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Candidates abound in contested Boston City Council races

10/31/2013, 6 a.m.

At-Large Candidates

Ayanna Pressley

Pressley has served on the council since 2009. She is the first woman of color to serve in the history of the City Council. She formed and chairs the Committee on Women & Healthy Communities. The committee is devoted to the causes that she has always been most devoted to: stabilizing families and communities, reducing and preventing violence and trauma, and combating poverty. She also serves as the chair of the Arts, Film, Humanities & Tourism Committee as well as the vice chair of the Public Safety Committee.

Michael Flaherty

Flaherty served on the council for 10 years prior from 2000 to 2010. He served as City Council vice president in 2001 and president from 2002 to 2006. He has served as a Suffolk County prosecutor and attorney in private practice and also previously ran for mayor of Boston. He has focused efforts on areas including environmental legislation, new technology programs, education, public health and public safety.

Stephen John Murphy

Murphy was elected to office as an at-large member of the council in 1997. In January, Murphy was unanimously elected by his council colleagues to lead the council as its president for an unprecedented third term. Since his election, he has chaired many of the council’s committees including Committee on Public Safety, Ways & Means, Government Operations and Labor. He is credited with always successfully shepherding the city’s $2.4 billion budget through the budget process.

Michelle Wu

Though Wu has never held political office, she is vying to become the first Asian-American woman elected to citywide office in Boston history with her bid for council. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she has worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of Elizabeth Warren. She directed the Warren campaign’s statewide outreach effort to communities of color throughout all of Boston’s neighborhoods. She has also worked in the administration of Mayor Thomas Menino, helping create the city’s food truck program and working to streamline the process for permitting the trucks and restaurants.

Martin J. Keogh

A graduate of Boston College and the Massachusetts School of Law, Keogh is attorney and his practice focuses on public service and working with those who have trouble affording a lawyer in foreclosure cases and juvenile issues. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he worked in the council office with former at-large Councilor Peggy Davis-Mullen for 10 years.

Annissa Essaibi George

A first generation American, born to a Tunisian father and Polish mother, Essaibi George is a teacher at East Boston High School. She is a Massachusetts Certified Teacher in Secondary Education in political science/political philosophy. She has taught economics, business management (as part of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship) and health and human services to juniors and seniors.

Jack F. Kelly

Kelly has worked as a union ironworker and for Mayor Thomas Menino as a community liaison to Charlestown. He has also worked with Mass General Hospital to develop programs to reduce the rates of Hepatitis C, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections among at-risk populations. He is dedicated to helping those who are struggling with or recovering from addictions.

Jeffrey Michael Ross

Ross is a bilingual immigration attorney and human rights advocate. He has his own law firm and represents at-risk women, families and immigrants on issues that include domestic violence, human trafficking, housing, health care and mental health services. He served as a volunteer for the late Senator Ted Kennedy.