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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Boston City Councilor at Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Boston City Council has thirteen members: nine district representatives and four at-large members, with no term limits. This year, there will be no preliminary election for the City Councilor-At-Large contest because there must be at least nine candidates running for the four seats. There are only eight candidates for City Councilor-At-Large this year: four incumbents and four challengers.Election of City Councilors-At-Large will take place on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
  • Domingos DaRosa

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    Michael F Flaherty Boston City Councilor At-Large

  • Althea Garrison

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    Annissa Essaibi George Boston City Councilor; Small Business Owner (The Stitch House)

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    William A King Candidate for Boston City Councilor At-Large

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    Pat Payaso carpenter/physicist

  • Ayanna S Pressley Boston City Councilor

  • Michelle Wu

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Biographical Information

Boston has a so-called “strong Mayor-weak Council” form of government. What do you consider the most important functions of the City Council?

Boston is a walking city. Yet, despite its long-term goal of Vision Zero (no pedestrian fatalities), so far this year pedestrian deaths have increased. What immediate safety improvements do you propose and support?

As a candidate for City Council, how would you encourage the Mayor and School Committee to invest in universal programs to support early childhood health and development?

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Campaign Phone (617) 765-7110
Email Address
The Boston City Council plays an important role in ensuring a measure of executive accountability in city government. The Council can be as effective as the skills, experience and determination of its members, acting as an effective mobilizer when working cooperatively with the mayor, and serving as a brake at times when there is genuine policy disagreement. Further, the City Council - through the appropriate Committee has the authority to hold hearings bringing public awareness on topics that are of concerns, along with when the occasion arises to review legislation. The thirteen members of the Council add to a diversity of opinions and interests in the formulation and implementation of city policy, despite the limited official powers of the Council under the city’s charter.
The Transportation Department must thoroughly re-examine all aspects of Boston’s traffic and parking situation by conducting a master plan and circulation study. In order to ensure the continued workability and livability of Boston, we must work to strengthen pedestrian connections, improve way-finding, improve roadways and intersections within specific focus areas, and enhance access and egress for residents, employees and visitors alike. The city must re-examine traffic signal timing and sequencing, inefficient one-way street patterns, pedestrian-operated traffic lights at high-volume intersections, excessive use of “no turn on red” prohibitions, and other poorly planned factors that degrade service, increase driver frustration, contribute to gridlock, and diminish safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike. We also should make use of pedestrian and bike safety tools such as: PBCAT, PEDSAFE and BIKESAFE.
In the context of providing not only quality health and development, but also quality and efficient education to close the achievement gap, Boston is not such a large city that youth at risk cannot be better identified for comprehensive early intervention and development programs by parents, teachers and other school officials, along with public health officials at the very first signs of risk. Further, being able to address health concerns and necessary resolutions can be done in our schools, where students spend a significant amount of their day. Smaller class sizes, an appropriate ratio of support services for students, the availability of staff psychologists, and where needed (such as in ELL and Special Ed classrooms), more than one teacher per classroom when necessary, and partnerships with community health centers.
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Facebook @annissaforboston
Campaign Phone (617) 474-0797
Email Address
Statutorily, the City Council's most important function is to oversee the passage of the City's budget every year. In my first term on the Council, I'm proud of the tangible results we were able to achieve by working collaboratively to make Boston a safer and healthier place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.

In addition to advocating for programs and services that benefit our schools, our seniors, and Boston's most vulnerable residents through this process, we were also able to help thousands of Bostonians through our constituent services operation at City Hall.
As we expand walking and biking infrastructure, it is very important that it is done in an equitable manner. I will support continued funding of Boston Bikes and increase funding for Vision Zero. We need to focus on design and be thoughtful, but not stagnant with action.

One infrastructure upgrade I am passionate about is creating raised crosswalks in and around school zones. This term, I supported speed limit reductions through residential neighborhoods, and I support the creation of more cycle tracks.

Many of Boston's neighborhoods have bike lanes, but few are protected. Bike lanes need to be protected so they're safe and accessible for everyone. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the City Council to create a network of interconnected, meaningful bike infrastructure across Boston.
Prior to being elected to the City Council, I was a teacher at East Boston High School for thirteen years. My husband and I are raising our four boys in Dorchester, and I currently serve as Vice Chair of the City Council's Education Committee.

Every day, I work on behalf of families and children to ensure that they have access to the highest quality education and health resources. There are so many community-based organizations, non-profits, and educational institutions that contribute to these services, and we must continue our work to close the achievement gap and opportunity divide -- especially focusing on the early childhood age group.
Facebook William King for Boston
Campaign Phone (617) 372-3758
Email Address
The Boston City Council is more then just a meetinghouse of Politicians. It is an institution that brings up the questions, grievances and supports that the residents of Boston ask and demand for. This to me is the most important function of the City Council, to be that voice of the people, the people of Boston.
Some immediate safety improvements would be increasing, developing and also improving pedestrian walk ways, protected bicycle lanes and implementing raised crosswalks. Also start and continue to incentivize residents of Boston to use more bicycles and public transportation and in so doing, free up the dangers of cars all over the city. Lastly use the technology that pedestrians have on hand to help them in make safe choices. An app to help in locating walk ways and if an area has high pedestrian fatalities. We also must not end the goal of Vision Zero but continue to expand on it. It has many great ideas to keep residents safe.
I would encourage both the Mayor and the School Committee to reallocate certain funds from the school budget to this very important program. This investment would have long-term benefits for our students. Living in an Urban setting, childhood health and development must be addressed as early as possible to prevent issues in health and development and quickly help children who are in need.
Campaign Phone (617) 267-2453
Email Address
The statutory role of the City Council is to review the budget. Currently the council does not do that adequately and actually has voted to giveaway $150 million dollars of taxpayer money at Winthrop Square. I have been running my own business for 28 years which I have built from nothing into a multimillion dollar business in part by not wasting money.

There should be one city councilor watching our money who has a degree in math or accounting and who has demonstrated competence in finance.

I have proposed a number of cost saving ideas while the incumbents have not submitted a single one in our forums and debates.

If you want to continue to see our money unexamined by a bunch of rubber stamps for the Mayor then vote for the incumbents. If you want an independent voice on the council you have a choice.
I am a frequent biker here in the City, even after having my Gary Fisher bike stolen on Washington Street last night when a thief cut my lock. Yesterday I rode to City Hall from Roxbury to investigate tax fraud. As part of my platform I have promised to ride my bike or ride the T at least one day a week, the only candidate to do so.

I support proposals such as those from the Boston Cyclist Union for dedicated bike lanes. In particular I think we need to look for protected bike lanes as much as possible.

This all comes back to money and as long as the city continues to not professionally audit how the money is spent, we will not be able to properly commit the maximum amount of money to these worthy efforts.
Universal Health Care is my number one issue. I believe we need Universal Health Care in the United States. We are wasting roughly 6 cents of every dollar every American makes on health care. That is money not spent on schools, on parks, on infrastructure.

I have promised in all my elections to visit every school in the City in my 2 year term to advocate for the schools and to learn from the parents, teachers and students about what they need. No other candidate is willing to promise to put in the work needed to ensure we have an equitable school system for all our residents.
Campaign Phone (857) 220-7026
Email Address
It is important to remember that the Boston City Council is the legislative body of our city government, and I believe that it is important that we exercise that in as many ways as possible. We consistently hold hearings, introduce legislation, and write resolutions, and serve as an important check and balance on City government.
I support dedicated walking and biking lanes along some of our busiest corridors, as well as increased funding for pedestrian improvements like electronic crosswalks. I was proud to author the first in the nation side guard ordinance designed to protect cyclists on the streets of Boston, and I will continue to advocate for both short and long-term safety improvements to attain the goal of Vision Zero.
I believe that the success of students in BPS is defined by more than test scores and academic outcomes. We know that healthy students are better learners, and, if re-elected, I will continue to advocate for equitable access to school nurses, guidance counselors, and mental health clinicians across all of Boston's public schools. Additionally, I will continue to fight for the rights of our city's early education childcare providers to be treated as the professsionals they are, which includes access to high-quality training, living wages, and additional support from the City of Boston.
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