With Boston’s September 14 Primary just around the corner the East Boston Ward I Democratic Committee has endorsed At-Large City Councilor Michelle Wu for Mayor of Boston and made two other key endorsements in the City Councilor At-Large race.
Historically, Eastie has been a bellwether in municipal elections and has picked the winner in Boston Mayor’s races dating back to Ray Flynn. The most recent was back in 2013 when Eastie voters went with Marty Walsh over the heavily favored John Connolly during that year’s race to replace the late Mayor Thomas Menino.
Throughout the election season, candidates have made their presence known here and have tried to cultivate support among Eastie voters throughout the summer.
According to the latest polls, Wu has pulled ahead of Acting Mayor Kim Janey and leads the pack. At-Large City Councilor and former East Boston High School teacher and coach Anissa Essabi-George is now tied for second place with Janey and City Councilor Andrea Campbell and John Barros, former Former Chief of Economic Development, round out the rest of the field. However, 25 percent of voters polled are still undecided–setting up what is sure to be an exciting primary that will narrow the field of mayoral candidates down to two for the November 2 general election.
Wu, who was also endorsed by East Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards over the summer, was the first candidate to launch a campaign for mayor.
“I’m honored and energized to stand with the Ward 1 Democrats in organizing to build community and transform what’s possible in politics and policy,” said Wu in a statement. “The issues affecting East Boston are a microcosm of every challenge throughout our city, and I know that together, we can tackle our biggest challenges through building coalitions for bold, urgent leadership.”
This endorsement adds to Wu’s support among Ward Committees, where she has already earned the endorsement of the Ward 4 Democrats (parts of Back Bay, Fenway and the South End) and Ward 5 Democrats (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, and Bay Village). No other candidate in the mayoral race has received the endorsement of any Ward Committee.
“I’m excited about the work Michelle has already done to advocate for East Boston, where we have historically had to fight to be heard,” said ward committee chair Vicki DiLorenzo.
DiLorenzo said the Ward I Committee also endorsed incumbent At-Large City Councilor Julia Mejia and candidates David Halbert, and Ruthzee Louijeune for City Council At Large.
“I’m excited about these impressive candidates and the work they’ve already done to advocate for East Boston, where we have historically had to fight to be heard,” she said.
Councilor Mejia is the first and only Latina member of the Boston City Council and support among Eastie voters has been strong. According to the 2020 census Eastie has the largest Latino population among any neighborhood in Boston.
“We are humbled to know that our Mejia Movement has earned the trust and support of the Ward 1 Democrats,” said Mejia. “The struggles and triumphs of their neighborhood represent the crossroads we are facing in Boston today. East Boston and its residents have been hit harder than most by COVID-19, are fighting tooth and nail against rapid gentrification, and are seeing effects of the climate crisis sooner via lack of tree canopy, while also harboring some of our city’s greatest cultural gems and local small businesses. We are ready to stand alongside them, and look forward to collaborating with Ward 1 and its residents throughout our next term.”
Halbert, who lived in East Boston for 14 years before moving to Dorchester, has personally experienced the issues facing the neighborhood. Although Halbert now lives in Dorchester he has strong relationships in the community and was once a Ward I Committee member and organizer and served on community boards like the Piers Park Advisory Committee.
“I am honored and excited to have the endorsement of the Ward One Democratic Committee,” said Halbert. “As a former East Boston resident and Committee member, I look forward to working with the members to ensure residents aren’t pushed out of the neighborhood due to our housing crisis, that all of our local businesses can thrive, and that East Boston families have great schools – with the support our children deserve – at every level, and in every corner of the neighborhood.”
Louijeune, a former housing justice attorney who also worked as the top lawyer on Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, has been running a strong campaign both here and across the city. She has received a high level of support from both longtime Eastie residents as well as newcomers.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Ward 1 Democrats,” said Louijuene . “I am fully committed to working alongside the Eastie Dems and local elected officials as we fight for high quality and affordable housing and public transit, combat the negative externalities associated with Logan Airport on the community, and work toward a healthier, more sustainable, and prosperous future for the working class families that call East Boston home.”