Already sitting in the corner office and being the first African American and woman to lead the City, Acting Mayor Kim Janey released a video at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning to officially announce she would be running for mayor in the September Preliminary Election.
She joins five other candidates who have already announced a run for mayor in what will surely be a very crowded ballot in September, assuming everyone running gets the required signatures to be placed for consideration on the ballot.
In the three-minute video, Janey – who represented about half of the South End as a City Councilor – stressed, “we can’t go back, we can only go better.”
“The work to address the challenges we face from COVID-19 and the racial inequalities that have been inherited from centuries of structural racism will take longer than a few months to change,” she said in a statement during her announcement. “It is going to take fearless leadership, bold action and a commitment to doing the hard work to make Boston the equitable city our residents want, need and deserve. I am 100 percent committed to leading this change.”
The video was filmed in her Roxbury neighborhood, in Nubian Square, on the bus and at City Hall. It recounts the past and present individuals who blazed the trail to her announcement — Mel King, Melnea Cass, Bruce Bolling, Ayanna Pressley, Rachael Rollins and many others. In her own words, Janey then tells her story and the story of Boston — the challenges the city faces and her commitment to building a more equitable city for every resident.
“You’ve heard the problems,” she said in the video. “It’s a broken record. Affordable Housing isn’t actually affordable. Deep racial inequities. The median net worth for white Bostonians is $247,000. For Black folks it’s eight. Eight Dollars. It’s all centuries in the making. But women — Black women — have been stepping up to do the work, and we’re winning. They’re inspiring little girls and boys everywhere, including my own grandkids. And my life’s work, from education advocacy to leading the City Council, has been centered around making sure every child has the opportunity to learn and succeed in a more just city than the one I grew up in.”
Janey recalled being part of the desegregation of schools era, and the pitfalls of being bused to attend the Edwards Middle School in Charlestown when she was 11, before joining the Metco program in high school and graduating from Reading High School as one of only two Black students in her class.
“I was part of desegregation busing,” she said. “Eleven years old having rocks and racial slurs thrown at me. I’ve been at the center of Boston history. The bad and the good. I’m ready to lead our city. To listen. To collaborate. To fight this pandemic and the racial and economic inequalities that COVID only worsened.”
She said the pandemic is an opportunity to change the City into a more just place to live for everyone.
“We can’t go back, we can only go better,” she concluded.