The first of two candidate forums being hosted by JP Progressives for the four at-large Boston City Council seats is being held at Doyle's Cafe on Thursday. It was not immediately clear which of the many at-large city council candidates would be participating in the forum. The forum is being hosted by JP Progressives, MiJente, and Right to the City Vote. The event starts at 6:30 pm in Doyle's back room. This is a free event open to the public.
Longtime Jamaica Plain resident Mary Church recently announced his first foray into running for the at-large Boston City Council race. Church, 50, has lived in Jamaica Plain for 30 years, and lived in Allston, Fenway and Roslindale prior to JP. She grew up in Somerville, New Jersey (a different Somerville). She moved to Boston for college, fell in love with the city, and never left. Church fielded questions from Jamaica Plain News about her candidacy, what she would do if elected and more.
The field for this year's at-large Boston City Council election continues to grow with a wealth of viable candidates. Mattapan's David Halbert is one of those candidates. While Halbert doesn't live in JP, he does have a strong connection to the neighborhood, having been the Jamaica Plain liaison for former District 6 City Councilor John Tobin. Halbert also previously worked for At-Large Boston City Councilor Sam Yoon, as well as Governor Deval Patrick. Currently, Halbert is the deputy director of community affairs at the Middlesex County Sheriff's office.
Stop us if you've heard this before. The Boston City Council voted to change the length of their terms from two to four years. Back in 2016, the council voted 12-1 to change term limits, with only At-Large City Councilor Michelle Wu voting against it. On Wednesday, the council voted 11-2 in favor of changing their own term limits, with Wu once again voting against it, as did District 7 City Councilor Josh Zakim. Councilor Wu regularly provides recap notes on all Boston City Council meetings and provided insight into why her colleagues supported extending terms, as well as why she and Zakim voted against it. "Several councilors had stated at the working session on Monday and on the council floor today that having a longer term would strengthen the council as a counterweight to the mayor’s office, and it would save the city money by eliminating the need to run a citywide election in the non-mayoral odd year," wrote Wu.
Julia Mejia is running for Boston City Council At-Large and feels she would bring a strong focus on schools, as she founded and leads a network that helps parents and students increase equal access to high-quality public education. "I've devoted my life to helping those most impacted by the decisions made by policymakers to step out and speak up," said Mejia via press release. Professionally, Mejia founded and directs the Collaborative Parent Leadership Network (CPLAN), which is comprised of community parents and students from district, charter, parochial and METCO schools. The network works with policymakers and educations to increase equal access to high-quality public education. Formed in 2015, CPLAN has garnered influence by having five members appointed to statewide Department of Education board, while also serving as an advisory to nonprofits and public agencies to include parents in decision making.