For Henry David Wilson, here’s to hoping that the third time’s a charm.
Wilson is out and about – has remained active in all things Chelsea – and is in the thick of the race for District 5 City Council seat.
Wilson, who owns a home on Beacon Street and is 48 years old, has already received an endorsement from former candidate and real estate agent John Cadiz.
So far, Wilson said things are looking up.
“I ran and lost last time, but made some headway because I was able to meet so many people and get involved in so many Chelsea organizations,” he said. “After the last election, I continued to be involved and that’s what I will do in addition to being councillor if I am elected.”
Wilson was the lone candidate in the race two years ago for District 5, but incumbent Joe Perlatonda entered the race late and cut under Wilson’s support. It’s a mistake that the Beacon Street resident says won’t happen again.
“This time around I’ve talked to a lot of people, but I’ve made sure I’m more in tune to things and staying on top of those who pledge to vote for me,” he said. “Last time, I spent a lot of time helping others in the race and I didn’t keep on top of everything.”
Since that race, he has also gotten involved in other political campaigns, such as Sen. Sal DiDomenico, Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. For the past five years, also, he has been a delegate from Chelsea for the Massachusetts Democratic Convention.
Some of the things he’s involved in include:
•Member, Chelsea Black Community
•Member, Chelsea Planning Board
•Member, The Neighborhood Developers
•Winner, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Chelsea Spirit Award
•Winner, State Senate Official Citation, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award.
“My whole thing is that if I get on the City Council it’s not going to be for the title,” he said. “I will continue doing everything I’m involved in, take up my Council duties, and also keep up my day job at the jewelry store.”
Jewelry (and shorter commutes), interestingly enough, is what originally brought Wilson to Chelsea 30 years ago.
While in high school, he began working at jewelry stores in Lawrence, where he graduated high school. He rose up the ranks and began working as a manager at the Arsenal Mall at a jewelry store.
However, the commute from Lawrence to Watertown was a killer.
“That’s why I came to Chelsea in the first place was because I was driving too much and was looking to move closer,” he said. “I asked some people where I should go and everyone said Chelsea was the right place to live. That was 30 years ago. Seventeen years ago I purchased my home on Beacon Street.”
From 1996 to 2008 he served as a branch manager of a Citizen’s Bank in Boston, but was downsized during the financial crisis. That put him back in the jewelry business and he now works in sales at the Zales Jewelry Store in Burlington.
In his spare time, he is an on-air personality at MIT’s WMBR radio, playing all varieties of music.
He actually got involved in politics through the prodding of his neighbor, the late Charlie MacFarlane – who was a long-time Chelsea politician as well.
Wilson said, like his opponent, that public safety is important to him, but he’s not so keen on some of the recent proposals, such as the Police Commissioner idea.
“I believe safety is a big issue in our district, but I don’t think right away we should put someone over a great City Manager and a great police chief,” he said. “It’s just adding more and more layers of government. If we don’t like the jobs these professionals are doing, then we should just move them on. I see a big improvement, though, in the City of Chelsea with crime and cleanliness. This is urban life and you’ll just have different safety concerns than in a suburban community. There’s room for improvement, but I don’t know if you need a Police Commissioner.”
He said he would like to focus first on smaller things like trash, safety and parking on lower Broadway before tackling the larger issues of restructuring City government.
“If you’re truly satisfied with the job the current councillor has done, support him,” he said. “If you want a city councillor that will work hard day and night for you, and your family, I respectfully ask that you support me on Tuesday, Nov. 5.”