Haitian-American activist plans council

Boston's city elections are a year away from getting started, but one Haitian community activist is already revving up a campaign for an at-large seat.

Jean Claude Sanon, a community organizer who has been on the radio since 1985, launched a bid this week for one of the four at-large seats on the City Council.

"We need representation at the top of the City Council," Sanon said of Haitian Americans. Sanon has worked on several local campaigns, including former Treasurer Shannon O'Brien's run for the governor's office in 2002. He hosts a radio program called "Eye Opener," and teaches English as a Second Language and citizenship classes.

Sanon said he is launching the campaign this early in the season to put his name out there.

"I'm not the most well-known" outside of the Haitian community, he said, noting that he recently finished a campaign training program with Suffolk University and Oiste, a Latino political organization.

If elected, he said he would focus on crime and violence prevention. Sanon, a longtime activist in the Mattapan area, moved to Mattapan a year ago. He has also lived in Milton, Boston proper and Norwood, he said. Current at-large city councillors include Stephen Murphy, John Connolly, Sam Yoon, and Michael Flaherty, whom many expect to challenge Mayor Thomas Menino.