JPP’s 2019 At-Large City Council Guide


Our Endorsement Process

JP Progressives’ endorsement process involves a candidate questionnaire and forum, a community conversation to discuss our opinions as a group, and a recommendation from the JPP Steering Committee on which candidates to endorse. For this election, JPP also worked with Right to the City Vote (RTCV), a citywide coalition of progressive groups. JPP members participated in RTCV’s candidate interview process along with Chinese Progressive Political Action, Progressive Massachusetts, Democratic Socialists of America’s Boston Chapter, Mass Alliance, Mijente’s Boston Electoral Circle, and other labor and community activists. In addition to participating in the RTCV vetting process, JPP issued a candidate questionnaire with Progressive Mass, researched candidate campaign donations, and hosted two candidate forums and a community conversation with our members.

JPP’s voting members who have volunteered at least once or attended at least three of our events then voted on our final endorsement decision, with a 60% threshold to endorse a candidate. All four recommended endorsements were ratified by the voting membership of JP Progressives.

Endorsement – Endorse Right to the City Vote’s candidates including Michelle Wu

The Steering Committee believes that aligning JPP’s endorsement with Right to the City Vote (RTCV) will help build a citywide progressive coalition and push Boston to better represent and be accountable to all residents of our city. A joint effort will both create our best chance to elect new progressive candidates and let JPP support communities who have historically not been heard or prioritized because of race and class. In JPP’s community conversation with voting members at Doyle’s, we didn’t all agree on the same candidates, but we agreed to continue working in coalition with allies like RTCV to continue 2018’s successes like electing District Attorney Rachael Rollins. 

RTCV endorsed the four candidates for City Council At-Large:  Michelle Wu , Alejandra St. Guillen, David Halbert, and Julia Mejia. JPP Steering Committee and voting members affirmed these endorsements as well. For more information on the candidates for the four At-Large City Council seats, check out the brief endorsement rationale written by Steering Committee members below and the background documents for our recommendation.

Rationale for Endorsed Candidates

Alejandra St. Guillen: Alejandra will be a great addition to the Boston City Council—and we need her voice on Council now more than ever. Born and raised in Mission Hill, she brings with her the experience of being a public school teacher in both New York City and Boston; serving as the Director of ¿Oiste?, a Latino civic and political organization; and working as the Director of the City of Boston’s office for Immigrant Advancement. She will be able to hit the ground running and work on addressing the issues we care about: economic justice, improving equity in education, and housing. I can’t think of anyone better to join and compliment the current progressive wing of our City Council. And, as a member of the LGBTQ community, I am proud to stand with her.
–Anne M. Rousseau, Co-Chair of JP Progressives

David Halbert: David Halbert combines progressive ideas and background with the skill and expertise to bring them into practice. As a former staffer for pioneering progressives, including Sam Yoon and Deval Patrick, and a leader in Boston’s African-American community through the Urban League, David has a deep understanding of how to make positive change in our communities. His work and experiences span the city from East Boston Main Streets to his home in Mattapan. His campaign has showed his knowledge of how the City Council can act on progressive causes, and his specific answers at our forum drew applause for his well-thought-out progressive commitments. In addition to the importance of his experience and ideas, David would be the only man of color on the City Council.
–Will Poff-Webster, Co-Chair of JP Progressives

Julia Mejia: Julia Mejia will be an unapologetic and tireless champion of the progressive causes we care so much about, with a particular focus on the issues confronting low-income communities in Boston. Julia’s passion for social justice comes from her lived experience as an Afro-Latina immigrant from the Dominican Republic who became an advocate at a young age for her single mother and others struggling to navigate the city’s institutions. I believe Julia has the focus, persistence, and grassroots organizing skills to make sure all of Boston’s communities have a seat at the table, particularly working-class communities of color. I am excited by the energy and passion she will add alongside the other amazing women serving on the City Council. 
–Ziba Cranmer, Co-Chair of JP Progressives

Michelle Wu: Michelle Wu has shown herself to be a brilliant thinker, both in policy and politics. Voters can always count on Michelle to do her homework and be thoroughly informed on the issues that matter to our city. Michelle’s supporters love her consistent, outspoken leadership on city transit issues and her comprehensive plan to revolutionize Boston’s development planning by abolishing the BPDA. Michelle is constantly thinking outside the box with innovative tactics and collaborations while working to tackle structural issues from campaign finance to climate change. She knows what Boston needs and knows how to use her seat to get us there.
–Gumby Breton, Steering Committee Member, JP Progressives

Background Materials