Politics

Erin Murphy sworn in as newest Boston city councilor at-large

"I've heard and watched as she has spoken from the heart every single time about the issues that she's been fighting for," Mayor Michelle Wu said of Murphy.

Erin Murphy. Jes Stout
The new city council

Erin Murphy was sworn in on Wednesday as Boston’s newest city councilor at-large, taking office weeks ahead of her fellow incoming councilors-elect in a move necessitated by an unusual sequence of events following last month’s election.

Mayor Michelle Wu led Murphy through the oath of office as the council’s regular meeting started.

“I’ve seen Councilor-Elect Murphy on the trail. I have seen her out in our neighborhoods,” Wu said. “I’ve heard and watched as she has spoken from the heart every single time about the issues that she’s been fighting for, especially with regards to families in our city, who are touched by the opiate crisis and by recovery, by affordable housing challenges, by our education system.”

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Murphy, 51, previously worked as a Boston Public Schools teacher for over 22 years. A Dorchester resident, she is a single mother to four children.

While the rest of the incoming councilor class will be sworn in in January, Murphy took office to fill the vacancy left by Wu, who became mayor last month.

Vacancies are filled by the next-highest vote getter, or runner-up, candidate from the last election, under the city charter.

Alejandra St. Guillen, who finished fifth by one vote for the four open at-large seats in 2019, was slated to take Wu’s seat through January.

But St. Guillen ultimately announced last month she decided against doing so.

In a series of tweets, she explained her decision, writing the three council meetings she would be serving for “is just too brief a tenure, and with my other professional and personal obligations, the timing is not right.”

Murphy, meanwhile, had also fallen short in 2019 behind Guillen, but made a successful bid in this year’s election, garnering 12 percent of the vote.

Speaking to Boston.com in September, Murphy indicated her top three objectives will focus on education, public health, and constituent services.

“I believe that Boston needs an at-large city councilor who understands how issues intersect: How affordable housing affects education, how veteran’s opportunities mix with better jobs, how mental health and recovery mean safer streets in every neighborhood,” she said at the time. “I am that person, and I am ready to be your voice.”

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