Former Common Councillor Michael McLaughlin officially announced this past Monday that he will be running for Ward 6 City Council in the coming city election.
“I’m ready to kick it off again,” he said. “The night I lost it was tough. I wiped the dirt and dust off and got ready for another day. My parents always told me it’s not how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up. In politics, you get to know what people want and you know whether you should run or not. You know if people want you involved. I was able to feel that even more after the election than during the campaign. People kept telling me not to give up and to stay involved.”
McLaughlin, 29, served on the Common Council in the old form of government, becoming a major advocate for the Wynn Casino in his district, but then was forced to run against incumbent Sal Sachetta when the charter changed. While he won the primary election in that race, he ended up losing in the general election by more than 300 votes.
McLaughlin said he now recognizes things he could have done better, and he’s gained experience over the last two years in running campaigns – including being the regional coordinator for the ‘No on Question 3’ casino referendum campaign.
“A lot of people weren’t jumping out to get involved, but if we were going to win, I wanted to be a part of that effort,” he said. “If we were going to lose, I wanted to know that we did everything we could. We did win that fight, and it made me see I wanted to stay involved and active. Shortly after that, I knew I wanted to run for City Council again.”
While the old charter allowed district votes, the new charter calls for candidates – even within a district race – to run citywide. That, McLaughlin said, was a major change for him last time around. Now, however, he said he is ready and prepared to go citywide.
“In 2013, I pretty much ran a citywide campaign by myself,” he said. “I had a small group of my friends helping me, but we had no organization. I didn’t know how to develop a citywide organization. Now, I have put together a full precinct captain list. I have a precinct captain for each of the 12 precincts in Everett. We meet weekly.”
He said he has also enlisted a campaign director, Roger Thistle of Prescott Street.
While the Wynn casino was a big issue for McLaughlin in the last race, and continues to be, he said he has other concerns as well.
“The last time, a lot of people said the only thing I was concerned with was the casino,” he said. “It might have seemed like that because it was in my district, but I have other concerns too. Crime isn’t an issue, but it need to be talked about opening and collaboratively with the police and City Council.”
He also said he would like to see more communication and, perhaps, more neighborhood meetings.
“As a resident now, sometimes I feel like I’m in the dark,” he said. “We need to have open dialog and communication. We do a good job of it now, but we need to enhance it. There aren’t a lot of local neighborhood meetings. That could be enhanced.”
McLaughlin is a 2004 graduate of Everett High School, and attended the former Heald School and the Keverian School. He is one of seven siblings.