At-Large City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George has always considered East Boston her second home, and said she is just as comfortable here as she is in her native Dorchester.
Before entering the political arena, Essaibi George taught Economics, Business Management and Health and Human Services to juniors and seniors at East Boston High School and served as the school’s assistant softball coach for 14 years.
In 2015 Essaibi George decided to run for Boston City Council and was part of a wave of change that ushered in a new era on the council. That year Essaibi George and Andrea Campbell ousted two incumbent councilors and doubled the number of women on council with their victories.
In Eastie, Essaibi George was a familiar face to many students, former students and families and finished in the top four on the ballot here and was able to nudge out longtime City Councilor Stephen Murphy citywide.
Last Thursday morning Essaibi George officially became a candidate for the Mayor of Boston.
She made her announcement outside East Boston High School alongside a small group of family, friends and local supporters.
As a former Boston Public Schools teacher, first generation American, small business owner and proud mother, Essaibi George laid out her vision for the city she calls home.
“Boston is my home. I have deep roots here. A connection that drives me to work harder and deliver more for the city I love,” said Essaibi George. “My name is Annissa Essaibi George and I am running for Mayor of Boston. I want to be Mayor of the city that welcomed my mother, born a child with no home, only with the hope of her parents for a better future–the city that welcomed my dad, an Arab Muslim from North Africa, who because of his experiences, could never have imagined his daughter, with a name like Annissa Essaibi, could ever be elected to anything. They worked hard and sacrificed to ensure their children could have a shot at the American Dream, and it is because of them that I am able to stand before you today as an At-Large City Councilor, a former teacher, a small business owner, a mom and now a candidate for mayor in the city they were so proud to make home.”
Essaibi George said her experience as a former Boston Public Schools teacher at East Boston High School has made her a fierce advocate for access to a great education for all.
“But it also gave me a front row seat to the challenges that our families face day in and day out,” said Essaibi George. “Housing and homelessness. Food insecurity. Poor access to transportation. The need to juggle multiple jobs. Language barriers. Childcare. Healthcare. The roadblocks in this city are real. The inequities persist. We have to face them head on and fast.”
Essaibi George graduated from Boston Technical High School, and earned a B.A. in Political Science from Boston University and a Masters degree of Education from University of Massachusetts Boston.
While teaching and coaching, Essaibi George founded the Stitch House in Dorchester in 2007. This brick and mortar retail shop sells yarn and fabrics and offers classes in knitting, sewing, quilting and crochet, all hobbies Essaibi George has enjoyed since childhood.
“I am also a small business owner,” said Essaibi George. “I’m so proud of what I built. It took work. Small shops and restaurants and businesses make each neighborhood special, and in turn, make Boston special. These past few months have been devastating for our small businesses. They need support to rebuild and recover.”
As a City Councilor, Essaibi George said she is proud of what she has accomplished for the city over the past five years.
She said she doesn’t plan on slowing down if elected Mayor.
“As I travel around the city, I see it, hear it, feel it – I feel it,” said Essaibi George. “Every day. From Dorchester to Charlestown, Brighton to Mattapan, Hyde Park to here in East Boston and everywhere in between, I hear your voices, your stories, your struggles. And then I do something. I find a path forward. I work to make it better.”
Essaibi George said Mayor Martin Walsh has fiercely dedicated himself to bettering Boston over the past seven years but there’s still much work to do.
“And while Boston is an incredible place to call home, COVID has shone a bright light on our shortcomings and disparities,” said Essaibi George. “But this is a City of scrappy, hard working people. I know there’s nothing we can’t accomplish together. We can and will learn from our mistakes and build a stronger, more resilient city for all. I’m running for Mayor because I believe in a Boston that sees the inequity, the everyday injustices, the wrongs and tackles them head on. I believe in a Boston that lifts up every neighborhood and embraces all who call it home. I have been doing the work on the Boston City Council engaging with all our neighborhoods, being present, responsible and responsive to the needs of our residents. And I will work to improve the everyday lives of Bostonians.”
In the end, Essaibi George said a strong city government is led by a mayor that listens and learns, shows up, gets in the trenches, and isn’t afraid to work. “Real change, real progress happens when we come together,” said Essaibi George. “When we seek to better understand each other. Nothing is off the table, when we ensure everyone is at the table. I believe in a Boston that doesn’t settle. That isn’t okay with just good enough. That doesn’t accept that only some are thriving. I believe in a Boston that sees growth and inclusion. Justice and safety. Wealth and equity. These things are not mutually exclusive. Boston can do this. I want to be Mayor of this Boston, this great city. A place that has lifted me up and made it possible for me, a first generation American, a daughter of immigrants, a Dorchester kid with an Arab name to run for Mayor. I want to be Mayor of this incredible city, a place where we ask more of ourselves, where we push ourselves for better. Because we can always do and be better.”