Kendra Hicks will be the next District 6 Boston City Councilor after winning Tuesday's historic election. Unofficial results from Boston's Elections Department were not fully available on Tuesday night. But election results gathered by Hicks' campaign showed the Jamaica Plain resident had defeated West Roxbury's Mary Tamer after a very intense election. Outside of her election night party at Distraction Brewing in Roslindale Village, Hicks said she had won by around 2,200 margin, which she expected to be pushed up to 2,500 after all votes were tallied. Hicks spoke with Jamaica Plain News about how she was feeling after learning she won, and what she thought right after hearing she had won.
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.
A few days ago, a mailer arrived in the mailboxes of some voters in District 6. A composite photo of the D6 city council candidates showed Mary Tamer on one side, in color and light, and Kendra Hicks on the other side, in darkened black and white. This kind of image manipulation is a known racist tactic used to make Black candidates appear menacing, and it is entirely unacceptable. It is difficult to believe that the Tamer campaign was unaware of this trope in the year 2021. On Monday morning, after several days of outrage and pushback from the D6 community, the Tamer campaign released a statement noting that the mailer “did not set the right tone.” We call this a statement and not an apology because nowhere in it was an expression of regret, an acknowledgement of the harm caused, or the word “sorry.”
The mailer also commented on Kendra Hicks’ voting record.
Boston City Council District 6 candidate Kendra Hicks responded to a campaign mailer sent by her D6 opponent Mary Tamer this weekend that many community members are calling a racist dogwhistle. Following feedback from the community, Tamer also issued a statement. “In 2021, there is no place for such blatantly racist messaging in a campaign hoping to represent as diverse a community as District 6. I entered this race to meet the urgent need of residents across the city, focused on solutions and with a belief that together we can create better policy with more voices at the table. Darkening or editing a photo of a Black person to look more menacing is a racist tactic that has long been used by candidates in political campaigns, most notably by Republicans.
Jamaica Plain based nonprofit Ethos is solely devoted to keeping elders at home, and has always created opportunities to bring issues that are relevant to older adults to the forefront of debate among candidates for office and elected officials. With that in mind, Ethos will be hosting two forums, one for Boston City Council's District 6 race and a mayoral forum. Ethos will be hosting its Boston City Council District 6 candidates forum virtually with Kendra Hicks and Mary Tamer on Oct. 13 from 11 am to 12:30 pm. Ethos will be hosting its mayoral candidates forum virtually with At-Large City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George on Friday, October 15, from 11:30 am to 1 pm.