Coalition aims to further its impact on electing most progressive Council in Boston

Right to the City VOTE! (RTCV), a coalition formed in 2013 and focused on the political power-building of Boston’s working-class, immigrant, communities of color, today announced its endorsement of nine Boston City Council candidates ahead of the November 2nd, 2021 general election.  

Boston and particularly its communities of color face an ongoing health, economic, and displacement crisis, hitting hardest at our most vulnerable communities. As newly released census data confirms the shrinking of Boston’s Black population, RTCV is endorsing a slate of city council candidates who promise a progressive, people of color majority for Boston City Council decisions.

RTCV started its process eight months ago in December 2020 by engaging members and leaders who are working-class, immigrant, and residents of color from neighborhoods citywide. The internal process spanned four months and resulted in a platform of policy priorities which would most equitably improve quality of life for impacted communities. Questionnaires were sent to all candidates in April, reviewed by RTCV members in May, and Council candidates were selected for interviews in June. 

The endorsement decision followed lengthy deliberations given the opportunity to further challenge the status quo at a turning point in Boston’s history. The coalition’s impact has drawn attention for its role in helping elect the most progressive and representative City Council in Boston’s history in 2019, when 1 in 7 Boston voters were contacted by RTCV.

The coalition achieves this by challenging the political establishment by building upon years of local base-building and multiracial collaboration on a collective policy agenda, engaging and mobilizing an electorate often overlooked by traditional campaign strategies, and turning this into power at the ballot box.

RTCV today announces its City Council endorsements of: 

  • Ruthzee Louijeune, At Large

  • David Halbert, At Large 

  • Julia Mejia, At Large 

  • Carla Monteiro, At Large

  • Ricardo Arroyo, District 5

  • Evandro Carvalho, District 4

  • Kendra Hicks, District 6

  • Tania Fernandes Anderson, District 7

“We are endorsing Ruthzee Louijeune, David Halbert, and Julia Mejia for At Large because we know they will work with us to build our movement to remain, reclaim, and rebuild our communities,” said Roxbury resident and RTCV chair Armani White. “At this moment in Boston’s history, we need citywide councilors who are truly committed to representing all of Bostonians equitably – and Ruthzee, David, and Julia have shown their willingness to work alongside our communities.”

“Joel is an educator and organizer at the intersection of our movements for education justice, housing justice and racial justice,” Mattapan resident, RTCV member, and Mijente Boston member Jonathan Rodrigues said of District 4 candidate Joel Richards. “He knows real change requires bringing our movements to City Hall in order to govern collaboratively with our communities, and we’re proud to endorse him to win together.”

“As a first-generation Black Dominican woman, community organizer and activist, Kendra has committed her work toward prioritizing the voices and needs of our communities,” said RTCV steering committee and Mijente Boston member Vanessa Snow said of District 6 candidate Kendra Hicks. “Through a collaborative approach of facilitating community listening sessions, she has proven her commitment to engaging everyday residents and community members in crafting her policy platform. We are excited to continue this collective community-building approach toward governance once she’s in office.”

“Tania has committed her life to service and uplifting the community – especially those left behind by a lack of government policy, including families in need or struggling Black and Brown businesses in our communities,” Roxbury community organizer Melissa Beltran said of District 7 candidate Tania Fernandes Anderson. “We believe in her dedication to solving problems and building a bridge between community and government.” 

About RTCV: Right to the City VOTE! is a citywide political organization working to build the political power of Boston's rising electorate around a progressive agenda led by working-class communities of color. Its members and resident leaders represent working-class immigrants and communities of color in neighborhoods including Allston-Brighton, Charlestown, Chinatown, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roxbury, and parts of South Boston and the South End.

RTCV’s work challenges the political establishment by building upon years of local base-building and multiracial collaboration on a collective policy agenda, turning this into power at the ballot box. It is the only multiracial, multilingual, and multigenerational 501(c)(4) project and Independent Expenditure PAC in Boston and one of the few in Massachusetts. RTCV activists are a powerful force involved in year-round organizing and civic engagement to transform communities of color into high turnout neighborhoods. Since 2018, RTCV has knocked on more than 28,000 doors of voters—in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Haitian Creole—and in the 2019 citywide election, one in 7 Boston voters were contacted by RTCV.

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Councilor Julia Mejia for City Councilor At Large

Councilor Julia Mejia is running for reelection for one of the four at large city council seats. She has been a long-time activist and parent organizer, and is the first Afro-Latina At Large City Councilor

Julia is committed to and has fought to:

  • Supports and advocates for more truly affordable units in the city, tenants rights and access to resources for renter and homeowners struggling during the pandemic. 

  • Demand equitable language access, so non-English speakers have access to government and resources, and supports driver’s licenses and municipal IDs for all immigrants

Ruthzee Louijeune for City Councilor At Large

Ruthzee Louijeune is running for one of the four at-large city council seats. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, born and raised in the city of Boston and its public schools, Ruthzee has the passion and conviction to meet the urgency of this difficult moment and lead us to a better Boston.

Ruthzee is committed to:

  • Allocate more resources to first-generation and first-time homebuyers programs.

  • Transform the BPDA to create a completely separate planning agency that is driven by a community-driven process to create a Master Plan for the city and determine what our neighborhoods should look like. 

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David Halbert for At Large City Councilor

David Halbert is running for one of the four at-large city council seats. RTCV endorsed him in 2019, so we are proud to endorse him again. He has experience in public service and constituent services as a former staff member for elected officials and County Sheriff’s office.

David is committed to:

  • Work to implement universal free pre-K and kindergarten 

  • Create civilian review boards to provide increased accountability between public safety agencies and city residents

Carla Monteiro for At Large

Carla Monteiro is a community advocate, social worker, a mom and the daughter of Cape Verdean immigrants. She is running to represent all of Boston as a City Councilor At-Large. Carla is committed to fight for:

  • housing stability, prevent displacement and evictions;

  • Investments in mental health services 

  • environmental justice, especially  for the most marginalized communities

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Tania Anderson Fernandes for District 7

Tania Fernandes Anderson is running to represent Roxbury, Fenway, South End and Dorchester. She is a Cape Verdean immigrant, Black woman, mother, parent advocate and Mental health provider. Tania is the Executive Director of Bowdoin Geneva Main Streets. 

Tania will work on

  • Increasing affordable housing, using public land for public good, and creating affordable homeownership opportunities

  • Getting residents better city services: trash pick up, snow removal, sidewalk and road repair 

  • Reallocate police funds to social services, youth jobs and trauma informed care

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Kendra Hicks for District 6

Kendra is a first-generation Black Dominican woman, a mother, a wife, and artist. She is the Director of Radical Philanthropy at Resist. Kendra is running to represent Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, parts of Roslindale, Roxbury and Mission Hill.


Evandro Carvalho

District 4

Former State Representative Evandro Carvalho is a  lawyer. Cape Verdean immigrant, He previously ran for Suffolk County District Attorney. He is running to represent Dorchester, Mattapan, and Jamaica Plain

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Ricardo Arroyo

District 5

Ricardo began his first term as D5’s City Councilor in January 2020. Born in Hyde park and a former Public Defender, he is seeking re-election to represent Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roslindale.