By Beth Treffeisen
With less than a week away from the City of Boston election, candidates are gearing up to make last minute efforts to sway voters to vote for them at the polls.
In Boston, there are a number of heated races happening besides just the mayoral one. The Boston City Council has eight candidates for the four at-large seats.
Incumbents for the at-large Boston City Council include Michelle Wu, Michael Flaherty, Ayanna Pressley, and Annissa Essaibi George. Running against them are Althea Garrison a former state representative, Pat Payaso, Domingos Darosa and William King.
At the district level, two races are shaping up in the Boston Sun’s coverage area.
The first is in District 2, that covers South Boston, downtown, Chinatown, Bay Village and the South End. The candidates include Michael Kelley and Ed Flynn.
“This is the first time I’ve seen the South End and the entire district as excited about a campaign and the opportunity for real change,” said Kelley. “That is something I am really proud of.”
Kelley said he is hoping to get as many people out to vote as possible by knocking on doors and sharing his message. Kelley said that he would represent the entire district and pointed to the other side as having a history of politicians who hold onto power in South Boston that doesn’t extend to the rest of the district.
“If we increase turnout all over the district we will win the election,” said Kelley. “Regardless of who you are, how long you lived here for, who you love, I am fighting for you.”
He continued, “We can feel the energy moving in our direction.”
Flynn said he is proud of the broad-based support his campaign has built over the course of the past nine months. He stated that this campaign has been about inclusion and ensuring that residents of each and every neighborhood in District 2 have a voice.
“It’s about being accessible and standing up for every resident,” said Flynn in a statement. “I’ve been out talking about this positive vision, and the response has been incredible in every neighborhood in District 2.”
In the final days leading up to the election Flynn hopes to continue attending meet and greets and community events, and knocking on doors.
“This is where I’ve been able to hear directly from so many voters across the district, and discuss my inclusive vision for District 2 and for Boston,” said Flynn. “We will continue to have dozens of volunteers out holding signs, handing out literature, making phone calls, and knocking on doors.”
Over in District 8 that covers Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway and Mission Hill, incumbent Josh Zakim is up against first-time candidate Kristen Mobilia.
“The campaign has been a great opportunity to speak with voters across the district about the work we’ve been doing in City Hall and our plans for the next term,” said Zakim in a statement. “I am particularly proud of our of our efforts around affordable housing, civil rights, and responsive constituent services.”
Zakim said he is excited to spend the final days of the campaign reaching out to residents across District 8.
“I look forward to continuing this work for another term,” said Zakim.
Mobilia said her campaign has been all about engagement. She has been knocking on doors, holding coffee hours, and striking up conversations on the street.
On average, Mobilia has participated in two to three community meetings each evening and connected with hundreds of residents across the district.
“I love this city,” said Mobilia in a statement. “I wouldn’t be running if that weren’t the case. I’m a fourth-generation Bostonian, who’s walked and biked every street in District 8. The best way to represent our seven neighborhoods is to develop relationships with all residents, partner on issues to build consensus, and celebrate our successes.”
A female has never held the District 8 seat, and currently, women hold only four out of the 13 City Council seats.
“Collectively, we’re more successful when all perspectives are involved in decision-making,” said Mobilia. “I’d be honored to put my advocacy, finance, and business leadership skills to work for within my community. I’ll continue to work hard at earning your vote through Election Day and beyond.”
Polls are open from 7 – 8 p.m. on Nov. 7. You can still request an absentee ballot for yourself, or have a family member request an absentee ballot for you. You have until noon the day before the election to turn in your application.