Foster: City schemes to reject application for mayor

Screen shot/Dave Ryan
Cambridge Commissioner LaShon Foster displayed documents at a Sunday rally related to a recent public hearing on her residency. See the Banner’s Facebook page for photos of the documents.

CAMBRIDGE — City Council Commissioner LaShon Foster (Ward 3) held a rally Sunday, at which she claimed city officials are trying to prevent her from running for mayor.

“Monday night [Aug. 24] at a city council meeting, there was a public hearing concerning my domicile. I won the hearing. Now, here they are scheming to have my application for mayor denied,” she posted online Aug. 26. “We cannot allow the city to deny us the citizens the right to choose our candidate of choice. Voice your concerns and spread the word to not allow a few to change the face of our city. My name, Lashon Banks Foster, should be on your ballot for our Oct. 17, 2020 election.”

Commissioner Foster has made the accusation repeatedly in recent days. On Aug. 27, the Dorchester Banner asked City Manager Patrick Comiskey for a response to Commissioner Foster’s claims.
“The statements you reference,” he said, “are false.”

At her rally, Commissioner Foster said, “A few of the elite decide” who is allowed to run for office.
“Unless they learn to think that Cambridge is beyond West End Avenue, none of us will never get nothing,” she said, as she urged African-Americans to unify. “We have to band together.”
“Every other race of people sticks together, and most of us stick together,” she said. “But there is always that one that will stab you in the back.”
“There was one who invited me on her radio show, that we never trusted from the beginning,” Commissioner Foster said. Later in the rally, she confirmed the host of the show was Lynette Wongus, who had asked about Commissioner Foster’s campaign plans.

Recordings of the show were played during the public hearing. During the radio interview, Commissioner Foster said she would run for the city council seat from Ward 4. At the hearing, she said she never intended to run for the Ward 4 seat.
At the rally, she said Ms. Wongus had given information to one of Commissioner Foster’s opponents on the council.

“You’re giving information you think is damaging to me, only to find out that I gave you information I wanted you to have, because we didn’t trust you,” Commissioner Foster said.
Ms. Wongus responded online to Commissioner Foster’s statements.
“She lied to my audience, she lied to you, me and council. And I’m p* that she now states she lied to my audience,” Ms. Wongus wrote. “Like I told her, I dont work for her or no other politician. I work for the people on these streets. Not them.”

Commissioner Steve Rideout (Ward 1) on Sunday released a statement in response to a reporter’s question about Commissioner Foster’s claim that city officials were trying to deny her application as a candidate for mayor.
He wrote, “As neither the city council as a group or any of its members individually has any voice or position taken that I am aware of with regard to the upcoming election and who meets the qualifications to run, I can only say that what you indicate as Commissioner Foster’s comment, statement, or position is not true and cannot be true due to the law regarding elections.
“The election process is run by the Supervisor of Elections and the Election Judges that have been appointed, City Council and its members have no say in that process. The requirements for being able to run for election are found in sections 3-20 and 3-5 of the City Charter.

“If Commissioner Foster meets those requirements, she should be able to be a candidate for election. That is not, however, for me or any Commissioner to decide or to take a position on or advocate for.”