we are willing to step back and objectively give Lantigua a chance to put forth his ideas and solutions for Lawrence before declaring them a success or failure. We urge you all to do the same.

Today we are all Lawrencians.

Let the healing begin!