Young Democrats endorse Lee in Boston City Council race

Organization pledges ground and financial support in election campaign

BOSTON – The Young Democrats of Massachusetts (YDM) and Greater Boston Young Democrats (GBYD) are proud to announce their endorsement of educator and former principal Suzanne Lee for the Boston City Council District 2 seat.

Lee, who led the turnaround of the Baldwin School from a low-achieving school into a nationwide model earned the young democrats’ endorsement through her commitment to education and engaging young people in the political process.

"Suzanne Lee has dedicated her adult life to ensuring that generations of Bostonians have access to quality education. The Greater Boston Young Democrats and the Young Democrats of Massachusetts are happy to endorse a candidate with the passion and experience that Suzanne Lee brings," said YDM Chair Elaine Almquist.

During the endorsement process, Lee highlighted the value of engaging and empowering young people in the political process and leveraging technology to foster dialog and create change.

“Boston has an extremely large population of young new residents that truly do want to get involved in the process.  I believe as City Councilor, I can work on engaging these new and young residents through organizing, hosting events, and embracing new technology.  Some of the outreach and organizing I would concentrate on is speaking to college and high school groups and getting young people to understand the importance of civic engagement,” Lee said.

“GBYD is very excited to back a candidate who has already done so much for our city’s future and can bring important and needed leadership to our city’s schools. I know her commitment to creating a greater voice for youth will play a critical role for Boston moving forward, and am looking forward to getting out to help her win this election,” said GBYD Director of Outreach & Membership Kevin Gilnack.

Suzanne Lee has been active in the community for decades, bringing people together and helping new residents, immigrants, young people, seniors, and working families have a voice in local government. She organized the Chinese Parents Association to help parents take a more active role in their children’s education, fought to help local, unemployed garment workers get back to work, and collaborated with the Boston Foundation to address persistent poverty in local neighborhoods.

After her arrival to the United States, Suzanne lived with her parents in Grove Hall and attended Boston Public Schools. She earned a scholarship to Brandeis University, becoming the first in her family to attend college. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University.

Suzanne began teaching in the 1970s, at the start of court-ordered busing in Boston. Every day, she rode with young Latino, Asian, and African-American students from the South End to Charlestown, where they needed police protection to get from the buses to the school buildings safely.

After years of teaching, Suzanne became principal of the Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown. During her tenure, Lee established the “City Connect Program,” which brought together dozens of community and cultural institutions to create a concrete plan to improve and enrich her students’ educational experiences. Two hundred volunteers visited the Quincy School each week, helping teachers in the classroom and managing after-school programs. As a result of the program, students’ test scores soared, and the school was named one of the top schools in Massachusetts in 2005.

Suzanne and her husband live in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood.  Their son, Kenji, lives in California.

The preliminary election for this race will take place on Tuesday, September 27 and polls will be open 7 a.m – 8 p.m. According to the Young Democrats, incumbent Bill Linehan did not respond to an invitation to submit an endorsement questionnaire.

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Questions? Please contact Kevin Gilnack, Communications Director at kgilnack@ydma.org or 617.506.9670.