State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry Hosts Boston Tradition

March 17, 2014
By Jenny Li Fowler, HKS Communications

State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry MC/MPA 2014 took center stage Sunday as host of Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast. It was a historic moment for the event, an often raucous political roast traditionally attended by the state’s political elite. Forry is the first woman, and the first non-Irish, non-South Boston resident to host the tradition.

“It highlights the emerging political strength of communities of color in Boston,” says Steven Poftak, executive director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. “I think she succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations.”

Dorcena Forry inherited the role of host after winning the First Suffolk District state senate seat, which includes South Boston and Dorchester. Previous hosts included William Bulger, Stephen Lynch MC/MPA 1999, and Jack Hart MC/MPA 2000.

“People were curious,” Poftak added. “It was clearly a first for the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast which was always emceed by a white, Irish-American from Boston. Forry is a Haitian-American woman from Dorchester, so people were curious how the breakfast would go. She got great reviews, and with the notable exception of Bill Linehan, there weren’t any glaring absences.”

Linda Dorcena Forry rescues breakfast
The Boston Globe — In interviews leading up to the event Dorcena Forry had promised a different tone, and she delivered it.

Behold the kinder, gentler version of the politically barbed breakfast, more holiday dinner than sharp-elbowed roast.

Dorcena Forry was terrific. She was funny. She was self-deprecating. She threw a few well-placed jabs. She was clearly having a great time.

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