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Worrell wants to bring resources to district

Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller is the Banner’s senior editor. VIEW BIO
Worrell wants to bring resources to district
State Rep.-elect Christopher Worrell and City Councilor Julia Mejia (center) pose with Santa Claus during an Upham’s Corner Christmas tree lighting. PHOTO: JOHN WILCOX, MAYOR’S OFFICE

Christopher Worrell was elected Nov. 8 to represent the 5th Suffolk District in the Massachusetts Legislature. The child of Jamaican and Bajan parents, Worrell was born and raised in Dorchester and graduated from Bunker Hill Community College. His brother, Brian Worrell, was elected in 2021 to represent Dorchester-based District 4 on the City Council.

Last week, Worrell sat down for a Zoom interview with the Banner. The following conversation has been edited for clarity.

How did you get into politics?

I always was a community person who wanted to see the best for my community. Senator Nick Collins decided to bring me on as a director of constituent services. From there, I moved throughout the government. Then this seat opened up and I decided to run. I felt like I could be effective on producing real outcomes in the city.

What concerns did you hear from constituents while you were on the campaign trail?

A bunch of constituents did not like the fact that they couldn’t feel in touch [with the government]. They always felt like, ‘You guys are just knocking on the doors to get the vote. As soon as you get the vote, I’m not going to see you again.’ One thing that my brother and I are planning to do is have a district office. You could come by anytime and continue to talk with me. Not that many people go to City Hall, not that many people know what’s going on. They definitely don’t come to the State House. So [there’s] that lack of trust of political power.

Another issue is violence in the community. People want real results. Also, people in the 5th Suffolk know that they’re getting the brunt end of the stick. They see how they’re living, and something’s not adding up to them. So that’s why I felt like I was the best choice. While I was working with Senator Collins, he allocated over $75,000 to the district, and I want to bring more for them as their state representative. I know how the inner workings work and I want to bring more money.

What can state government do to help with violence in the community?

I think there’s a short-term goal and a long-term goal. Allocating resources for our youth, at-risk teens or youth. I think right now, it’s getting younger — it’s not like when I was growing up, when it was people who were in their mid-20s that were causing all the crime. Now you have kids bringing guns to school. On the campaign trail, I talked about ‘cradle-to-career,’ setting things up from the day a child is born. Following, tracking the child, making sure that they have the proper resources that they need to succeed in Boston. So, as early as sixth grade, sitting down with their guardians and saying, ‘This is what your child needs, and this is how the state is going to support you.’ My grandmother always taught us that an idle mind is the devil’s playground. So, after-school programs, before-school programs, making sure kids are well supported. I just got off a call with a biotech company that’s looking for kids to fill these needs, these gaps in the biotech industry. So I’m looking into getting kids into organizations that could feed the biotech industry.

The 5th Suffolk District now contains sections of Roxbury as well as Dorchester. What are some things you’ve learned about the newly drawn district?

There’s a lot of history, especially around the Roxbury area moving across Quincy Street. There’s a lot of home ownership, there’s a lot of generational wealth that’s passed down in the Humboldt area. I met a 102-year-old woman that sold her house for $10 to her son but still lives in the house. When I asked her to put up a lawn sign, she said, ‘You’ve got to ask my son. He owns it now.’ People have been here since the ’60s, the ’50s. As we move closer to the Four Corners area and Bowdoin Geneva, you see those up-and-coming families, you know, families like mine who just happened to buy three years ago, who are raising families. There’s lot of home ownership, a lot of people really putting their time in and investing in the neighborhood.

What will be your legislative priorities when you go to the State House?

One thing that I definitely want to be is unquestioningly for this community. I’m going to be unquestioningly Black and brown. Put together a Black economic empowerment agenda alongside my brother, who is working on it at City Hall, making sure that we get the proper resources, from businesses to child services to the whole nine yards.

What do you most look forward to about being a state representative?

I look forward to bringing the resources to the community. One thing that I’ve built during my time at the State House is friendships. I have a great relationship with the leadership in the State House. I’ve been having conversations with them on what my district needs. This is what I’m fighting for. Nothing else, nothing more. I think everything’s going to work out real well. I came from a constituent services background. I’m going to be bringing the resources to the district.

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