By Rosalie Tirella
… she shouldn’t run for governor of Massachusetts.
I have known and worked with Grace Ross for a while now. InCity Times endorsed her for governor last time around (I put her on our cover and ran a huge story, too!). I also endorsed her for Worcester City Council three years ago, when she ran for an at-large seat. She would have made a great at large city councilor. I mean, look who we ended up with instead: a totally incompetent nabob – Mike Germain.
I remember going to her “support Grace meetings” when she ran for that at large seat council seat – when she really had a chance of winning (until Mayor Joe O’Brien’s wife, Lisa Weinberg, began her smear campaign against Grace, calling her anti-semetic – the last thing Grace would ever be). Grace had so many great folks backing her then – all the city’s neighborhood activists, it seemed! She was so inspirational when she spoke! You just wanted to get up and clap after one of Grace’s beautifully worded speeches.
That is one of Grace’s greatest gifts: she can get up and deliver the Gettysburg Address. Off the cuff – no notes, teleprompters, etc. Grace is blessed with phenomenal verbal skills – probably the only politician in town who can speak in compound, complex sentences. Compare her to Worcester City Councilors Joff Smith, Ric Rushton, Phil Palmieri – three guys who have a cumulative IQ of 40 and can really mangle the English language and STILL think they are brilliant! – and you’ll see what I mean.
But then I got to know Grace Ross better. Yes, she is a gem. She is compassionate, honest, open, intelligent, funny, BUT she is also a lady who is often late, a lady who tends to procrastinate, a lady who is always running behind. ALWAYS. A lady who thinks she’s a bit above the fray and that somehow we should think we are being “graced” by her work, ideas, presence.
Yes, Grace, you are brilliant, but if ya wanna run for office, YA GOTTA HUSTLE! You have to fire back, when someone like Lisa Weinberg calls you anti-semetic. I called Grace when this happened. “HOLD A PRESS CONFERENCE!” I screamed. Get in front of this lie. Grace kind of placated me, said she would think about it and then … did nothing. This was a HUGE mistake – and probably cost her her political career here in Wormtown, where the likes of Lisa Weinberg will always be ready to fuck things up for someone who is new in town, a true outsider, with new ideas.
This is why I did not endorse Grace Ross for District 4 City Counilor this past municipal election cycle. She’s just too slow for Distrcit 4 – a district that is basically one huge emergency. You just can’t be as slow as Grace and run for a seat like District 4 – the seat held by Barbara Haller (who I endorsed and who is high energy and totally unstoppable when it comes to advocating for District 4 – mostly inner-city neighborhoods. As a city councilor, Haller is seemingly up at the crack of dawn, literally patrolling the district – looking out for every three-decker, sidewalk, blue collar person, park and tree in her district. She is also brilliant – so she can take on big city-wide issues as well. She is well respected by the city administration and EVERYBODY it seem. Haller is a hard worker, while Grace sometimes seems to have her head in the clouds … .
Which leads me to believe Grace shouldn’t run for the governor’s seat. She (obviously won’t win) and she may steal some thunder from Green Party gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein. And she shouldn’t run for Haller’s seat (Ross lives in District 4).
Grace SHOULD try again for an at-large seat – in Worcester. We need her. We need her progressive ideas. We need her uplifiting speeches. We need her sanilty and calmness. Think of her in Mike Germain’s seat. Think how differently the city’s neighborhood swimming pool “debate” of last summer would have gone. Think of the great ideas Grace has – big ideas for ALL of Worcester. This, I think, is where Grace really shines: big picture stuff. She can do that as an at large councilor – and she won’t need to be as hands-on as a district councilor.
We love you, Grace! We hope and pray you find your political niche in Worcester and stay with us for many years to come!