Top 10 Worcester Precincts Where People Care Enough To Vote

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At the Department of Justice meeting last month, which was intended to discuss ways in which we could diversify the city’s government, a common complaint was that there wasn’t enough representation from certain neighborhoods in the city. There were several complaints that the largely white West Side got preferential treatment from the city. They pointed out that the city backed down from turning the Chandler ballfields into a parking lot. They pointed out how people reacted when the city of Worcester tried to tear down more trees at Newton Hill for the Worcester Tennis Club.

But the thing is, this is a democracy, so if you don’t like what your leaders are doing you can always just vote them out, right? Well the problem with that logic is that we all know that there are thousands and thousands of people who don’t show up to vote. Because, fuck it. Sometimes it’s easier to just pull out a chair on your front lawn and watch traffic go by all summer.

I don’t contest that the West Side has more influence than any other neighborhood. But that’s because they show up to vote. This is how democracy works. When you pay the vast majority of the city’s property taxes, and you actually participate in the democratic process, then you get more influence. Duh!!!

So we wanted to find out of the 50 precincts in Worcester, which had the 10 highest rates of voter turnout in the last election. Then we wanted to compare it to the precincts that had the 10 lowest rates of voter turnout in the last election. Today we’ll give you the Top 10, and tomorrow we’ll give you the bottom ten. Hopefully this will shed some light on why certain neighborhoods seem to have more influence than others.



10. Ward 2, Precinct 2: 511 voters, 19.9%, Councilor: Tony EconomouScreen Shot 2015-06-24 at 12.22.06 PM

The upper Burncoat/WestBoylston Street area is a really blue collar part of town. This is the Bennie’s Cafe/Smitty’s Tavern crowd right here. One of Turtleboy’s favorite parts of the city. People who live here are not rich. But they give a shit about their city so they show up and vote. More importantly they take care of their neighborhood, and in return the city government has to take their concerns seriously, which was why it was such a big deal when there were back to back gun incidents at Burncoat High School this year.

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9. Ward 7, Precinct 1: 509 voters, 22.5%, Councilor: Gary Rosen

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This is another very blue collar district. No one would drive through Lovell Street and say, “those people have it made.” But yet the people that live there are obviously civically engaged, which might explain why the city of Worcester still unsuccessfully tries to make Coes Pond swimmable year in and year out.

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8. Ward 9, Precinct 3: 421 voter, 22.5%, Councilor: Gary Rosen

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The top 8 are all from the West Side, starting with this precinct, which stretches all the way from June Street to Beaconsfield Road. Once again, there are no houses in these neighborhoods that will make you say, “that guy must be a doctor,” but THESE are the people who helped lead the charge against Worcester State when they tried to take over the Chandler ballfields. These are the people who can’t find a place to park on Zenith Drive because of Worcester State and their poorly thought out engineering schemes. Worcester NEEDS neighborhoods like this to be preserved. It’s what separates us from Springfield.

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7. Ward 1, Precinct 1: 648 voter, 23.7%, Councilor: Tony Economou

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This is another very diverse district which includes neighborhoods from Kendrick Park to Indian Hill to Forest street. The people who live in this neighborhood obviously take pride in it’s appearance and were heavily affected by the Asian Longhorned Beetle craze of a few years back. But when you vote, the city will plant new trees in your neighborhood, because it makes neighborhoods like Indian Hill attractive for people who would potentially like to move to the Woo.

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6. Ward 1, Precinct 2: 653 voters, 23.7%, Councilor: Tony Economou

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The Turtleboy family largely uses this neighborhood as a cut through to get to the 190. But it’s actually a decent place to live too. There’s tons of new housing up here, particularly off of unfortunately named Chester Street. Again, this isn’t exactly 5th Avenue we’re talking about here. But it’s modest, and it’s decent, and the people that live here care enough about the city they live in to vote.

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5. Ward 9, Precinct 2: 656 voters, 25.6%, Councilor Gary Rosen

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I know for a fact there’s a lot of Turtle riders in this precinct because we’ve delivered so many “I Am Turtleboy” and Christmas Special Naughty Lists to houses in here. It’s kind of a tweener neighborhood between Newton Square and Tatnuck, and the Chandler ballfields are located inside this precinct. Hey Ed Augustus and Joe Petty, you think you’re gonna come in here and push people around on Moore Ave, Dellwood Road, and May Street? Think again.

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4. Ward 1, Precinct 3: 445 voters, 25.7%, Councilor: Tony Economou

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Alright, this part of town is pretty swanky. This is where you live if you want your kid to go to Notre Dame Academy, St. John’s, or Worcester Academy. Not that everyone who lives here is rich, but it’s easily Worcester’s highest concentrated area of wealth. Take a trip up Westwood Drive or Paul Revere Road the next time you’re on a bone ride, and you’ll see some shit you didn’t know existed in the Woo. But neighborhoods like Nelson Place aren’t rich. And the people who live there are invested in their children and vote, which is a large reason why the city is finally doing something about that dilapidated building which is masquerading as an elementary school.

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3. Ward 9, Precinct 4: 655 voter, 25.7%, Councilor: Gary Rosen

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West Tatnuck is largely regarded as one of the best schools in the city, largely because the families who send their lovely children there demand the best for their kids. And how do you ensure that your children’s needs are met? Voting!! Weird right? This is the ideal area to live in, particularly if your name is Tracy Novick and you are exempt from paying property taxes on  your home because it’s part of a “land trust.”

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2. Ward 9, Precinct 5: 632 voters, 25.8%, Councilor: Gary Rosen

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Have you seen the pattern yet? This is another West Side neighborhood, mostly in the Tatnuck Magnet School area. The people who live here pay attention to what their government is doing, pay property taxes, and vote. It’s a large reason why we now have that stupid light at the bottom of Moreland Street, but we won’t go there because for whatever reason that is one of the most controversial topics we’ve ever broached.

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1. Ward 1, Precinct 4: 782 voters, 28.9%, Councilor: Tony Economou

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Do you like getting lost while you’re driving around your own neighborhood? Are you a Hasidic Jew with 12 children? Do you want to live in the city but feel like you’re living in the burbs? Then 1-4 is the precinct for you. This isn’t the richest neighborhood in the city, but I would argue it’s the nicest. The people who live here and send their kids to Midland Street or Flagg Street Elementary, vote in numbers that blow away every other precinct. But yet they hardly require any city resources because they take care of their own neighborhoods. I’m sure if they blockaded Kelley Square for a day they could actually get a sidewalk built on Flagg Street, but the people who live here are too busy working so they can pay for services that will go to other more needy people.

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The bottom line is that the precincts are divided up by population. But the reality is that people in the above listed neighborhoods actually register to vote in large numbers, while people in tomorrow’s list do not register at nearly the same rate. Thus they have disenfranchised themselves. This is what upsets us about the meeting a couple weeks back. You want change in the government? As Konnie Lukes infamously told the hippies back in December, “then replace us.” But in order to do that you actually have to vote.

Vote the Turtleboy ticket in November.

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6 Comment(s)
  • oneopinion
    June 25, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Here in one of the aforementioned districts we have neighborhood meetings at a local cafe on a regular basis and have constant access to Councilor Rosen. It can feel a little silly when people nit pick each others yards or someone keeping a dead car in their driveway for too long but there’s no question that everyone has a vested interest in the neighborhood. As far as the voting thing goes I kind of thought that people in the low turnout districts had way more time on their hands. Election days are the only time I am happy that some people are lazy.

  • By-Tor
    June 25, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Hit it right on the head. 9-4. We do try hard to get it right for the kids. Hard working area. Just make time to vote.

    We aren’t happy about the Novack deal. Sorry

  • Hank
    June 25, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    TB what are your thoughts on voting by mail, even so far as mandatory voting by mail like they have in Oregon? While i do agree that there’s a degree of “complain all day but stay home from voting” from some particular groups of people, one thing ive heard a few times from less well-off folks is they simply dont have time to vote… they may work a long ways from home and dont have access to a car, so that time in the evening they are given to vote after work may not be sufficient for them to make it to the polling place in time. for those folks, they certainly care, but i think in poorer districts there should be an effort made to make voting easier. i think there would be a significant improvement in participation if it was made easier for those voting.

  • June 25, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I voted at Ward 7,Precinct 1 before I Moved on November 20,2010,I used to live on 12 Englewood Ave,Apt:1,my late Mothers Estate,I now vote at Ward 7,Precinct 3,Coes Pond Village in the Community Room two stories below my apartment.I very much enjoyed living in the Columbus Park Neighborhood,get over there for Saturday Afternoon Mass at Saint Andrew The Apostle Mission Church,5 Spaulding Street.

  • John
    June 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Registering to vote is racist, Sonya Connor told me.

  • Wabbitt
    June 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    But Wanda doesn’t have time to vote! She needs to get free shit and smoke weed in her government housing!

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