My name is Andrea Campbell and I am running for Boston City Council District 4, which covers Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale, and Jamaica Plain.
Born and raised in Boston and educated in all Boston public schools including Boston Latin school, this City has been the foundation of my life. My community, along with my loving and dedicated family, gave me a solid foundation from which to thrive. When I went off to Princeton University, I didn't feel inadequate or out of place. The same was true for UCLA law school.
Equipped with the knowledge and skills acquired from both institutions, I returned to Boston and began my law career at a non-profit providing free representation to students and their parents in education matters including school discipline and special needs cases. Before embarking on this run for City Council, I served as deputy legal counsel for Governor Deval Patrick.
In these positions and others, I worked on legal and policy issues including education, school-to-prison pipeline, and immigration matters affecting our children in some of the poorest communities in Boston, and with non-profits on a pro-bono basis to assist them in obtaining their 501(c)(3) status.
I find it difficult to point to one thing as the inspiration for this run. I could point to the hundreds of children I worked with; my mother’s insistence that I pray for my God-given purpose and assignment; my older brother, Alvin’s random question, "Sis, why don't you run for office;" or, to Governor Patrick’s inspirational victory.
Ultimately, the motivating force that made me say I can and need to do this was my twin brother Andre. Andre died three years ago while a pre-trial detainee in the custody of the Department of Correction after not receiving the medical care he needed. He was 29 years old.
I often think about Andre and how different our lives turned out. We both lost our biological mother at eight months old, and lived without our father for the first eight years of our lives because he was incarcerated. During those first eight years, we both lived with our grandmother who did the best she could but struggled with alcohol addiction. We were sometimes placed in foster care and bounced around before going to live with a relative. When we were eight years old, our father was released from prison, and we went to live with him. We grew up poor, on public assistance and lived in affordable housing. At the age of 19, our father suddenly passed away.
What did I have that ensured I would have a chance at success and Andre not? I had great schools, good mentors, effective teachers, quality after-school and summer jobs, a strong church community, and opportunities that far too few of my peers, including my twin, are afforded.
I’m running because I want every resident of District 4 to have access to the same resources and opportunities I had growing up in Boston. I want our youth to have those same opportunities including a great education, training and local job opportunities.
I want to more efficiently and effectively deliver constituent services to the residents of District 4 by being more responsive and accessible; listening to residents and regularly attending their civic association meetings; and, convening meetings with residents to hear from them on continued ways to improve the delivery of those services.
I will go above and beyond the district city councilor job description of delivering constituent services, by building partnerships to bring more opportunities, services, and resources to meet the needs of our youth, residents and small business owners.
I love District 4 because it's diverse, rich in history, where my family lives, and the place where I will have kids. I want my future children to have the very foundation I had here. Only together as a community, can we make that happen.
To get involved with the Campbell campaign, please email the Field Director Caroline Kimball-Katz.