Boston’s at-Large city council race is one of the most competitive in years, with eight candidates featuring diverse backgrounds vying for four open seats. With the city’s election looming tomorrow, here’s a look at each candidate:
Pressley boasts experience working for Congressman Joseph Kennedy as a constituent services representative and later for Sen. John Kerry as his political director. Born in Chicago and raised only by her mother, Pressley says the challenges she experienced growing up can help her connect with residents faced with hardship and in need.
Stephen Murphy (incumbent)
Murphy joined the city council in 1997 and has earned a great deal of experience on a host of matters, including the city budget. He’s also called for tougher regulations on safety issues such as grease cleaning following a fatal West Roxbury restaurant fire, and he’s now part of a task force aimed at getting tax-exempt institutions to make larger payments to Boston.
John Connolly (incumbent)
A former teacher, Connolly in his first term sought to close the achievement gap in Boston Public Schools and to partner with parents to reduce student truancy. He’s also pushed for green initiatives and awareness on the health risks of bisphenol A.
Felix G. Arroyo
The son of a former Boston city councilor, Arroyo has gained experience working for Councilor Chuck Turner and has been a community organizer for years, including as field director for Northeast Action coordinating a campaign for universal health care. He has also served as political director for SEIU Local 615, which represents janitors, security guards and other property service workers.
A native of Grove Hall in Dorchester, Jackson is a strong community activist who is a proponent of affordable housing and social justice. Jackson has worked as director for the information technology industry in the state Office of Business Development, and he claims to have helped create 2,000 jobs in Massachusetts.
A former Nantucket selectman, Bennett has come to the race with a quest to knock on tens of thousands of doors in Boston. For the last couple of years, he has worked as a case specialist in the Suffolk County Criminal Court system, and he also ran for state Senate as a candidate in 2006.
Gonzalez has strong experience in urban affairs, as a community organizer creating positive programming for youths and later as a citywide Latino liaison for the mayor’s office. The Boston native later became chief of staff of the city’s elderly commission and director of community outreach for Boston University’s Medical Campus.
Kenneally says discovering he had a benign brain tumor last year helped him refocus his attention to public service. Kenneally has a decade of experience in that realm, working as an aide in Congress as well as locally for two city councilors. He also spent time aboard studying conflict resolution in Belfast, Ireland.