|Jim Kelly to Receive SBCA Farragut Award
South Boston Citizens’ Association President Michael P. Bare has announced that District City Councilor Jim Kelly will be presented the Association’s prestigious Admiral David Farragut Award for Lifetime Public Service. The award is rarely presented. Recently, it has only gone to Mayor Thomas Menino, and late Congressman John Joseph Moakley.
“I can think of no one that deserves this honor more than Jim Kelly.” Bare stated, “Presentations of the Farragut Award are few and far between. It has been presented to those who have not only dedicated their life to public service, but also excelled in the selfless protection of the community they represent. I could write a book on the causes and concerns that Jim has gone to the wall on for this neighborhood, sometimes at his own peril. When elected to the Boston City Council twenty-three years ago he pledged to serve this community to the best of his ability. He has gone above and beyond that pledge.”
Bare continued, “I have a hard time even saying that Councilor Kelly does his job better than most, because it is not a job to Jim Kelly, it is a way of life, an avocation. For half of my life, I have watched Jim Kelly start his days at early breakfast meetings at Mul’s, spend all day at City Hall working on neighborhood issues, and then return to South Boston to attend several evening meetings in the neighborhood. He has been tireless, often giving up time with his family to attend neighborhood events seven days a week. Jimmy personifies the tradition of quality leadership this town has elected for half a century and beyond”
James M. Kelly was elected to the Boston City Council in 1983. His district includes one of the most diverse in the city, comprising South Boston, Chinatown, the South End, Bay Village, and St. Margaret’s Parish in Dorchester. Councilor Kelly has served on all major City Council committees and during the past twenty years he has been appointed Chairman of the Committees on Housing , Neighborhood Services, Redistricting and Elderly Affairs. In 1994 his colleagues elected him President of the Boston City Council. He was reelected to that position in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Councilor Kelly’s tenure as President of the Boston City Council for seven consecutive years is unprecedented.
Through the years, Kelly has spoken on virtually every college campus in Greater Boston on urban issues, and has been a frequent guest on radio and television programs. He has also been featured in the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe magazine sections.
A stalwart labor advocate, Councilor Jim Kelly has been a member of the Boston Building Trades for over forty years. By trade, Councilor Kelly is a sheet metal worker, and for the past twenty-four years has served as the Recording Secretary of Local 17.
Bare finished, “Even through his recent illness, Jimmy held meetings at his home. He spends all day on the phone, seeing to neighborhood and City Council business. My only concern with the Association’s presentation of the Farragut Award to Jim Kelly is whether we will have room enough at our Annual Evacuation Day Banquet for his family, friends and well wishers.”