The following discussion with the Blue Suit is done without notes, sources, evidence, and videos. However the discussion between Josh Resnek, Editor of the Leader Herald and the Blue Suit – who lives with the most powerful politician in the city – was taken down word for word and written out in this column.
I hope you enjoy the column.
“The election you told me would not be filled with surprises was filled with surprises, Josh,” the Blue Suit said to me as we drove around Everett in my Lexus.
“Look, I wasn’t going to lie. I’ve covered many elections in Everett and not one of them produced the changes that we got last week. I was amazed, quite frankly. I did not expect such a change- over, not in a million years,” I added.
“What do you think led to the overall outcome of this election, Josh,” the Blue Suit asked me.
I thought for a moment, stopping at a red light on the Parkway.
“My take is that the fabric of the community has changed. That, and the public speakers led by Paula Steriti. The public speakers before council and school committee meetings have changed the course of local politics here. They’ve also made politics much more exciting and participatory,” I added.
The Blue Suit remained quiet.
“So. What do you think?” I asked him.
“I think you’re right. The public speakers have grown in number. Their statements on the crucial issues of the day are pretty unique for this city – for any city,” the Blue Suit told me.
“The mayor does not like the public speakers. He considers them trouble makers. He has said so at the last meeting. He blames the public speakers for all the city’s problems but I think that is a bit of an overstatement,” the Blue Suit said.
“Roger that,” I said.
“After last week’s election, the public speakers are going to further expand. That’s my take on things post election. They are going to be even more empowered by their success. They have become a political force unto themselves. And this isn’t just five or six public speakers. There are dozens of them,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“The boss, that is, my boss, is now having to face the next two years facing all these people with gripes about him. He cannot like the prospect but I’m sure he’ll figure something out, Josh. After all, he has never lost a local election or a political turf battle in recent years. He is in control but I think there is a new force rising in the city. I see it with Guerline Alcy being elected and coming in solid third in the at large race. Her election is something to note because the largest percentage of voters who came out last week were old line older Everett type – and they voted for Alcy! Think about that! Many, many people inclined to never vote for a Black woman voted for the Black woman. Maybe Kathy Draine is having a bigger impact than many of us thought or believed. Again, the boss isn’t going to like facing two years of public speakers and controversy. But that’s what it is going to be if you ask me,” the Blue Suit said.
We stopped in at Mike’s Roast Beef – and isn’t it great that even though it’s been sold it remains open!
Tge Blue Suit ordered up two three ways and two large roast beefs with sauce, onion and cheese, two large fries and a small Fanta.
“What’s with the small Fanta?” I asked him.
“I’ve been drinking too much soda,” he said. “I’m trying to cut down,” he joked.
That lunch cost me about $60 bucks. The Blue Suit never pays. I owe him that as a friend and a confidante.
While eating lunch standing up at the waste high table and watching the traffic go by on lower Broadway , a steady stream of people came into Mike’s. And yes, they all wanted to slap the Blue Suit on his back or to share a high five or to even get his autograph!
“Why do people want your autograph?” I asked him.
“Because I’m a celebrity,” he answered.
“Yeah, a celebrity in your own mind,” I said.
We both shared a laugh.
Then he asked me: “Josh, who do you think is more well know. You or me?”
“In our own minds we think we’re well known but in reality, no one really cares who we are. As far as the Leader Herald goes, most people don’t care who the editor or owner are. They care about reading the paper and the stories and being informed in a way that is unique in Everett. For the past 2 years the Leader Herald has reported the news with accuracy and without animus or even the hint of anything sensational. Everett people like this. They are more drawn to the paper than ever before – and I can feel that, if you know what I mean,” I said to the Blue Suit.
He was finishing off his second large roast beef, with sauce dripping all over the place.
“Let’s head over the casino. I’m feeling lucky today,” I suggested.
The Blue Suit, who is a figment of my imagination, pulled out a roll of c-notes.
“Let’s go to the casino,” he said with a smile.
And we were off.