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Councilors, mayor say farewell to departing councilor Ayanna Pressley

Councilor Kim Janey had to fight back the tears as she praised Ayanna Pressley for being a role model for her, for the other four women on the Boston City Council, for people across Boston.

"You've always lifted up the voices of people who have not been heard, you've lifted up people who have been pushed to the margin."

With fellow new congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib in the chamber, Pressley listened as councilors and Mayor Walsh thanked her for her eight years of service on the council.

The women councilors in particular praised her for setting a path for them - when Pressley first won election, she was one of just two women on the council, and the first black woman, and now six of the thirteen councilors are women of color.

"For me, you are the great destroyer of glass ceilings," Councilor Lydia Edwards (East Boston, North End, Charlestown) said. "You are the one who says 'why not?' wherever you go."

She said that Pressley, who has been open about her own sexual abuse, has turned her experience into help for so many people. "You exposed your pain, you have elevated the survival stories of hundreds, if not thousands of people."

She urged Pressley to go to Washington and do great things with her "squad" - which includes Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib - and to not worry about the council. "Girl, we got this!" she said. "Because of you, we are better, we are stronger."

Councilor Michelle Wu (at large) recalled how the first parade she ever marched in was the 2009 Pride parade - as a member of Pressley's contingent. She said she was struck by how "joyful, powerful loving and just so personal with each and every resident," Pressley was as she walked in the parade.

And she recalled how, as she marched in this year's Bunker Hill Day parade, a little girl came up to her and said "you must be on the City Council" and when Wu said yes, the girl replied, "You must know Ayanna Pressley!"

Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George (at large), thanked Pressley for many heart-to-heart talks, often over cake, and promised her, "We will always have your back - and you know us girls from Dorchester."

Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), said Pressley's election has helped decrease cynicism about the role of government and brought us a little closer to the Revolutionary ideal of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Addressing Pressley, whom he sat next to at council meetings, he added, "My friend, we're a lot closer now because of your election and you're going to do great things."

Councilor Josh Zakim (Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway) recalled Pressley's grace on the campaign trail earlier this year - a trail they sometimes shared as he ran for Secretary of State. He said that as harsh as people were to him, they were far worse to her, yet she never lost her cool or graciousness, not even at the caucus meeting in his opponent William Galvin's home caucus in Brighton.

Mayor Walsh made a rare trip across City Hall to the council chambers to give Pressley a Paul Revere bowl - the traditional gift for outgoing councilors - and a Boston scarf so Pressley will remember where she's from while mingling with New Yorkers and other types down in DC.

Pressley, in turn thanked her colleagues and council staffers and recalled that at first, she resisted a friend's call to run for the council. But she said, the more she worked with girls and young women of color in volunteer efforts, the more she realized that they were being completely left out of so many discussions.

"I wanted to do something about this, I had to," she said. "I wanted to fight for girls, not to be their voice, but to lift up their voices." She said people told her that "saving girls wasn't a job for a Boston city councilor."

She said that in her first year on the council, at budget meetings she would ask department heads what they were doing to address the needs of girls and young women of color but was met only with silence. At the most recent round of budget meetings, she said, they came with "reports and binders and multi-colored tabs" to show what they were doing. "We proved them wrong."

But, she continued, that fight, and others, have helped improve things not just for girls, but for everybody. "Representative government only works when everyone is represented," she said, vowing to continue her work in Washington.



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Not Proust !

Currently reading... The Coup. Angels, Liars, and Thieves Volume 3 by David Scondras https://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/172128687X

Available via iLL Interlibrary Loan at a favorite College Library or Branch Public Library.

>"This book covers the second half of my tenure on the Boston City Council.

"It was different because a revolution had occurred: the progressives finally gained enough power to make more changes, and pass more legislation than had been possible during the first half of my stay.

"The second half began with a coup putting in power the Rainbow Coalition of gay, black, and female members of the council that had never had power.

"For nearly four decades the Council had been run by a group of white men with the same mindset, most of them from South Boston.

"We begin with the coup that made Boston a model of what can happen when diversity becomes dominant."

>"A gun enthusiast walked into the City Council meeting carrying a real semi-automatic handgun.

"The issue became very, very real for my colleagues.

"The Council went from discussing my proposed ban to banning weapons in Boston."

>" "Many of our generation have fallen into cynicism for people who don't agree with us. Not Dave." --John Pennington, Harvard anti-Vietnam activist"

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Convicted pedophile David Scondras?

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Not Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust !

The Beginning 2nd Edition. Angels, Liars, and Thieves Volume 1 by David Scondras https://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1721284907

Available via iLL InterLibrary Loan at a favorite Branch Public Library or college library.

>"Angels, Liars and Thieves Boston 1946-2000 Book One: to 1946 to 1984 a Memoir by David Scondras, the first openly-gay elected Boston City Councilor

"It will come as no surprise that I dedicate this book to Robert Krebs who has spent the past 37 years living with me trying to help make our society a better place and who is my family.

"He taught me how to see the world from the point of view of a Methodist raised in Iowa, North Dakota, and California.

"Difficult for me, a radical Greek raised in Lowell, Massachusetts who thought another Greek Massachusetts politician, Michael Dukakis, was too conservative. "

This book explores my origins, how I became political, and how I came out as a gay man in Boston over the period of the 1960s through the 1980s."

>"In the 1980s, the world was different than it is now. It was far worse for gays.

"This book tells the story of a gay man in Boston who went from being beat up for being gay, to fighting back for all gays."

>" "I'm sure to learn a lot from these memoirs, and to remember." --Noam Chomsky, MIT"

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Let us not be misled the Boston City Charter gives no power to the City Council. For at least the last sixty years the members have been actors in kabuki theatre

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a) How might there be made a balance of power between Mayor's Office and Boston City Council?

b) Shall there be a balance of power between Mayor's Office and Boston City Council?

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When I reward a Democrat with a vote, you know somebody must be truly special. Here's to contrarianism and to challenging the status quo. "It's always been this way" is never an excuse.

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Good luck to Ayanna, and I'm sure she will be a good congresswoman, but let's drop this nonsense about her being a truly special politician and human being.

She was a good candidate and she represents the zeitgeist, but in 8 years on the council her only accomplishment was the liquor license thing, which really didn't even work very well.

And while we do need younger, more diverse leadership and representation, championing her over Capuano as some grand, righteous fight against evil is completely disingenuous.

For someone who usually seems so keen on sniffing out BS, this post is a load of fawning self-righteousness.

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I don't need government's help until I ask for it. Nor do I have many civic issues. I park my car, my trash gets picked up, my water is potable, and everything hums well enough.

Government interference in the bar business affects the number of places in which I could potentially ply my trade. I need the help of government in - surprise! - un(expletive)ing something that they made a problem in the first place.

As for me fawning over my own righteousness...are you legitimately shocked?

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With fellow new congresspersons Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib in the chamber...

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Thanks, dumb mistake fixed.

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Is Ocasio Sanchez on vacation or what's the deal with all the travel.

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You'll see she is not yet a member of Congress and so has plenty of time for travel. Plus, she was in the Boston area, anyway (for some Harvard thing).

Be better, or at least, best.

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She and the other new reps were at a Congressional orientation program at Harvard - something that Harvard's been doing in even numbered years for new members of Congress for a long time. Note the photo of that new Republican congressman from Texas (you know, the one who metaphorically slapped Pete Davidson, who has long deserved it). Are you concerned about his travel plans?

So, honestly, you'll need to come up with something that's a bit less weaksauce with which to bleat out some faux concern about her.

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...is Ocasio-Cortez, she isn't serving in Congress, and you are being a dick.

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"all them furrin' names sound alike", eh?

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Ayanna Pressley is not from DORCHESTER, she is from Chicago. She is NOT A DOT GIRL Ainnaisa, how DARE YOU.

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So she's DBC rather than OFD. There's something to be said for a person who goes out of her way and chooses to live in a particular place rather than just being there by accident of birth.

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Ayanna Pressley is not from DORCHESTER, she is from Chicago.

Are you accusing her of fraudulently representing her place of residence while campaigning for and serving on the City Council?

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Is OFP (Often Found at the Packie).

If remaining near the patch of dirt where you fell out of your mom has become your greatest and most jealously trumpeted achievement, perhaps you should consider reexamining your life choices?

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Not Marcel Proust !

The Kiss, 2nd Edition. Angels, Liars, and Thieves Volume 2 by David Scondras https://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1721286179

Available via iLL InterLibrary Loan at a favorite Branch Public Library or College Library.

>"When I was a hippie, I never voted and I thought government was an enemy.

"Then I got elected.

"I discovered love; I discovered power; and the city discovered that gays wanted a lot more than just gay rights.

"Like most people, we cared about having a job; raising kids; getting into good schools; finding housing; getting medical care; and putting an end to homelessness.

"I took them all on.

"This book tells that story."

>"On Election Day 1983, David Scondras won election to the Boston City Council, and his partner, Robert Krebs, gave him a congratulatory peck on the cheek.

"It made national news"

"A year earlier, on Election Day 1982, Mike Dukakis won election as Massachusetts Governor, and his partner, Kitty Dukakis, gave him a congratulatory peck on the cheek.

"It did not make national news."

>" "This book tells about the coalition of people who struggled to make Boston a better place for all of us." --Mel King, State Rep and 1983 Mayoral Candidate"


Not Proust !

The Long Way Home, 2nd Edition. Angels, Liars, and Thieves Volume 4 by David Scondras https://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1721287248

" "The Reincarnation of the infamous former City Councilman David Scondras" --Improper Bostonian"

>"Leaving the City Council gave me the opportunity to pivot my focus to a smaller number of very significant issues, especially AIDS in the United States, India, and Africa.

"We revived the non-profit Boston Human Rights Institute, renaming it Search For A Cure, which focused on dealing with the AIDS epidemic.

"In the United States, we concentrated on accelerating research as well as the way that companies priced drugs.

"In India, we helped put together a non-profit AIDS foundation which resulted in countrywide educational movies on HIV protection, and raising awareness in general.

"In Africa, we focused on treatment.

"This was particularly so in Malawi, where we secured the largest grant to fight AIDS of any country in the world, structuring and funding their test-and-treat program.

"This book explores my post-electoral career on these and other issues."

>"Leaving the City Council I pivoted to fighting the AIDS epidemic worldwide.

"Search For A Cure, our non-profit organization, fought greed in the United States and ignorance and apathy abroad."

" "Insightful view on how to help save the ailing world..." --Mike Altamari, Fenway activist"

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