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Chinese-American group endorses Lee, Arroyo, Pressley for City Council

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  November 2, 2011 01:26 PM

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Suzanne Lee.jpg
(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)
Suzanne Lee (left) mingled at a Chinatown event.

A Chinatown political action group today announced endorsements for Boston City Council challenger Suzanne Lee in District 2, which includes Chinatown, and for incumbent At-Large Councilors Felix G. Arroyo and Ayanna Pressley.

Chinese Progressive Political Action based the at-large endorsements on candidates’ responses to a questionnaire and on the voting records of those who have held elected office, it said. The political action committee is an offshoot of the Chinese Progressive Association, which Lee helped found.

“It’s important to look at both what the candidates are saying and also what they have done in practice,” said Karen Chen, president of the group, in a statement. “That’s also why we are supporting Suzanne Lee. In contrast to [incumbent Bill Linehan], she has fought for our community for over 30 years.”

Lee, 60, achieved a surprise victory over Linehan in September’s preliminary election, besting the incumbent by more than 200 votes. In an interview the day after that upset, Lee told Boston.com that success in that race was just the start of the work she must before next Tuesday’s general election.

“I feel like the work is just beginning now,” Lee said in September. “That this is only the first step, and we have a way to go. But I’ve always been a hard worker, and I believe in people.”

A former principal of the Josiah Quincy School, Lee has been an educator and community activist in Chinatown for more than three decades, though she has lived in the neighborhood for only two years.

Arroyo, 32, and Pressley, 37, were both elected to the council in 2009. Because the four candidates who win the most votes will take the at-large council seats, they will compete on Nov. 8 against fellow incumbents John R. Connolly and Council President Stephen J. Murphy, as well as challengers Will Dorcena, Sean H. Ryan, and former Councilor Michael F. Flaherty, who resigned in 2009 to challenge Mayor Thomas M. Menino for the city’s top job.

Pressley visited the Chinatown Coalition prior to September’s preliminary election to highlight her agenda of “breaking poverty and violence cycles.”

If neither Pressley nor Lee is elected, Boston could be without a woman councilor for the first time since 1973. The only other female candidate on the ballot is Sheneal Parker, who seeks to unseat first-term Councilor Tito Jackson in District 7.

Email Jeremy C. Fox at jeremycfox@gmail.com.
Follow Jeremy C. Fox on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow Downtown on Twitter: @DowntownUpdate.

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