Councillor-elect Ruthzee Louijeune finished in a “solid third place” on Tuesday night in the at-large City Council race, and in doing so became the first Haitian-American elected to city office.
The first-time candidate Louijeune earned 47,417 votes in final but unofficial results, behind incumbent Councillors Michael Flaherty (54,985) and Julia Mejia (54,317).
“This is my face and it’s my name up here, but this is a movement,” she said. “It’s about all of us working together to build a more just Boston, a more inclusive Boston, and a Boston that centers the needs to working families so they can share in the prosperity of this very wealthy city.”
She added later that her focus has been on the campaign for some time, but her work will be about supporting working class families much the same way her mentor, US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has done in her career. Sen. Warren was a key backer of Louijeune’s campaign and went on the campaign trail several times with her over the last few weeks.
“I lead with a smile, but I come with a fight for our working-class families,” she said,
Louijeune built a base across the city in quick fashion, one that she said was aided by her deep roots in Boston. She grew up in the city and attended public primary schools and then Boston Latin. Among her early political experiences was an internship with former state Rep. Maire St. Fleur.
“Having deep roots in the city was key for me in this campaign – people I worked with or went to school with,” she said. “They all helped me in so many ways,” she said.
“I am also deeply, deeply excited to be the first Haitian-American on the Boston City Council,” she said, breaking into Haitian Kreyol to those supporters in attendance from the Haitian community. “This has taken way too long. We are the third largest diaspora in this city and it has not yet led to political representation. So, I thank you all for choosing me to be the first, but I will not be the last.”