Brian Honan: Politician

By Susan Tracy, Former State Representative, 18th Suffolk

tracy-kennyPolitician is a word that conjures up so many meanings to people. Unfortunately, too often those meanings are negative. But, when you’ve studied government and worked in public service, you know “politician” in its best sense. The politician listens to the concerns and frustrations and gripes of the average person. The politician pounds the pavement, attends the events, fights for the community, takes stands sure to alienate someone. The politician too often is away from his or her own family to tend to the needs of someone else.

When I think of Brian Honan, the politician, I think of all that is great and good about public service. Brian was always larger than life when he entered a room. His smile and warm embrace made everyone he met feel special. His big hearty laugh and baritone voice made you want to get to know him.

Brian never feared a controversial stance. He was always so confident. He did what he felt was right and was never afraid to stand up to those who opposed him. And even those who opposed him could not be upset with Brian for very long for he had a way about him that made you like him, made it hard to ever really be mad at Brian for very long.

tracy-goldenSummer jobs, youth sports leagues, affordable housing, cleaning streets, fixing potholes – not glamorous things – but things that Brian cared about and worked on. They mattered to people’s daily lives. As a kid who grew up in Allston/Brighton, Brian came from a great family in a close-knit city neighborhood. That’s why he focused on everyday things. He knew they really mattered to the every day life of the every day person in our City.

When Brian died our City lost a very special politician, a very special leader. But, for those of us who knew Brian and worked with Brian and simply had the pleasure of meeting him, we know how fortunate we were to have had that opportunity. For those who didn’t know Brian, his legacy lives on in so many ways – from the Honan library, the West End House Honan Scholars, Honan housing development and countless other honors and tributes. Brian Honan the politician continues to represent all that is good about public service and being a “politician”.