Democrat Alex Gray will launched his campaign for Boston At-Large City Council on September 24, pledging to bring the voices and stories of all Bostonians directly to the City Council chamber. Motivated by his lived experience as someone with a disability and his work fighting for marginalized communities, Gray will run aggressively on core progressive priorities such as ensuring an equitable recovery from COVID-19, creating more affordable housing options, expanding educational opportunities, and fighting for good jobs that both pay living wages and provide benefits.
“At a time that is testing our city’s resilience unlike ever before, we need to come together to build back a city that truly belongs to everyone,” said Gray. “Every person in every corner of Boston deserves an At-Large City Councilor who will hear their stories and fight for them, every day. My life has made me a listener, and I have a track record of tackling complicated problems with successful, progressive, solutions.”
Gray would be the first-ever blind City Councilor in Boston and the only blind elected official in Massachusetts. Born with a genetic condition that caused him to begin to lose his vision at age eight, Gray learned to adapt to places and systems not designed for all people. As a middle school student, Gray overcame the initial protests of administrators to remain and thrive within a traditional public school classroom. He knows personally what it means to be on an individualized education plan and the crucial role that a special education system plays in the lives of a student and their family.
“I am thrilled that Alex is running for an At-Large City Council position” said Carol Steinberg, an attorney, disability activist, and Jamaica Plain resident. “Not only is he an articulate, accomplished attorney experienced in dealing with policy matters crucial to the governance of the City of Boston, and not only does he share the progressive views of so many Boston residents, but he is a person with a disability—a visual impairment—and as such, will be a voice for equal rights for people with disabilities in leadership—a voice that has been absent for so long” said Steinberg. Steinberg added “I have worked with him on advocacy issues outside of government—and I look forward to working with him when he is an At-Large City Councilor.”
Motivated by the community that lifted him up as a child, Gray has dedicated his entire career to public service and has a history of fighting for progressive causes and succeeding. Currently a policy analyst in the City of Boston, Gray worked to start Boston’s first-ever Tuition Free Community College plan, which has now provided a pathway to higher education affordability for over 500 Boston Public School graduates. His work in city government also includes creating and expanding a program providing children’s savings accounts for Boston Public School students; leading City efforts to advocate for an increase to the earned income tax credit; and expanding job training options for Boston residents including apprenticeships in the culinary and construction trades.
“I have known Alex for over fifteen years and I have seen him grow into the leader that he is today through his tremendous work ethic and his incredible ability to listen to and connect with others” said Rosemary Powers, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Patrick and Dorchester resident. “Alex does not just listen to people; he truly hears them.”
Gray served as an advisor for Governor Patrick during two key years of his time in office, including the period during and after the Boston Marathon bombings. While in this role, Gray worked to design, plan and implement the Fairmount Line commuter rail which has brought more transit equity and environmental justice to Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park. He also advised Governor Patrick on public safety policy including work on the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, a multifaceted, community-based strategy that combines public health and public safety approaches to deal with serious violence among high-risk, urban youth.
Gray is an attorney who graduated from Suffolk Law School and Boston College. He lives in Jamaica Plain with his wife, Lauren. More information on Gray can be found at www.votealexgray.com.