City Councilor Stands Up for 'Damned' Lawrence

By WGBH News

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Mar. 19, 2012
 
BOSTON — Dan Rivera, Lawrence city councilor at-large, has responded to an article in this month's issue of Boston Magazine that called Lawrence the "most godforsaken place in Massachusetts." The original story focused on the city's problems with crime, failing schools and the city's controversial mayor, William Lantigua, who is the current target of a federal and state corruption investigation. 
 
> > READ: Rivera's editorial
 
Rivera told WGBH News that the article was an inaccurate portrayal of Lawrence, which has been working to change its image in the face of a severe budget deficit and cuts to state aid. 
 
> > WATCH: City rallies to defend "godforsaken" reputation
 
Not, he said, that the city has no problems.
 
"We're trying to figure it out," he said. "It's not pretty when 76,000 people from many different backgrounds are trying to think a path out of these problems. It doesn’t look pretty. It's not soundbite-able and you can't take a picture and make it seem what it is. So yeah, we're in that place where it's just not really pretty."
 
Rivera joined about 300 residents who gathered in Lawrence last week to protest the city's portrayal in the article as only the sum of its problems, and to highlight positive efforts in Lawrence. Residents are now trying to plan a march on the Boston Magazine offices with students dressed as zombies.
 
> > LISTEN: Boston Magazine writer Jay Atkinson talks about the piece

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