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.
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.
Kendra Hicks finished first in Tuesday's preliminary Boston City Council District 6 race, setting up a November municipal election against Mary Tamer. Update as of 10:22 am (September 15):
The city tabulated all vote totals after working through the night. In the District 6 race Kendra Hicks received 49.97% of votes (9,236), with Mary Tamer getting 43.19% of votes (7,984), and Winnie Eke received 6.43% of votes (1,188). Hicks bested Tamer by 1,252 votes. There were also 76 write-in votes.