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Interview with Mel King [Tape 1 of 1]

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Mel King talks about politics and his philosophy of life
African American politicians, Political campaigns, Municipal government, Civil rights, Segregation
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1:00:01: V: Shots of the exterior of the King home in the South End.

1:01:10: V: Christopher Lydon sets up an interview with Mel King (candidate for mayor of Boston) in King's home. Lydon asks King about his political formation on the streets where he grew up. King talks about growing up in the diverse "New York streets" neighborhood of Boston. King says that he grew up with an appreciation for other cultures. Lydon and the camera crew discuss the set-up of the shot. King continues to talk about his experiences growing up on Seneca Street. King says that diverse urban neighborhoods provide a model for cooperation among groups of different backgrounds. King talks about the benefits of growing up with people of different cultures and ethnicities.

1:05:41: V: Lydon asks King about his philosophy of government. King says that government must serve those who are most in need; that all of society benefits when the neediest are served. King says that government must serve society's needs in the areas of poverty, education, the environment, and women's issues. King says that government must serve the needs of all people. He uses the example of access for the disabled. King says that all of society is guaranteed access when access is granted to the disabled. King says that problems in Boston's neighborhoods cannot be ignored; that these problems must be solved before they spread to other areas. King says that problems in one neighborhood affect every resident of the city. King stresses the connections between people and problems. He gives an example of the local problems caused by the oil crisis in the 1970s.

1:11:46: V: Lydon asks if there is an ideology behind King's politics. King says that his approach to government is realistic; that there is no "pure" form of government. King says that he has tried to address the realities of his life as an African American man living in Boston; that he has tried to address the realities and needs of his community and his city. King says that there are essential needs which must be met; that he has tried to look at the forces impacting the needs of people and communities. King says that love and change are the two fundamentals of life.

1:15:35: V: Lydon asks King to rate himself as an administrator. King says that he tries to identify problems; that he gathers people together to find creative solutions; that he works with people to implement solutions; that he tries to evaluate the solution to find out if it works. King talks about using this approach as director of the Urban League of Boston. King says that he is using this approach to solve problems in his current job at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). King says that a city government must deliver services efficiently on a fixed budget. King notes that Joseph Jordan (Police Commissioner, City of Boston) has provided ineffective leadership for the Boston Police Department. King says that it is important to appoint good administrators for city programs. King notes that he has proven experience as a good administrator.

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