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How do you celebrate the Christmas holiday?

Basically, spend it with family. Family is most important.

What effect do you think the first year of the Trump administration has had on the United States?

It’s been a double-edged sword. Nationally, it’s a mess. His policies have been horrible. But people are coming together at the local level. There’s been a surge in arts and community projects run by people of color.

What do you think of the U.S. war in Afghanistan?

It has to do with oil. It’s a coverup. The U.S. always has a way of getting in other people’s business.

What in your life are you thankful for?

I’m grateful to be alive. The president might be the biggest jerk in the world, but I’m alive. — Ron Simpkins, Retired, Framingham

What do you think the city should do about the lack of housing affordability in Boston?

Instead of putting up more condos, they should be building more affordable homes. Everywhere you look they’re putting up more luxury towers.

Why do you think voter turnout is so low in Boston?

People feel disenfranchised. People don’t think their vote makes a difference. I don’t know why. I’m out here every time.

How do you think the government should best respond to the opioid crisis?

Very seriously. They need to use both treatment and enforcement of drug laws.—Robert Santos, Unemployed, Roxbury

Are you planning on voting in the November election?

Yes. The mayor position is important to the city. He can help change things that are happening in Boston.

Is Boston becoming a better city?

The way it is right now, things are getting worse.

Why do you think turnout was so low in the Sept. 26 preliminary election?

I think that a lot of nonpartisan groups weren’t putting out the word. People have to get involved. You have to want to be active in something that affects your community.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the next mayor?

The BPS budget. I don’t think it’s balanced right, especially with transportation. All kids should have access to a free T pass. School should be free. If you have to pay to get there, it’s not.

What do you think of football players kneeling during the national anthem?

I think it’s absolutely fine for them to protest. People are making too much of it. Imagine if there were a boycott and there were no black players. There wouldn’t be an NFL. — Arthur Collins, Educator, Roxbury

Are you planning on voting in the September 26 preliminary?

Yes. At this day and time, it’s very important. — Tony, Carpenter, Dorchester

What do you think it takes to make it in today’s economy?

Perseverance, ingenuity and collective work to change a rigged system.

What do you think would make Boston a better city?

Affordable housing. I feel like the community is changing and it’s become less diverse because there’s no affordable housing. People are moving to Brockton, Lynn, Attleboro. — Shantae White, Intern, Roxbury

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