After mayoral preliminary, Black and Latinx leaders plan Saturday get-together

Rep. Russell Holmes. SHNS/Sam Doran photo

Leaders in Boston’s Black and Latinx communities plan to gather at Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan after the Sept. 14 mayoral preliminary ended without any Black candidates making it to the general election set for Nov. 2.

The meeting, set for Saturday at 10 a.m., is limited to several dozen people due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The meeting will include clergy, elected officials of color who have not endorsed, as well as officials from the NAACP, Urban League, Black Economic Council of Massachusetts and neighborhood groups. South End state Rep. Jon Santiago, who ran for mayor before dropping out in July, is also said to be involved.

“This is a convening of the minds,” said state Rep. Russell Holmes, a Mattapan Democrat and the lead organizer.

Holmes noted that in 2013, when two white Irishmen, state Rep. Marty Walsh and City Councillor At-Large John Connolly, made the final, the clergy backed Connolly and a number of elected officials color backed Walsh, the eventual winner, while community groups were split between the two.

“What we will avoid this time is running in separate silos, not talking to each other,” Holmes said.

Voters chose the two mayoral finalists last week. City Councillor At-Large Michelle Wu is the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants; City Councillor At-Large Annissa Essaibi George’s parents are from Tunisia and Poland.

Holmes said collaboration is the focus of Saturday’s meeting, and a second meeting is planned once they come up with questions community leaders want the mayoral candidates to answer in a specific manner.

“We want to do a deep dive,” Holmes said.

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