John Connolly is running for Mayor because he believes the future of our city depends on whether we can build a world-class public school system for our young people.
The Boston Phoenix calls John the “council's recognized and respected education expert and a thoughtful leader of the broad-based movement to reform and improve Boston's schools.” As a City Councilor representing all of Boston’s neighborhoods, John has fought to give parents and students a voice in the Boston Public Schools.
John was born and raised in Roslindale in the 1970’s and 80’s. As a young man, he was deeply moved by the battle for justice in Boston’s school system. So after graduating from Harvard, John wanted be a teacher.
John’s first teaching job was at an alternative middle school on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Most of his students came out of neighborhoods struggling with a cycle of poverty, drugs, and violence. But despite those long odds, almost all of the students at John’s school graduated from high school and went on to college.
When he moved back to Boston, John continued to teach. That’s also when he met his wife Meg. Meg is a clinical psychologist and former social worker who has worked with Boston Public High School students as part of Boston College’s Tools for Tomorrow program, which helps students stay on a path toward college.
Later, John went to law school, and as an attorney, he provided free services to numerous community-based organizations--including Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) and the PrideLights Foundation, a South End-based gay rights organization.
In 2007, John was elected to the Boston City Council as an At-Large (citywide) Councilor. John chairs the Council’s Education Committee, where he has fought for the interests of parents and students. In particular, John worked to reduce the dropout rate, developed a reformed student assignment plan focused on bringing quality schools to every neighborhood, and pushed for a new teacher’s contract that would have given our students more time in the classroom. The Dorchester Reporter praised John’s work, calling him “a consistently attentive and thoughtful voice on school issues.”
John’s work to improve the Boston Public Schools became even more personal when he and Meg had two kids, Clare and Teddy. Clare started kindergarten in the Boston Public Schools this year, and Teddy will start next year.
John, Meg, Clare, and Teddy live in West Roxbury.