Family, friends, and supporters of Kelly Ransom (she/her) gathered on Tuesday, April 6, outside of the entrance of the now-closed Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge, where Ransom worked periodically for seven years.
Ransom is a queer formerly homeless events and communications professional. She is an experienced restaurant industry worker, former City Council staffer, and labor union enthusiast. Currently, she is Madison Park Development Corporation’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, where she will continue to work full-time throughout the campaign.
Jamaica Plain musician and artist Ray Liriano kicked off the announcement with uplifting original acoustic songs. “This is our first live performance in over a year! I’m so proud to know Kelly. She inspires me,” Ray said.
Following the energizing tunes, Logan Ferraro, former Youth Pride Coordinator and LGBTQIA+ activist, gave a heartwarming introduction. Logan lovingly proclaimed, “Kelly was there the first time I came out publicly as transgender, and her first words to me were a promise to change all of the Youth Pride Committee’s paperwork to reflect my name and pronouns by the next meeting. As I inherited her notes years later, I can verify that she was true to her word.” He also told the crowd, “Your passions become [Kelly’s] passions, and your needs become [Kelly’s] priorities.”
Ransom then took the stage in front of a diverse crowd of supporters wearing Kelly green and yellow and holding eye-catching ‘Kelly Ransom for District Six’ signs (printed by Red Sun Press). She bravely and honestly disclosed how she grew to be who she is today. She spoke of her experience with homelessness, poverty, struggles with her self-image and identity, and how those moments connect to her dedication to advocacy.
During her speech, Ransom paused and went silent to collect herself before she stated, “Today, I stand before you, no longer insecure but empowered, full of confidence, and consumed with joy. Today, I am talking to all of you and my community, but I am also talking to past Kellys. The one with no front teeth and a permanent lazy eye. The one with no food for dinner and a tablespoon of laundry detergent. The one flirting with anyone for a place to spend the night. The one who always dreamed but never thought that [she] would be educated enough, brave enough, or secure enough to say ‘I’m Kelly Ransom, and today, I am announcing my candidacy for District Six Boston City Council.’”
After sharing her story, Ransom proclaimed, “As a nation, we are facing the grim reality of surviving the coinciding pandemics of COVID-19, white supremacy, and systemic racism. As a city, we are facing the potential collapse of our local economies, a housing crisis, a mental health crisis, racial wealth inequities and disparities, inequitable public schools, inaccessible transportation, and the present and future impacts of climate change. We are going through a lot as a nation, as a Commonwealth, as a city, and as a district. And, there is hope. There is love. There is joy. There is promise. There is an opportunity for collaborative change, and it has to start with all of us.”
Ransom ended by promoting the newly launched campaign website (www.VoteKellyRansom.com) and encouraged everyone to read ‘The Work Ahead’ section (her policy and advocacy platform points), and sign up to learn more about how to get involved with and support the campaign.