Boston City Council

Meet your 2023 Boston City Council candidates

Voters head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 7

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Bostonians will soon be called to take to the stands and cast their votes in the 2023 city councilor elections— meaning it's time to take a seat and get to know your district's candidates. On Sept. 12, districts 3, 5, 6 and 7 held preliminary elections. On Nov. 7, the polls will open for the General Election.

Of the nine districts and one councilor-at-large elections, three candidates run unopposed.



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Dates and deadlines to keep in mind

Sept. 2: Deadline to register to vote in preliminary election

Sept. 2 - 8: Early voting. Find locations here.

Oct. 28: The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 5 p.m.

Oct. 31: The deadline to request your vote-by-mail ballot for the general election is 5 p.m.

Nov. 7: General election day. Polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to cast their votes for district and at-large city councilors.

To learn more about how to vote and which district you belong to, visit the City of Boston's locating tool here.


There are four at-large seats on the Boston City Council.

Among the pack are established incumbents and some new faces.

Ruthzee Louijeune (incumbent)


About: Ruthzee Louijeune is a lawyer and activist born and raised in Boston. She has served as councilor-at-large since January of 2022.

Key issues: Housing, homeownership, education access, and civic participation

Julia Mejia (incumbent)


About: After immigrating from the Dominican Republic, Julia Mejia moved to and was raised in Dorchester. She has served as councilor-at-large since January of 2020. During her time in office, she created a COVID response initiative and continues to promote community civic engagement.

Key Issues: Accessibility, accountability, transparency and civic engagement

Erin Murphy (incumbent)


About: Born and raised in Dorchester, Erin Murphy is passionate about giving voices to neighborhoods such as her own. A councilor-at-large since December of 2021, she has worked to "bring Boston back" by giving a voice to local unions.

Key issues: Workers and businesses, education, recovery support and veteran advocacy

Bridget Nee-Walsh


About: Bridget Nee-Walsh was born and raised in Boston and is proud to be a union member and small business owner. She wishes to "build a better Boston" by addressing the challenged of everyday working families.

Key issues: Schools, housing affordability, mental health, substance abuse, local economy and small businesses and public safety

Shawn Nelson


About: A former U.S. Marine Corps member and CNA, Shawn Nelson was born and raised in Dorchester. He is running for councilor-at-large in the hopes to "address the concerns of everyday Bostonians."

Key issues: Mass and cass, traffic congestion, supporting local small businesses, parents' rights, housing, violence and education

Henry Santana


About: Henry Santana was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to Mission Hill as a child, where he grew up and attended Boston Public Schools. If elected, he plans to use his experience in civic organizing to create a more accessible local government.

Key issues: Housing, public safety, environment and civic engagement

Catherine Vitale

About: A mother whose family has been impacted by homelessness and addiction, Catherine Vitale hopes to represent her lived experiences as councilor-at-large. She wishes to restore Boston to a "family-oriented city" by sharing her wisdom as a Boston mother. Of note: Vitale was arrested in April 2022 while protesting during a City Hall press conference about Boston Marathon preparations. She was charged with assault and battery on a police officer and disrupting the peace, but the charges were ultimately dropped.

Key issues: Mass and Cass, overdevelopment, parental rights, violence, housing, small business

Clifton Braithwaite  


About: Clifton Brathwaite has spent the majority of his career working with local Boston businesses, government officials and communities.

Key issues: Public safety, senior services, childcare and education, health and wealth, home ownership and affordable housing

District 1

Gabriela Coletta (incumbent, unopposed)


About: Serving as District 1 city councilor since May of 2022, Gabriela Coletta works to conquer the everyday challenges within Charlestown, East Boston, and North End communities. She grew up in East Boston and has dedicated her career to public service.

Key issues: Housing, environmental justice and climate change, education, excellent constituent services and migrant justice and solidarity

District 2

Ed Flynn (incumbent, unopposed)


About: Serving as District 1 city councilor since January 2018, Ed Flynn is a lifelong resident of Boston who is passionate about making Boston a great place to live. He is a veteran and father to two children living in South Boston.

Key issues: Education, public transit, affordable housing, reliable community services and united neighborhoods

District 3

Three weeks remain before Boston's election, with several city council seats up for grabs.

Incumbent Frank Baker is not running for reelection, meaning a new face will represent District 3.

Joel Richards


About: A first-generation Jamaican-American and Dorchester resident, Joel Richards hopes to use his "personal and professional experience needed to get results for all our neighbors in Dorchester and the South End." He currently works as a public school teacher and pastor, and is a father to two boys.

Key issues: Education, affordable housing, safe transportation, climate change and strong local economy

John Fitzgerald


About: A local husband and father, John Fitzgerald has dedicated his career to public service and wishes to continue to do so as a District 3 city councilman. He was born and raised in Boston and lives in Dorchester with his family.

Key issues: Housing, education, public safety and basic city services

District 4

Brian Worrell (incumbent, unopposed)


About: Serving as District 4 city councilor since January of 2022, Brian Worrell has spent his time in office fighting for more accessible housing and increased job opportunities.

Key issues: Housing, education, jobs, climate justice, accessibility and public safety

District 5

Change is coming to District 5, with two new faces on the ballot after incumbent Ricardo Arroyo was ousted in preliminary elections.

Enrique Pepén


About: Born and raised in Boston by immigrant parents, Enrique Pepén wishes to foster the same sense of community he felt growing up. He has dedicated his career to public service and wishes to bring more resources to District 5's residents. He has been endorsed by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. Of note: Pepén apologized after questions surfaced about potential campaign law violations, including $11,000 in campaign contributions in June, which is a violation of state law concerning paid municipal employees' political activity, the Boston Globe reported.

Key Issues: Affordable housing, public education, jobs and the economy, public safety, environmental justice and sustainability and transportation.

Jose Ruiz


About: Jose Ruiz was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Boston where he attended public schools and eventually became a law enforcement officer. He enjoys giving back to his community and wishes to do so as city councilor.

Key Issues: Housing, public safety, education and basic city services

District 6

The two candidates say they have had concerns about the controversy on the current council and they want to focus on the issues.

William King


About: Born and raised in Boston, William King has been active in his community since his youth. He formerly worked for the Boston Public School system and wishes to serve as councilor to promote constituent services.

Key Issues: Housing, education, transportation, public safety and climate justice

Ben Weber


About: Ben Weber has spent over 20 years in a legal career fighting for workers' rights. As a longtime resident of Jamaica Plain, he now wishes to extend this experience to District 6 as city councilman.

Key Issues: Constituent services, education, housing affordability, effective City Council, cultural enrichment, transportation, public safety, athletics and recreation, supporting immigrants and refugees, labor and wages, racial equity, access to legal services, food security, Boston as a soccer hub and climate change

District 7

Political strategist Jacquetta Van Zandt says both candidates - Tania Fernandes Anderson and Althea Garrison - have been hard to track down as a resident.

Tania Fernandes Anderson (incumbent)


About: Tania Fernandes Anderson was born in Cape Verde and immigrated to Roxbury where she grew up in a low-income household. With her own experiences and those learned from working in homeless shelters and social work, she hopes to be an advocate for those who need it most. Of note: Fernandes Anderson recently admitted to violating the conflict of interest law and agreed to pay a $5,000 penalty after hiring her sister and son to her Boston City Council Staff.

Key Issues: Covid-19 recovery, mental health, substance misuse services, racial health equity and inclusion

Althea Garrison


About: A former at-large city councilor, Althea Garrison is a resident of Dorchester. During her time in office, she served as an "independent voice for change."

Key Issues: Affordable housing, senior care, homeless veterans, workforce development and public transportation

District 8

Sharon Durkan


About: Sharon Durkan won the District 8 seat in a special election after the sitting councilor, Kenzie Bok, took the lead role at the Boston Housing Authority. Durkan has said she will run for the seat again come fall. According to her campaign site, she "believes that solving challenges requires listening to each other and working together."

Key issues: Access to housing, safe, quality transit, mental health care for all, and climate-resilient neighborhoods.

Montez Haywood


About: Montez Haywood lost to Durkan in the special election, but has said he will run again in the fall. Endorsed by the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, he is a prosecutor whose career has focused on violence in the city.

Key issues: Public safety, affordable housing, strong public school systems,  police recruitment, public health, including mental health and addiction services, and climate resiliency

District 9

Liz Breadon (incumbent)


About: Liz Breadon is the first openly LGBTQ+ woman to be elected to the city council. She is an immigrant from Northern Ireland and currently resides in Allston-Brighton where she is an engaged community activist.

Key Issues: Housing, transportation, environment, education and Allston artist community

Jacob deBlecourt


About: A longtime Allston-Brighton renter, Jacob deBlecourt is passionate about affordable housing in the area. Having worked within City Council, they hope to take the next step and represent the district as a city councilman.

Key Issues: Housing, education, civil rights and public safety, arts and culture, civic engagement and rat platform

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