Editorial, Opinion

STAFF EDIT: A councilor for all

City Councilor Mike Ross should already be well known around Boston University. Last March, Ross co-sponsored an ordinance that restricted the number of tenants in rented housing to no more than four people. The move not only affected undergraduate students, but angered them, as it put a limit on off-campus housing.
Now, Ross is essentially a shoo-in for president of the Boston City Council after joining forces with Councilor Steve Murphy.’ Already, Ross’ jurisdiction includes the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Mission Hill and the West End, which are largely inhabited by college students. Once he becomes president, Ross will gain even more influence over BU and other university communities. We hope Ross uses his new power to benefit the students in his domain
The arrangement of joining forces with Murphy was a potentially wise move. While the two have a rivalry, they decided they would rather run together than distract the council with a contentious campaign. This could create balanced leadership, but it may just cause stagnancy in the city government. As Americans have seen, divisions in politics solve nothing. A divided Congress, for example, did not get very far in working to solve taxpayers’ problems. The City Council must not follow Washington’s current example, especially under divided leadership.
At 36, Ross is a young councilor. His age and the fact that he is a BU alumnus should make Ross sympathetic toward college students’ needs. As president of an area highly populated with undergrads, Ross needs to take his constituents into consideration when making changes to Boston. The zoning restriction is in effect, whether students like it or not. This discriminatory and unfair ordinance, while difficult to enforce ‘-‘- until students re-sign their leases next year ‘-‘- should not be allowed to continue. Students need a leader who is willing to work for their interest, along with the rest of Boston’s population.
Ross has already stated his opposition to part of the new smoking ban proposal ‘-‘- the closing of hookah and cigar bars. This is an important step, as it supports businesses that have lots of sales from young adults and college students. We would like to see Ross continue to make moves to appease the entire population, even making compromises when necessary. But specific discrimination that the residency restrictions call for cannot continue. With power comes responsibility, and Ross needs to prove he can serve his community. This is true leadership.

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