Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rep. Brian Wallace on Not Running in 2010

The following statement was issued today by Brian Wallace, the state representative from South Boston's Fourth Suffolk District:

"In 1970 I began my career in politics working for then Rep Ray Flynn in room 460 at the State House. Politics was something that I found was in my blood and I loved walking into the State House every day flushed with the anticipation of that day's calendar and the inordinate amount of constituents calls that we received in Ray's office on a daily basis. When the brand new Tynan Community School opened up four years later I was able to work as Assistant Coordinator with another fine gentleman who became my dear friend. His name was James “Stretch” Walsh and he was a legend. Stretch and I were able to employ a lot of local kids who now have children of their own. In 1977 my friend Ray Flynn ran for the Boston City Council and he hired me to work on his council staff when he won that election. Politics, once again, called.

"In 1979 as Ray was running for his second term I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to work as a Probation Officer in Brighton District Court where I learned a lot about the law, those who make it and those who break it. In 1983 Ray decided to run for Mayor of Boston and it was once again hello to politics and good bye to the courts. I worked in the Mayor's office from 1983 to 1991 when I came back home as Executive Director of the South Boston Boys and Girls Club, a place where I had grown up and a place that shaped my entire life. Someone once said, "The friends you meet at 12 years old are unlike any friends you will ever meet in your life." I believe that totally and I still count those 12 year old friends from the Club as some of my best friends no matter where they live or no matter how many times we talk each year.

"In the early 90's I began a new career as a television sports announcer and writer. I announced over 500 high school and college games as well as having my own weekly series called "Scenes from South Boston" on Cablevision in Boston I was asked to write a weekly syndicated column called "Brian's Beat" which I enjoyed and which led to my first book "Final Confession." And as much as I loved the camera and the keyboard, my first love remained politics and in 2002 I had the incredible honor of being sent to the State House to represent the people of the Fourth Suffolk District.

"My very first week as the newly elected Representative brought me some sound advice from a very wise longtime State House employee who worked in the clerk’s office. He called me down to his office one day and asked me where I wanted to make a difference as a state rep. I stared back blankly and he told me that reps come into that building all the time and think they can change the world and end up accomplishing little because they are running from one hearing room to another.

"Most of them try to focus on everything and never develop a passion for anything. You will vote on a thousand bills but you can't concentrate on them all. He told me to think about 3 priorities and come back in a week, which I did. I told him that substance abuse was a serious problem in our town. He ticked off #1. I told him that Mass. was only one of two states in the country without a film office and no film tax credit. He ticked off #2 and I told that we needed the revenue and jobs from racinos and casinos. He smiled and put off three fingers. "There's your start," he said. "Go get 'em."

"I made my maiden speech on April 15, 2003 and I explained why Mass. needed the revenue and the jobs that racinos and casinos would bring. I have spoken each and every year since being elected about casinos and racinos. It now looks as though casinos and racinos will finally become a reality. I asked for and received a seat on the mental health and substance abuse committee where Marty Walsh, Steve Tolman, Jack Hart and I have accomplished a great deal including the introduction of 3 Recovery High Schools in Mass. and a slew of new recommendations which zero in on doctors who overprescribe opioids, make tamper proof prescription pads a reality, make drug education in middle school a reality and allow parents to know when and if their children have been treated at an emergency room for an overdose amongst others. .And on July 21, 2008 I stood with Governor Patrick as he incorporated my bills into the state's new tax film credit law at Loew's Boston Common. Since that day Boston has become the Hub of movies and the benefits have been enormous. I am proud that my bill to name the South Boston Court House after Judge Joe Feeney became a law. It is one of my proudest achievements and means a great deal to me and would to my father if he were alive. Marty Walsh and I worked on and passed some of the most important labor legislation in history.

"But when all is said and done it has been 40 years since I first walked into Room 420 with Ray Flynn and I have indeed made thousands of votes, but I never forgot that I came from the lower end of South Boston. I carried that mantle proudly whether I was in a room at the State House or a room in Washington. As for me, I have written two more books which have sat on a shelf, staring at me and getting dusty for the past 8 years. I really want to get back to my writing career. And most important of all, I want to spend some quality time with my family. On December 31, 2010 I will walk out of my office in room 472, just down the corridor from where I walked in forty years ago, for the final time. It has been a great experience! I have made many lifelong friends in that building, although we are not twelve years old anymore. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship, support and guidance and for the privilege of representing you. "