Isabel Gomes is a Cape Verdean business owner in Dorchester. English is not her first language but since I do not speak Kriolu or Portuguese that is the language the interview was conducted in.
She has owned a hair salon for years, is part of a thriving Church in the Community, and last year she opened a restaurant. She is well known in the Dorchester Cape Verdean Community.
It was interesting to talk to her for me (as a non Cape Verdean) because I noticed that the perspective that she brought to this upcoming election was very different then what is being talked about in debates and by the circle of people that I was within Boston.
The debates mentioned policing, but focused mainly on Black Lives Matter and body cameras. The debates mentioned business but talked more about GE and Amazon. The debates mentioned “two Boston’s” and I would argue that there are many more than two. And for sure even though I write for the Cape Verde Network, and grew up in Boston, I was only around the type of violence that Isabel is concerned about for a brief time in my childhood in the South End and Chinatown. Those neighborhoods changed dramatically and most people who live there would consider gun violence to be a rare thing if not simply a thing of the past.
Tell me a little bit about how you got involved in the Marty Walsh Campaign.
“I helped a lot when John Barros was running on the campaign. But I do not work for the city or the campaign exactly. I did want to help and signed up to. But I am working so much that I did not have as much time to help as I wanted. But I do what I can.”
So why are you supporting Marty Walsh this time around? Why not Tito Jackson?
“Because I think that everyone in the City is doing a fabulous job. I have no complaints. And I think that the Mayor is really good for small businesses. Any time there is an opening here of a business he comes down, even if it is in the winter and it is cold he still shows up. And he doesn’t pick and choose. He comes for every business no matter what the type of person, he doesn’t only come just for certain peoples.”
So you think Marty Walsh is good for the Cape Verdean Community?
“Yes, I have no complaints. Everyone that is working in the city is doing a great job. John Barros, Ayanna Pressley, a lot of people. They are working hard and they are doing a fabulous job.”
Is there anything that could be improved? What would you like to see Marty Walsh do this time around if he is elected.
“The most important thing that is concerning me right now is the gun. When I am closing up the shop sometimes late at night and I hear it, I am afraid. So I am most worried about security. We need more police or more cameras… honestly I don’t know how they are going to do it, but that is the most important thing that is worrying me in my mind every day right now.”