One long-time Jamaica Plain resident has announced this month she will be mounting a campaign for the District 6 City Council seat to be voted on in the 2021 City Election.
Kendra Hicks confirmed this week she will be running against Councilor Matt O’Malley, of Roslindale, who was re-elected in 2019 in an unopposed race and has served 10 years on the Council. She has already started a website and a social media presence, and said her campaign team would begin pushing out much more information in later this month.
“Kendra has been shaped by her community,” read her bio on the campaign site. “And she has, in return, helped shape its long history of fighting for what’s right. Whether it be organizing against a highway, fending off the construction of a Kmart, or calling for the city to prioritize Youth First in Jackson Square, the story of District 6 is the story of ordinary people coming together to make their neighborhoods better for everyone. Kendra Hicks is a part of that story.”
According to her website, Hicks is a proud first-generation Black Dominican woman, a mother, a wife, and artist. Born in the Bronx to a working-class, immigrant mother, she wrote that her family relocated to Jamaica Plain in 1990 and she has since called it home.
At 13, she wrote, her curiosity about, and desire for a more equitable world, was supported by the Jamaica Plain artistic and activist institutions, Spontaneous Celebrations, and Hyde Square Task Force. She participated at Wake Up the Earth Festival, where she learned of Jamaica Plain’s people-powered, art-filled battle to stop a highway from cutting through their neighborhoods. Among the art encouraging young people to express their stories, she found her calling to become a community organizer, artist, and a champion for her community. As a first-year high school student, Kendra co-founded and later became the director of the influential and celebrated “by-youth, for-youth” organization Beantown Society. At the age of 19, Hicks became one of a handful of women and the youngest in the city to provide trauma-informed support to young people as a StreetWorker with the StreetSafe Boston Initiative.
For the last five years, Kendra has been the Director of Radical Philanthropy at the historic Boston-based organization Resist. Resist was founded by world-renowned activist Noam Chomsky just over 50 years ago.