Jamaica Plain Progressives has voted to endorse incumbent Julia Mejia and challengers David Halbert and Ruthzee Louijeune in the race for Boston City Council At Large.
JPP is excited by our endorsed candidates’s individual platforms as well as their collective commitment to progressive ideas and policies. We look forward to seeing what these candidates and the 2022 Boston City Council will do, and we will be there, supporting policies that move our city toward greater equity and justice.
Julia Mejia has been an unapologetic and tireless champion of progressive causes in her first term as city councilor. After her stunning one-vote win, she and her office went to work, with a particular focus on the issues confronting low-income communities in Boston. She is serving as Chair of the Committee on Civil Rights and the Committee of Small Business and Workforce Development. In that role, she and her team created culturally responsive food access projects to support small businesses and feed our most vulnerable, as well as a COVID business readiness program to build capacity for Black, Brown, and immigrant-owned barbers and hairstylists. Her office has also designed and implemented a community-centered civic engagement model to address citywide quality of life concerns and filed legislation to improve access and accountability in city government. Julia has wielded her focus, persistence, and grassroots organizing skills to make sure all of Boston’s communities have a seat at the table, particularly working-class communities of color. She has brought energy and passion to the Council this term, despite the incredible difficulties of learning a job and building an office in the midst of a global pandemic, and we agree she has more than earned a second term.
David Halbert first ran for City Council in 2019 and received our endorsement then. David has come back stronger than ever and is delivering a more effective message, grounded in the same values. He combines progressive ideas and how different policy areas intersect with one another, which has led to his proposals for solutions that speak to the systemic and institutional change we need in government. He has the background as well as the skill and expertise to bring these changes into practice. As a former staffer for former City Councilor Sam Yoon, David has a deep understanding of how City Council can act to make positive change in our city. His work and experiences span the city, from East Boston Main Streets to his home in Mattapan. He is also a BPS parent and is committed to education equity for all students in the City. In addition to the importance of his experience and ideas, David would be the first Black man elected citywide in 40 years. David will be a thoughtful, honest, and consistent progressive councilor.
Ruthzee Louijeune is the daughter of Haitian immigrants and was born and raised in Boston and attended Boston Public Schools. While a student at Harvard Law School, she volunteered with Project No One Leaves and was Co-Director of the Eviction Clinic at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, providing legal assistance for individuals facing evictions and representing them in Boston Housing Court. She is currently a lawyer and advocate who works with the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance. In addition to her work on housing issues, she created a program called Each One Teach One, which mentors young Haitian immigrants. She also worked at the Posse Foundation, a nonprofit working on expanding access, equity, and meritocracy in education. Ruthzee served as Senior Counsel on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential and Senate campaigns and she has been endorsed by both Senator Warren and by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz. Ruthzee will be a great addition to the Boston City Council. Several times during our candidate forum other candidates responded “I agree with Ruthzee,” as do we.