By Rosalie Tirella
Tough, smart, classy, fearless. Konstantina Lukes, former mayor of Worcester, and one of 2011’s mayoral candidates, goes toe to toe with the boys in this boys town. She is not afraid to stake out her own territory – yet she will listen and evolve. (Lukes gave City Manager Mike O’Brien a perfect score during his job evaluation this year, after being a friend of former Worcester City Manager Tom Hoover and hating the way he was pushed out of his job.)
She is anti-chicken but pro-homeowner, voting for lowest residential tax rate for years and years (unlike opponent Joe Petty, who will most likely vote to raise it).
Konnie is fun – even though many people think she isn’t.
Konnie is progressive. If it weren’t for Konnie Lukes (acting as head of the Worcester School Committee, when she was Worcester mayor), the Worcester Public Schools would not have Melinda Boone, PHd, leading our schools. The first female, African American school superintendent for Worcester, Boone is the epitome of professional. She is also caring and committed to all the students in the WPSchools -white, brown, black.
Konstantina Lukes was a cool mayor last time around. People thought, when Lukes was elected mayor four years ago, that she would be a bit tough to handle. She wasn’t. She worked with everybody, treated everyone with respect, opened her office doors to all. She represented our city with grace and spirit. She attended ceremonies but she also did the day to day stuff – not very sexy but necessary.
This time around she promises to be a full-time mayor once again – unlike Petty who has a full-time job in Boston. (If you count the 45-minute commute to Boston in the a.m. and p.m., Joe Petty will be missing from Worcester for 10 or so hours a day, courtesy of his Boston job. That’s pretty much daylight hours!)
And unlike th e T & G, we do not think Petty is “well-spoken.” We actually think he is inarticulate – watch the City Council meetings and you’ll see for yorself. Konstantin Lukes is well spoken! She can speak passionately and eloquently about anything – using complex, compound sentences! (something Joe Petty has yet to master!)
And finally, to all you gals out there, when a woman wins, we all win. When a lady like Konnie – a lady who is no handmaiden, a lady who is strong and strong-willed – wins elections – without have to be goofy, whorey, kiss-upy, when a lady wins political office being exactly who she is, that is a WIN for all of us strong-willed ladies. You know, the ladies who color outside the lines sometimes. The ladies with dreams. The ladies who don’t define themselves through men.
When a woman like Konstantina Lukes wins, all women of all shapes and colors and personal preferences win. In the work place, in society, even in our own families.
Vote for Konstantina Lukes for Mayor Tuesday, November 8.