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City Councilor Tito Jackson (left) and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (right) will kick off the campaign season with live conversations held on the UMass Boston campus.
July 13, 2017

UMass Boston hosts live conversations with mayoral candidates Marty Walsh, Tito Jackson

  • Boston
University to jointly host live conversations with candidates on July 19 and 20

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and challenger Tito Jackson, a Boston city councilor, will participate in hour-long conversations later this month before a live audience at UMass Boston. The conversations will be broadcast live on WBUR radio, 90.9 FM, and live-streamed online by WBUR, the Boston Globe, and UMass Boston before an audience in the school’s media auditorium.

The conversations are intended as a kick-off to the campaign season, introducing the leading candidates for mayor and exploring issues that are important to the city’s future.

The conversations will be conducted on July 19 (Jackson) and July 20 (Walsh) as part of WBUR’s Radio Boston show, from 3 to 4 p.m. The show’s host, Meghna Chakrabarti, will be joined as co-host by Meghan Irons, city hall bureau chief at the Boston Globe.

Because the conversations are taking place as part of WBUR’s Radio Boston program, the live audience must be in their seats in the Media Auditorium, on the lower level of UMass Boston's Healey Library, by 2:45 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 and close at 2:45. The conversations are free and open to the public, but registration will be required. Register here.

The John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston, WBUR, the Globe, NBC Boston, necn, and Telemundo Boston will co-sponsor the conversations.

Mayoral candidates were invited to participate based on specific criteria that included polling, fundraising, and demonstrated political support.

McCormack, WBUR, and the Globe collaborated last year in hosting debates on the four statewide ballot questions, also broadcast live on Radio Boston.

This year, they are joined by NBC Boston, necn, and Telemundo Boston in a proposal, being considered by the candidates, to host formal debates in the fall – one before the September 26 preliminary election and the other before the general election on November 7. These debates would be broadcast by WBUR, WBTS, necn, and by Telemundo Boston with simultaneous translation in Spanish – a first for the city.

Dean David W. Cash said, “The McCormack Graduate School, in its continuing role as civics catalyst, is delighted to help provide the chance for the public to hear from the mayoral candidates in this unique setting.”

 “At this critical time in our city and nation, we are honored to bring these live campaign events to our listeners and readers” said Tom Melville, executive news director of WBUR. “Our Radio Boston program is a central gathering place for important public discussions and we look forward to hosting the mayoral candidates in collaboration with the Boston Globe and the UMass Boston McCormack Graduate School, as well as NBC Boston, necn, and Telemundo Boston.”

Globe editor Brian McGrory said, “This city is undergoing momentous economic and demographic changes. We think it's critically important to be part of the effort to help inform voters about the candidates for mayor." 

“For years, necn has been at the forefront of political debates including gubernatorial, mayoral and US Senate races,” said Kenny Plotnik, vice president of news for NBC Boston, necn, and Telemundo Boston. “Now, the nation’s largest broadcast triopoly, NBC Boston, necn, and Telemundo Boston is proud to join WBUR Radio, the Boston Globe and The McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston in a proposal to present the 2017 Boston Mayoral Debates.  Boston’s English and Spanish speaking communities will now have a front row seat to these debates on multiple platforms including radio, TV broadcast, cable, and live online and app streaming, with the opportunity for viewer interaction with the candidates.”

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