The Boston political arena has never shunned unique, even flamboyant personalities. In fact, it has been a place where they can be heard and have an impact. Pat Payaso is one of the latest in a long line of such figures. He is running for an at-large seat on the Boston City Council. Unusually candid, Payaso, who changed his name from Kevin McCrea earlier this year, stands out in a sea of politicians that rely heavily on bromides to connect with voters. He, however, attracts a lot of attention for another reason: He dresses as a clown.
Payaso’s clown attire, along with the full makeup, renders him prima facie the object of some derision. Once he begins talking, the ridicule stops though. Health care is an issue that he champions in particular, but he also comfortably discusses other concerns, which plague Bostonians. Indeed, he speaks about housing, transportation, and education easily and knowingly. Further, he eschews carrying out extensive research in favor of speaking directly to the people, which has yielded some interesting proposals.
A proponent of the law of supply and demand, Payaso believes that more development will help lower exorbitant rents, thereby somewhat alleviating the housing crisis. Nevertheless, he has also stressed the need to hold developers accountable to the City and its residents rather than giving them carte blanche. Regarding transportation, Payaso sees protected bicycle and bus lanes as a couple of ways to address mobility concerns. Moreover, he supports the idea of expanding the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. As for education, he reiterated his intent to visit every school in Boston at a forum for candidates, which was held last Wednesday at English High School. He then challenged the four incumbent councillors at-large to pledge to do the same.
Pat Payaso stands unabashedly as a frank and colorful figure. Unsurprisingly, some, therefore, continue to scoff at his candidacy. They point to his clown persona as justification for their disdain and invite others to partake in their contempt. Yet, it is this very persona that indicates just how seriously he actually takes this race. Payaso has expressed a general disappointment with the inability of many politicians to move the needle on the problems that have engulfed countless people. So, as Pat Payaso, he is trumpeting what can no longer be whispered. As Payaso, he is holding up a mirror to the political status quo for an unflinching, unswerving look.
[Featured Image by Julien Hautcoeur/Shutterstock]