Editorial: Newly elected representatives bring diversity to Boston local government
Last Tuesday, Nov. 2, was election day for many local political races within the greater Boston area, and the Justice Editorial Board would like to congratulate the candidates who won and highlight the new diversity as a result of these elections.
In Waltham, there were multiple races for City Council and School Committee positions, including three contested City Council races in Wards 5, 7 and 9. Every incumbent candidate running for reelection in Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 won their race, and incumbent candidates won all six seats for councilors-at-large as well. In Ward 7, which includes the Brandeis campus and most of the surrounding area, Paul Katz won against David Russo. This will be Katz’s first term as a City Council member. Katz does not identify with any particular political party, does not support defunding Waltham Police in any capacity, and has extensive plans for improving traffic and infrastructure within Waltham, per his campaign website. This board is excited to see the changes and potential improvements that the newly elected and re-elected Waltham City Council members will bring during their time as councilors.
In the city of Boston, Michelle Wu won against Annissa Essaibi George by a margin of 28 points after both candidates qualified for the November general election and eliminated acting Mayor Kim Janey in the September preliminary election. Wu’s campaign focused primarily on housing and public transportation. In particular Wu hopes to achieve fare-free public transit in Boston. Wu is the first woman, Asian American and woman of color to be elected mayor in Boston’s history, and this board would like to congratulate Wu for this historic win. However, we recognize that it is long overdue that a woman of color be elected mayor of Boston, and the fact that this is the first time a woman of color has been elected to this position highlights how the struggle for greater diversity in local government remains an ongoing battle. As Wu acknowledged in her victory speech last Tuesday night, white men have dominated positions of power in Boston in the past and will probably continue to in the future, “but not tonight,” she affirmed.
Other historic wins that bring more diversity to Boston’s local government include Ruthzee Louijeune becoming the first Haitian American to serve on Boston City Council as a councilor-at-large; Tania Fernandes Anderson becoming the first Muslim, Cape Verdean, African immigrant and formerly undocumented elected member to the City Council; and Kendra Hicks becoming the first person of color to represent District 6. This board congratulates Wu, Louijeune, Anderson, Hicks and other newly elected representatives to Boston’s local government who are breaking racial, ethnic, religious and gender barriers with these historic election results.