On Tuesday, November 5th, the City of Boston will hold an election. In addition to our district councilor, we will be voting for the At-Large City Council seat. There are 8 candidates currently, including 4 incumbents.
The candidates are listed in the order in which they will appear on the ballot. We focused more on the candidate’s backgrounds and not their policy positions. The information gathered about the candidates, was drawn from their websites, social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) or other news sources. We here at Caught in Southie, want you to know who you are voting for!
Born and raised in South Boston, Flaherty developed a passion for public service watching his father serve as a Massachusetts State Representative. After graduating from BC High, Flaherty worked his way through Boston College and Boston University School of Law as a Local 25 Teamster. Following law school, Flaherty worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County.
In 1999, Flaherty ran for the Boston City Council because he wanted to get more involved in helping his fellow Bostonians. He served from 2000-2008 and was Council President.
In 2009 Flaherty unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of Boston. After his defeat, he focused on the practice of law. In 2013 Flaherty was re-elected to the Boston City Council, where he’s served ever since.
A former clerk in the Massachusetts Comptroller’s office and former State Representative, Garrison joined the Boston City Council after former at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley left her seat to join Congress. Garrison, who had finished in 5th place in the 2017 race for the four at-large seats, took her place automatically.
Garrison, who is originally from Georgia, received a B.S. degree in administration from Suffolk University, an M.S. degree in management from Lesley College, and a certificate in special studies in administration and management from Harvard University.
Essaibi-George is a daughter of immigrants and is a first-generation American. Her father came to the United States from Tunisia in 1972 and her mother was born in a Displaced Persons’ camp in Germany to Polish parents. Essaibi-George was raised in Dorchester which is where she currently resides with her husband, Doug George, and their 4 teenaged sons.
Essaibi-George graduated from Boston Technical High School in 1991. During her studies at Boston University, Essaibi-George participated in the BU/Washington D.C. Intern Program working one semester for U.S. Senator Max Baucus of Montana. Essaibi-George has a B.A. from Boston University in Political Science and a Masters Degree of Education from UMass Boston.
A former BPS high school teacher, Essaibi-George is also the owner of Stitch House in Dorchester, a retail shop that sells yarn and fabrics, and offers classes in knitting, sewing, quilting and crochet. Essaibi-George was first elected to the Boston City Council in 2015.
Halbert has worked for many elected officials including Boston City Councilors John Tobin and Sam Yoon and Governor Deval Patrick. Halbert says his experience growing up the child of a single mother taught him the important role government plays in the lives of everyday people. Halbert earned a Masters of Public Administration from Northeastern University.
Halbert lives with his wife, two children and dog in Mattapan, and previously lived in East Boston for close to 15 years. He is still involved with East Boston organizations, including East Boston Main Streets and the Piers Park Advisory Council.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Mejia arrived in the neighborhood of Dorchester when she was 5 years old. Raised by a single mother who was undocumented for most of her childhood, she began advocating at a young age on behalf of her mother and others who felt ignored and underserved by the very institutions that were supposed to serve them.
Mejia was the first in her family to graduate high school and college and first to purchase her own home in Boston. Mejia created and led a civic engagement group focused on voter registration, is the founder of a nonprofit education network and worked on national social justice campaigns as a producer for MTV. Mejia is a graduate of Dorchester High School and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Ida College. She lives in Dorchester with her daughter and their dog.
Erin Murphy is a 5th generation Bostonian and a first-time candidate for office. She is a veteran BPS teacher and a graduate of Emerge, the state’s premier political organization that recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network for women who want to run for office. She is also a single mother of four children, one of whom has battle drug addiction.
Murphy is the recipient of several awards for her dedication to her community. After raising awareness and more than $60,000 for recovery services to people struggling with addiction, she was honored with the James F. Gavin Award in 2015. She was also recognized by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as an Unsung Heroine in 2016.
Alejandra St. Guillen
Born and raised in Mission Hill and and a graduate of Boston Latin School, St. Guilen began her career as a public school teacher in New York City and Boston. She then served as the Director of ¿Oiste?, Latino Civic & Political Organization where she promoted economic justice and electoral reform public policy initiatives directly impacting communities of color statewide.
Most recently, St. Guilen served as the Director of the City of Boston’s office for Immigrant Advancement. St. Guilen has a B.A. in Economics and African-American Studies from Wesleyan University and a M.Ed from City College. She currently resides in West Roxbury with her wife, Josiane, their son and their 2 dogs.
Through hard work and a great public school education, Wu, a daughter of immigrants, got a scholarship to study at Harvard, where she fell in love with Boston. It wasn’t until law school that Wu got a dose of government and politics. Working for Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino as a Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy, she created the city’s first guide to the restaurant permitting process from start to finish, and was also a driving force to launch Boston’s food truck program. She later served as statewide Constituency Director in the U.S. Senate campaign of her former law professor, Elizabeth Warren.
When she was first elected to the Boston City Council in 2013, at the age of 28, Wu became the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Council. In January 2016, she was elected President of the City Council by her colleagues in a unanimous vote, becoming the first woman of color to serve as Council President.
In 2016, Wu was honored as one of Ten Outstanding Young Leaders by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and as part of Marie Claire magazine’s New Guard: The 50 Most Influential Women in America. In 2017 she received the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s highest honor, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award. She is fluent in Mandarin and Spanish, and lives in Roslindale with her husband and two young children.
See how the candidates answered the Vision Zero questionnaire about walking, biking and transit!
See how the candidates answered the Boston Coalition for Education Equality questionnaire.