City Council Candidates Gather at Roxbury Forum

City Council candidates gather at Roxbury forum
City Council candidate David Halbert addresses the audience while Julia Mejia, Michael Flaherty, William King and Alejandra St. Guillen look on.


All 12 candidates for at-large seats on the City Council who turned out for a forum at ABCD’s Thelma Burns Building in Grove Hall last Thursday said they would support measures to ensure a greater share of jobs and contracts in the city of Boston go to people of color and women. They were all in agreement about the need more funding for bilingual education and rent subsidies.

On rent control, however, a split between incumbents and challengers emerged.

The challengers vying for the four citywide seats expressed unequivocal support for rent control.

“I’ve knocked doors across the city and the number one issue I heard about is housing affordability,” said Alejandra St. Guillen.

“I support rent control because I am a renter,” said Michel Denis.

The incumbents?

“Not at this time,” said Michael Flaherty. “But I would not take it off the table.”

Annissa Essaibi-George said rent control would hurt owners of two- and three-family homes.

“We have seen when rent control is in place, it only benefits large property owners who know how to work the system,” she said.

Of the three incumbent councilors who showed up, Michelle Wu gave the most nuanced answer.

“I fully support overturning the statewide ban on rent control so cities like Boston can have the conversation,” she said. “We need more affordable housing.”

Missing from the forum were incumbent Althea Garrison and challengers Martin Keogh and Erin Murphy.

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