More Than 60 Intend to Run for Boston City Council - NBC10 Boston

More Than 60 Intend to Run for Boston City Council

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    More Than 60 Intend to Run for Boston City Council

    Tuesday was the final day to turn in signatures to qualify for the Boston City Council election.

    (Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019)

    Sixty plus candidates may be a record for a Boston City Council race which typically attracts about a dozen candidates.

    Three of the current 13 Councilors are unopposed, but the other 10 seats are up for grabs, and a majority of the candidates are women or minorities.

    "There's a lot of activism going on right now," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. "I think we're going to see more and more people active in the political process — because of their concerns about what's happening in the country."

    Walsh isn't the only one who thinks the stalemate and divisiveness of Washington are motivating more people to get involved on the local level.

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    "The new breed of city councilor, I think, is looking at policy positions, interesting topics to get behind," said former Boston City Councilor Mike Ross. "It could be climate change."

    Ross says many were also inspired by former Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley's win last September over 20-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano.

    "I think people looked at Ayanna Pressley, and they said, 'Wow, this is a great stepping stone,'" Ross said.

    The city council has gotten a bad rap over the years, sometimes described as lacking power and influence.

    "I don't agree when people say it's a 'weak' council," said Walsh. "I don't know what that means."

    Walsh says between hearings, voting on the budget, and community work, the councilors have a strong impact.

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    Ross also sees a new caliber of candidate.

    "I think many of those people are extremely talented and have ideas, and are not comfortable just sitting back and not doing anything," he said.

    "We have a city that is a majority people of color and majority women. And so folks are now saying, 'Well, why don't certain political bodies look like that?'" said Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell.

    Voting activists hope the historically large number of candidates brings out a historically large number of citizens to the polls on election day.

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