By Kenzie Bok
Sometimes a single election can make a huge impact. On Tuesday, December 14th, there will be a special election for the State Senator who represents Bay Village, Chinatown, Downtown, Beacon Hill, the North End, and East Boston. For someone who will take bold action on the interlocking regional issues of climate change, housing affordability, and transportation access, and for someone who will be the best partner to our Boston neighborhoods at the State House, we—Mayor Michelle Wu, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, Rep. Jay Livingstone, Rep. Adrian Madaro, Councilor Ed Flynn, and Councilor Kenzie Bok—urge you to vote for Lydia Edwards.
Councilor Lydia Edwards represents East Boston, the North End, and Charlestown on the City Council, where she has been a remarkable colleague to Michelle, Ed, and Kenzie. She has authored and led passage of a series of important pieces of legislation: reforming the Zoning Board of Appeals to make it more transparent, embedding the federal obligation to affirmatively further fair housing in our zoning code, expanding a property tax reduction for low-income homeowners, and most recently taking steps to divest the City of Boston from fossil fuel stocks. At Suffolk Downs in East Boston, she successfully fought for better environmental protections, higher labor standards, and more housing affordability. Mayor Wu has endorsed her because we urgently need her as a legislative partner at the State House.
But Lydia is also a fierce advocate for the day-to-day needs of our residents. Every city budget season, she comes to the table with a long list of specific projects from all the corners of her district that need Public Works repairs, an additional trash can, or the consistent attention of a street-sweeper. She will continue to bring that kind of block-by-block care as our State Senator as well, partnering with Aaron, Jay, and Adrian whenever we need state agencies to take action.
Lydia has also been credited by local business leaders for the speed and effectiveness with which she got a proposed Tourism Destination Marketing District passed through the City Council, enabling the hotels in our area to band together and more effectively encourage tourism to downtown Boston. At the height of the pandemic, Lydia also launched the city pilot program called High Roads Kitchens to both bail out local restaurants and raise worker pay. She will be an advocate for local business and industry workers at the State House throughout this economic recovery.
Lydia is the only candidate in this race with the experience, thoughtfulness, and tenacity to get complex legislation through at the State House to tackle our most urgent issues.
One case in point: her successful advocacy leading the push for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, even before she became an elected official. Lydia and a coalition of domestic workers managed to get that bill introduced and passed in a single term—an impressive feat at the State House!
Lydia identified with the domestic workers because her mom, an Air Force veteran, also worked multiple jobs for low wages as a single mother of twin girls. Again and again throughout her career, Lydia has jumped into the fray on behalf of the most vulnerable—even learning any useful language along the way, from Portuguese to Spanish to American Sign Language. She has the heart, and the mind, and the determination that we need in our next State Senator.
As elected city and state representatives for the Boston neighborhoods in this district, we all agree how important it is that Boston get out and vote in this election, whether by mail or at an early vote site or in-person on December 14. If you live in Bay Village, Chinatown, Downtown, Beacon Hill, the North End, or East Boston, you’re eligible to vote. Early voting will be available at City Hall, the BCYF Quincy in Chinatown, and the Paris Street Community Center in East Boston on Saturday, December 4 from 11AM-7PM, on Tuesday December 7 from 12PM to 8PM, and on Thursday, December 9 from 12PM to 8PM. You can also vote early at City Hall between 9AM and 5PM any day during the week of December 5th through 10th.
Please join us in supporting Lydia Edwards for State Senate!