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Vote Arroyo in District 5

Ricardo Arroyo for District 5 councilor

Bay State Banner
Vote Arroyo in District 5
City council candidate Ricardo Arroyo greets Mattapan residents. BANNER PHOTO

Much has changed in the three decades since Ricardo Arroyo was born in Hyde Park. The city’s largest neighborhood has changed from its status as a largely Italian-American political power base that elected Thomas Menino to the City Council and helped him solidify his hold on the mayor’s office. Hyde park is now a majority black and Latino neighborhood where in 2015, then councilor Ayanna Pressley garnered 900 more votes than longtime resident Stephen Murphy, who then went on to lose his at-large seat after 16 years on the council.

Despite a majority population of black and Latino voters, no candidates of color have succeeded in elections to Hyde Park’s district council seat, which includes portions of Mattapan and Roslindale. The under-resourced African American and Haitian American candidates who have run for the District 5 seat have been out-gunned by politically-connected political activists who have maintained control over the seat.

When Arroyo, a former public defender with the Committee for Public Council Services, declared his candidacy for the District 5 seat, incumbent Timothy McCarthy, with more than $78,000 in his campaign account, announced he would run for reelection. But after Arroyo raised more than $36,000 in a one-month period, McCarthy withdrew from the race and, over the next few months, seven others joined the race for the now-open seat. Arroyo leads the pack in fundraising with more than $83,000 raised so far.

Of those running, Arroyo is the best-qualified for the seat. His years as a public defense attorney have given him keen insights into the shortcomings of the criminal justice system. He serves on the board of the National Lawyers Guild Massachusetts chapter and is a member of the Boston Bar Association, the NAACP and the immigrant rights group Mijente. His activism has earned him endorsements from black and Latino elected officials including Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, state Rep. Russell Holmes and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz.

Arroyo’s election to the council could do more than just give the black and Latino residents of Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roslindale representation that is sensitive to their needs. Boston currently has six city councilors who identify as people of color. If Arroyo is successful in his bid for the District 5 seat, blacks, Latinos and Asians could for the first time have a majority of seven seats on the council, reflecting the majority people of color population of Boston.

District 5 residents should vote for Arroyo in the Sept. 24 preliminary election and the Nov. 5 general election.

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