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More candidates enter City Council races

Multiple candidates in at-large, Dorchester and JP/W.Rox races

Morgan C. Mullings
Staff reporter covering state and local politics. Report for America Corps Member. VIEW BIO
More candidates enter City Council races
Ruthzee Louijeune COURTESY PHOTO

As the official deadline for nomination papers approaches, more candidates continue to enter races for City Council seats. The open seats are District 6, District 4, District 5, two at-large seats and District 7, should acting Mayor Kim Janey make an official run for mayor.


At-large seats

Joining a crowded race for the four at-large council seats is Ruthzee Louijeune, a 34-year-old Hyde Park lawyer. Though she is originally from Mattapan, Louijeune now has her own firm in Hyde Park, where she does consulting work and represents residents in housing court.

“I approach issues, both as a lawyer [and] as someone who knows very much the needs of everyday people,” Louijeune told the Banner. She plans to use her skills as an advocate and negotiator to her advantage, but also said, “You don’t have to be a lawyer to be a member of City Council. To be a community leader does not require a degree.”

Louijeune says her campaign raised $50,000 within the first 24 hours of announcing.

“I think that is indicative of the momentum and excitement that folks have for someone with my roots so deeply tied,” she said.

She said she’s passionate about making affordable homeownership more accessible, meeting varying education needs and making sure people have a say in the city’s budget.

Jonathan Spillane also joined the at-large race. Currently residing on Beacon Hill, Spillane is a former employee in Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development. A recent graduate of Suffolk University Law School, Spillane’s most recent job was on Councilor Kenzie Bok’s staff.

“Serving the City for the last four years, I saw the challenges our city was facing, and how COVID has exacerbated them. Coming back from COVID in the next few years is an enormous opportunity to solve those challenges,” he told the Banner.

The council staffer touts his work on the city’s budget, and the development of over 1,000 units of affordable housing during his time at the DND as experience that will have an impact as a city councilor.

Others who have announced for at-large seats include nonprofit leader and Hyde Park resident Kelly Bates, Boston school teacher and Dorchester resident Erin Murphy, former legislative aide and Mattapan resident David Halbert and Hyde Park small business owner Domingos DaRosa.


District 4 seat (Dorchester/Mattapan)

Deeqo Jibril, a former District 7 candidate, is confirmed to enter the race again. In 2015, she became the first Somali person to run for City Council and lost in that race to Janey.

Jibril is also known for starting the African Mall in Roxbury. The working mother of four is passionate about immigrant rights and founded the Somali Community and Cultural Association. In a statement to the Banner, Jibril said she knows the community and understands the obstacles they face.

“I have made a difference in our community by strengthening and collaborating with others to achieve results. At City Hall, I will be a coalition builder who bridges divides for a better future for all D4 residents,” she said.

Her website hails her as an active community organizer. In her announcement video shared on social media, she said, “I will be a champion for increasing access to affordable housing and homeownership, creating new quality jobs in District 4, higher quality and inclusive public education, and providing the district youth with greater opportunities.”

She continued, “The face of Boston is changing. And I will represent that change.”

Among other contenders for the District 4 seat are Leonard Lee, a Boston Parks and Recreation Commissioner; Joel Richards and Trevour Smith, both Boston Public Schools teachers; Nikkia Jean-Charles, a high school student and activist; BPS program manager Josette Williams; pastor Jacob Urena; and real estate broker Brian Worrell.


District 6 (Jamaica Plain/W. Roxbury)

Jamaica Plain resident Kelly Ransom has opened an account with the Office of Campaign and Public Finance and plans to run for the District 6 City Council seat being vacated by Matt O’Malley. Ransom is a former aide to at-large Councilor Annissa Essaibi George and currently works for Madison Park Development Corporation.

Others currently in the District 6 race include Jamaica Plain resident Kendra Hicks, an official with a local foundation, and West Roxbury resident Mary Tamer, who works for an education reform nonprofit.

City Council nomination papers will be available from the Boston Election Department on April 13.