Young Democrats work to protect, add to progressive voices on Boston City Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2011
Contact: Kevin Gilnack, Communications Director
kgilnack@ydma.org, 617.506.9670

 

Young Democrats work to protect, add to progressive voices on Boston City Council
Endorse Pressley, Murphy, Connolly, Arroyo and Lee

BOSTON – With municipal elections around the corner in more than 50 Massachusetts communities, the Young Democrats of Massachusetts (YDM) and Greater Boston Young Democrats (GBYD are working to create more progressive representation at the most local level of government in Boston and reminding residents to get out to the polls on Tuesday.

“There are a lot of great candidates who have fought for the issues we care about – job creation, healthy communities, constituent engagement that includes young people – and it would be a terrible loss for our communities and the Commonwealth for us to lose their representation. I hope that everyone gets out and votes in their local elections on Tuesday, November 8th,” said YDM Chair Elaine Almquist.

Among the endorsed candidates is freshman Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who has a strong track record of taking on tough issues and facing a tough re-election bid. Pressley founded and chairs the Committee on Women and Health Communities, and has been a champion on issues of equality and job creation for all of Boston’s residents.

Pressley is widely considered the most vulnerable at-large councilor with former City Councilor Michael Flaherty vying to defeat an incumbent and a take seat on the Council. Flaherty left the Council to run unsuccessfully against Mayor Tom Menino.  

YDM is also backing incumbent Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo, who has also been a strong proponent of strengthening Boston’s schools and engaging young people in the political process and is facing the same challenge to his seat that is putting Presley’s re-election at risk. 

“Ayanna and Felix represent the new face of Boston politics. We’ve seen both reaching out into the community, talking with previously marginalized constituent groups, and making changes that help move the city in a better direction,” Almquist said.

Hoping to protect a strong current slate of at-large Boston councilors, YDM is also backing John Connelly and Stephen Murphy

As part of their effort to support their endorsed candidates, members of YDM have volunteered in the field, hosted and attended fundraisers, and registered their chapter members and members of the Occupy Boston movement to vote. YDM plans to turn out their members to the polls and help their endorsed candidates do the same.

“Students and young professionals play a critical role in our communities and our economy, and it has been great to see so many members getting involved through campaigns and other civic engagement. I think the track records of our endorsed candidates speak for themselves and have a lot of people excited to get out and do more between now and 8 p.m. on Nov. 8,” Almquist said.

Municipal elections are being held at Tuesday, Nov. 8 in Boston and 52 other Massachusetts communities. Polls will be open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. 

The Young Democrats of Massachusetts is a partisan political organization with over 3,000 members mobilized to create positive change across the Commonwealth.  Our members are the leaders of today: Democrats under the age of 36 committed to getting Democrats elected and promoting progressive legislation.  We are the future: now.

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[Please see below for additional background on YDM’s pre-preliminary endorsement of Suzanne Lee]

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2011
Contact: Kevin Gilnack, Communications Director
kgilnack@ydma.org, 617.506.9670

 

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 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.

The Young Democrats of Massachusetts is a partisan political organization with over 3,000 members mobilized to create positive change across the Commonwealth.  Our members are the leaders of today: Democrats under the age of 36 committed to getting Democrats elected and promoting progressive legislation.  We are the future: now.

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