Anthony Bostic marks April 22 as his awakening.
That was the day the mayoral candidate got into what he describes as a “confrontation” with a Hopkins police officer that led to a May 6 probation violation hearing. At the hearing, Bostic was moved as the judge told the convict before him that the courtroom was a place of healing and that that day was the first on the road to victory over trouble.
Bostic knew he could use some healing. But when he approached the bench, he didn’t receive any warm words. The judge simply read the accusations and processed the case. Talking with friends afterward, he found that none of them could name Hopkins’ mayor. That caused him to question how much the city listens to those who are struggling, he says.
“I officially awakened April 22, 2013,” he concludes.
Bostic has certainly seen his share of trouble. It started with a conviction of illegally carrying a BB gun in public in 2003. He says he was playing with the two kids he had at the time and had no idea he was doing anything wrong. He’d bought the gun without a problem, and no one ever told him there were places he wasn’t allowed to have it.
“I didn’t know. I was out with my kids. This is a pastime for America,” he says. “If the crime is coming from a lack of knowledge, how do we fix that?”
That was a misdemeanor. He picked up a gross misdemeanor for the same offense in 2006. Bostic says he forgot to take the BB gun out of his vehicle and police found it there during a traffic stop.
The troubles continued a year later when Bostic was convicted of his first drunken driving offense. He got a second DUI Oct. 22, 2012—again jumping from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor.
By his own admission, Bostic was in a low spot at the time. The poor economy was bad enough, but the black marks on Bostic’s record made employers reluctant to take a chance on him.
“It was tough. I couldn’t find a job. I didn’t know what to do,” he says.
Still, he denies that he was as intoxicated as prosecutors accused him of being. He says he just didn’t have the tools to fight the case.
Times are better for Bostic now. The 10-year Hopkins resident and Chicago native has a job helping people appeal disability claims and says he’s sober. He’s never been in government, but he points to a background of civic engagement volunteering with AARP and protesting with the Occupy movement and those upset about the officer-involved shooting death of Terrence Franklin.
“Mistakes are not what define a man or woman,” he says. “It’s how they recover.”
Bostic said he’s running to ensure people from all walks of life can be heard. He thinks the city can do a better job integrating affordable housing. While many fear that type of housing creates crime, Bostic argues that, done right, it brings in residents interested in improving their lot in life.
Bostic, who’s black, is also concerned about the treatment of minorities. He thinks there’s a type of “segregation” at Hopkins schools, which he said could be seen when students were punished after protesting what they called “modern day blackfacing.” Bostic also says there’s an “uncomfortable essence” to Hopkins policing that he compares to profiling.
But he says his campaign isn’t about racism.
“That’s not the case. It’s about the simplicity of the human. I want us to come together, work together and find better ways for the future,” he says. “We’re all family. We just don’t know each other as well yet.”