Politics

Ayanna Pressley announces 5 Boston City Council endorsements

"Each of these candidates has shown their deep commitment to the Boston community and to advancing policies reflective of the real and pressing challenges people face."

Rep. Ayanna Pressley joins House Democrats at a news conference last week on the "Women's Health Protection Act." SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Ayanna Pressley has, so far, stayed out of the race among her former Boston City Council colleagues to be the city’s next mayor.

But she is weighing in on the City Council race itself.

The Massachusetts congresswoman and Dorchester Democrat announced Monday morning that she is endorsing City Councilor Julia Mejia, as well as David Halbert, Ruthzee Louijeune, and Carla Monteiro for the four seats in the eight-way at-large City Council general election race. She also endorsed first-time candidate Kendra Hicks in the general election for the council’s open District 6 seat.

“Each of these candidates has shown their deep commitment to the Boston community and to advancing policies reflective of the real and pressing challenges people face,” Pressley said in a statement.

“When I was first elected to the Boston City Council in 2009 — as the first woman of color elected in the Council’s history and one of only two women on the Council that term — I could hardly imagine how the Council would look today, and the historic field of candidates who’ve bravely stepped up to run,” she continued. “Julia — as she has for the past two years – Dave, Ruthzee, Carla, and Kendra will bring new perspectives, new lived experiences, and new questions to City Hall, which will benefit everyone in our city.”

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Similar to her City Council endorsements in 2019, the slate of candidates backed by Pressley are all people of color. They also have all signed her “Pressley Policy Pledge,” signaling support for issues like criminal justice reform, student debt cancellation, and fare-free public transit.

And her opinion could help like-minded constituents in Boston pick their candidates in the City Council races, which — while poised to deliver extraordinary turnover — has been largely overshadowed by the historic mayor’s race.

Not among the candidates endorsed Monday by Pressley was longtime at-large City Councilor Michael Flaherty, who was the top vote-getter in the Sept. 14 preliminary.

She also did not, yet, endorse in the races for the City Council’s open District 4 and District 7 seats, which are being left by City Councilor Andrea Campbell and City Councilor-turned-Acting Mayor Kim Janey, following their unsuccessful mayoral bids. Both of the finalists in the District 4 race have signed the Pressley Policy Pledge; following a recently finished recount, the District 7 race features just one pledge-signer: first-place finisher Tania Anderson.

Pressley is also holding off on endorsing in the mayoral general election race, which features at-large City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George. Pressley served on the council with both candidates, who she has called “sisters in service,” for several years (Wu from 2014 to 2019 and Essaibi George from 2016 to 2019).

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However, only one, Wu, has signed onto her pledge committing to progressive policies. During a GBH interview earlier this month, Pressley declined to say if she plans to endorse in the mayor’s race.

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