Yancey could face District 4 challenge

City Councillor Charles Yancey could face a challenger from Roslindale this year if he runs for reelection in District 4. Steven Godfrey, the 43-year-old executive director of the Community Minority Cultural Center in Lynn, opened a campaign fundraising account on Monday.

Elected to the 13-member Council in 1983, Yancey declined to tell the Reporter if he is running for another two-year term. The seat includes Dorchester and Mattapan. During the contentious 2012 redistricting process, when city councillors redrew boundaries, Yancey picked up part of Roslindale and lost part of Mattapan to District 5 Councillor Rob Consalvo.

“I think it’s time for a change,” said Godfrey, who lives in Roslindale’s Ward 18, Precinct 7.

Yancey, the dean of the City Council, has frequently beat back challengers over the course of his tenure. But his closest race in recent memory came in 2003, when he won by 689 votes. Ego Ezedi, a former aide to Congressman Michael Capuano, was his opponent.

Yancey said he would not be immediately responding to Godfrey’s comments. “I’ll make an announcement within three weeks,” he said when pressed on whether he was running for reelection. “I’m not ruling anything in or out.”

Asked if that means a possible run for mayor, Yancey said, “I said I’m not ruling anything in or out,” then added, “It will be exciting announcement, I promise.”

Godfrey told the Reporter that his campaign platform will include public safety, affordable housing, and bringing community members and stakeholders together for “shared conversations.”

Born and raised in the South End, Godfery lived in Dorchester for a time and now resides in Roslindale. He is the chair of the Mount Hope, Canterbury and Manning Neighborhood Association. “We get things done,” he said. “It’s a healthy relationship even if we disagree.”

He has served as executive director of the Community Minority Cultural Center since July 2009. The organization focuses on support services for immigrants and low-income Lynn residents. He has also worked for the Healthy Roslindale Coalition, the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Elm Hill Family Service Center, and Teen Empowerment Inc.

Asked his position on the creation of a Mattapan High School, a project Yancey pushes for on a regular basis, Godfrey said, “For me, it’s hard for me to give my position now. I would probably say, let me do a little more research just on the details of the project and I will share you my position on it. At this point I don’t have one because I don’t have all the information.”

District 4 candidates are required to pick up 189 nomination signatures to make it onto the ballot. Potential candidates can apply for nomination papers on April 17 and have to file them with the Boston Elections Department by May 21.

The preliminary election is set for Sept. 24 and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 5.