Residents Invited to Testify at Boston City Council District 6 Redistricting Hearing on March 31

The public is invited to offer testimony during a Boston City Council Redistricting Committee hearing focused on District 6 on March 31. District 5 City Councilor (and Suffolk County District Attorney candidate) Ricardo Arroyo will lead the hearing as chair of the committee. The majority of Jamaica Plain consists of District 6, but there is a little bit of Districts 4 and 7 in Jamaica Plain, too. Public testimony regarding redistricting from residents of Districts 4, 5 and 6 will occur at City Hall on March 31 at 6:30 pm. Read the public notice here.


Watch: Councilor Lara Delivers Maiden Speech in Spanish & English About Voting Rights for Immigrants with Legal Status

District 6 City Council Kendra Lara delivered her maiden Boston City Council speech on Wednesday about providing immigrants with legal status to vote in municipal elections. Lara also introduced her first piece of legislation -- restoring municipal voting rights to immigrants with legal status. "Regardless of citizenship status, all our residents deserve control over issues that affect their lives by participating in the democratic process and electing their municipal leaders," wrote Lara in her weekly newsletter roundup of council meetings. "Immigrants represent 29% of our city’s population and serve as an integral part of Boston's social, political, economic, and cultural fabric. Excluding such a significant portion of our city’s population from full political participation threatens the health of our democracy.


Jamaica Plain Resident Jessica Morris Joins Benchmark Strategies

Jamaica Plain resident Jessica Morris recently joined Benchmark Strategies public affairs team as Assistant Vice President. Morris brings experience in renewable energy and sustainability, intergovernmental relations, public policymaking and execution, and press and media relations. Prior to joining Benchmark, Morris served six years at as the Chief of Staff to former District 6 Boston City Councilor and Council President Pro Tempore Matt O’Malley. In that role she oversaw and managed a team of legislative staff and neighborhood liaisons for District 6. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morris led a crisis response for the council district with the Boston’s largest population of seniors and created a 100+ member volunteer call system to connect with seniors, identifying their urgent needs, such as food insecurity.


City Councilor Kendra Lara on Being Socialist: ‘My Politics Are My Philosophy In Action’

District 6 Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara was scheduled to give her maiden speech about socialism to the council during its Wednesday meeting. But due to time constraints, she was unable to do so. Lara answered questions from Jamaica Plain News about socialism, how it can help her constituents, and more. Lara was elected as Kendra Hicks, but has since changed her last name to Lara. Q: You have stated you are a socialist.


At-Large City Council Election: Flaherty, Mejia, Louijeune Go 1-2-3; Murphy Takes 4th

The two incumbents in the At-Large Boston City Council election, Michael Flaherty and Julia Mejia, easily took first and second in Tuesday's contest. In 2019, Mejia won her first at-large city council race by a mere one vote! This time it wasn't that close as she finished second with 61,709 votes (17.27%), and Flaherty took first with 62,242 votes (17.42%), according to unofficial results from Boston's Elections Department. DAVID HALBERT








First time candidate Ruthzee Louijeune took third place with 54,601, and will be the first Haitian-American to be on the council. Louijeune grew up in Boston, and attended Boston Public Schools.


Q&A: Kendra Hicks Talks Environmental Justice, Housing, Police, and More

Boston City Council District 6 candidate Kendra Hicks fielded questions from Jamaica Plain News about housing, Boston Public Schools, police, and more. The following interview was conducted electronically. 
Q: You shot out of the gate after announcing your candidacy like very few candidates in recent years. How long have you been preparing to run for District 6? Hicks: I have been a community organizer since I was 15 and, for the past six years, have committed myself to supporting nonprofit organizations in shifting their structures to be more equitable. I had not planned on running for the city council, but the social uprisings in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, including here in D6, made it clear that our residents demanded strong leadership.


Q&A: Mary Tamer Talks Police Budget, Charter Schools, Development, and More

Boston City Council District 6 candidate Mary Tamer fielded questions from Jamaica Plain News about development, whether she supports having an elected school committee, police, and more. The following interview was conducted electronically. 
Q: You chose to run for the Boston City Council District 6 seat after the current councilor announced he would not seek reelection. Why did you decide to run? Tamer: With the number of challenges facing Boston right now, it was the right time for me to serve by bringing my advocacy, public service, and leadership experience to help address those challenges. I’ve spent my professional life advocating for families, children, and those whose voices are often not heard.


Opinion: Yes on 1 for a Better Budget –The Time Is Now

This year, there will be a question on the November ballot that would change how the city budget is created. It would allow the city council to change budget items by a majority vote, and create an Office of Participatory Budgeting to allow people to vote on certain budget items. More of us would get a say in how we spend our city’s money. Currently, city councilors can only vote yes or no on the entire budget; they have no power to shift funds within the budget. Also, there is currently no process for voters in Boston to have direct input on the budget through participatory budgeting processes, a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend a portion of a public budget. This project exists in many other major cities like our neighbors next door in Cambridge, as well as New York, Seattle, Oakland, and Chicago.


Oct. 19: At-Large Candidates Forum Hosted By Lots of Democratic Ward Committees

Seven different ward Democratic Committees are hosting a virtual Boston City Council At-Large candidates forum on October 19. The forum is being sponsored by Democratic Committees for Wards 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 19, and 20. The forum will be moderated by Jacquetta Van Zandt, Vice President of Engagement at the Partnership. All eight candidates have been invited to participate. The candidates running in this race are current At-Large City Councilor Michael Flaherty and Julia Mejia, and Althea Garrison, David Halbert, Ruthzee Louijeune, Carla Monteiro, Erin Murphy and Bridget Nee-Walsh.