I met Kendra Hicks when she was in the 8th grade. She was teaching basic Bachata steps at a street festival in the Latin Quarter of JP. I remember being impressed by her skills, confidence and patience, as she actually had me dancing in rhythm – not an easy task.
Over the next several years I had the opportunity to work with Kendra on a number of community projects and I witnessed the early stages of an evolving leader. During Kendra’s high school years, there was an epidemic of youth violence in Boston’s neighborhoods, including Jamaica Plain. Not only did Kendra directly feel the pain of this crisis through the loss of loved ones, but she transformed her sorrow and anger into positive action as a young artist and activist. At age nineteen she put her passion to work by becoming an anti-violence street-worker. She was a relentless advocate. Her voice was authentic, it came from her heart, and people listened.
Now, I am so pleased to see that Kendra is courageously running for elected office. At this moment in Boston’s history, when so much that used to seem impossible is now possible, we need to put Kendra onto the City Council. Boston, per capita, is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, but centuries-old systems have prevented this wealth from being distributed equitably into the neighborhoods. With her hopeful vision, youthful perspective, clear policy positions, her driving energy and charisma, Kendra will make a difference. I want Kendra to be in City Hall chambers when climate change, racial equity and housing are debated. I particularly want her voice to be heard when the related issues of arts and youth mental health are discussed. I know she will bridge the social justice movement to City Hall.
Kendra, with her savvy team, is running a state-of-the-art campaign. But over the coming weeks, she needs and deserves our support, as she is in a tight race. We know she will work for us, and now is the time to work for her.