District 7 City Councillor Kim Janey says she has secured enough votes from her fellow councillors to become the next City Council president in the new year.
Janey would be the third consecutive woman of color to hold the position, following Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell. If elected, Janey would succeed Campbell, who was the first African-American woman elected president of the panel.
In a statement, Mayor Martin Walsh said Janey, who represents Roxbury, and parts of the South End, Dorchester, and Fenway, “has been a steadfast leader on the council who brings a renewed sense of urgency and passion to the issues we’re facing as a city. I look forward to working with her and the entire council in the years ahead.”
The mayor said that Janey’s election will be “a much-deserved recognition for all of her hard work on behalf of the people of Boston.”
In a tweet, Janey said, “I’m so incredibly grateful to my Boston City Council colleagues. I look forward to working with them, Mayor Marty Walsh, advocates, community groups, and the many residents of our great city! We’ve got work to do! Let’s get busy.”
In a statement, President Campbell said, “I’m proud to support Kim because of her proven record of advocacy and unapologetic commitment to serving Bostonians — especially those who are traditionally left out of the political process.” She added that it would be “powerful to be able to pass the gavel to Kim Janey.”
The Council elects its president on Jan. 1, at the beginning of a new term. Since councillors are not permitted to serve more than one two-year term as president, the seat was open after the November election.
With the re-election of District 1’s Lydia Edwards, District 4’s Campbell; at-large Councillors Wu and Annissa Essaibi-George; and the addition of newcomers Julia Mejia, Ricardo Arroyo, and Liz Braedon, the council will strongly represent the experiences and views of women and people of color.
“We’re at a crossroads. That’s why I ran for office to begin with in 2017, and we’re still there,” said Janey in an interview with the Boston Globe. “I believe there’s a clear mandate from the residents of this city to see more women in leadership, more people of color in leadership, and we can look to the last election cycle to see that.”
Janey was elected to the Council in 2017, becoming the first woman ever elected to the District 7 seat.
Council presidents hold a largely symbolic role as the heads of the 13-member body, although duties include presiding over council meetings, overseeing administrative duties, and coordinating facilities projects. But there are perks, like a bigger office budget with more staff and final say over council committee and office assignments. And, in the event that a mayor cannot serve or leaves office before the term is up, the council president becomes acting mayor.