By Seth Daniel
Special to the Gazette
District 4 Councilor Andrea Campbell – in just the beginning of her second term in office – announced on Saturday night that she had secured the votes to become the next City Council president, and the first African American woman to hold that role.
District 4 covers parts of Forest Hills and Woodbourne in Jamaica Plain.
Campbell will replace – if the commitments from her colleagues hold up – Council President Michelle Wu on Inauguration Day, which is 10 a.m. on Jan. 1.
“I am extremely grateful to have the support of all my colleagues and honored to serve as the Council’s next President,” she said in a statement. “As the first African American woman to serve in this role, I am especially humbled and proud to lead the most diverse Council in this body’s history, with an historic six women of color. The progress we’ve made would not be possible without the commitment every member of this body has shown to achieving justice, providing equitable services in our diverse communities, and increasing opportunity for all our residents.”
Campbell said she wanted to continue with Wu’s priorities of transparency and accessibility of the Council to the public.
“As we move ahead, I am committed to increasing the Council’s transparency and accessibility, to implementing innovative tools and technologies to more efficiently deliver constituent services, and to elevating the ideas and experiences of residents who feel like they are not heard in City Hall,” she said. “I want to thank President Wu for her tremendous leadership these last two years. I look forward to building on her work as President and supporting the goals of each of my colleagues, continuing to highlight the important work and role of the Council, and working in partnership with Mayor Walsh to implement impactful policies that lift up every community.”
Wu said she was excited to see Campbell succeed her.
“I’m thrilled that we’ll have Andrea’s leadership for the Council and the City,” she said. “She’ll do a great job supporting the work of colleagues next term who bring a mix of passion and expertise to build an inclusive and equitable future for all residents.”
Jamaica Plain City Councilor Matt O’Malley said in a phone interview that he is “proud” to be counted among the supporters of Campbell’s bid for Council president. He said she has been a “tremendous” city councilor, an effective legislature, and a leader during her tenure on the Council. “She will be terrific [as president],” said O’Malley.
Mayor Martin Walsh said he looks forward to working with her in the coming term.
“Andrea is a tireless advocate for her constituents and for Boston, and I congratulate her on becoming City Council president,” he said. “As a smart, passionate leader, Andrea will continue to propel Boston forward, and I look forward to working with her and the City Council.”
The Council President position is a two-year commitment and includes setting the agenda and working towards finding consensus among members. It’s also a citywide position that is in large part the public face of the Council.
[Peter Shanley contributed to this article.]