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Ruthzee Louijeune named Boston City Council president

Makes history as first Haitian American elected to position

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Ruthzee Louijeune named Boston City Council president
Boston City Council president Ruthzee Louijeune PHOTO: COURTESY RUTHZEEFORBOSTON

Ruthzee Louijeune, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, was elected Monday by her colleagues as the new president of the Boston City Council.

Louijeune, who made history as the first Haitian American on the Council when she was first elected in 2021, is now the first Haitian American to be elected to the council presidency. She is the third Black woman to hold the position, following former councilors Andrea Campbell and Kim Janey. Louijeune succeeds Councilor Ed Flynn of South Boston.

“I am excited for what’s to come for our city, and believe that our collective work can transform our beloved city into one where every person feels honored, safe, housed and healthy,” said Louijeune. “I am hopeful and I am grateful, because the only way we get through, the only way we thrive, the only way we push forward, is together.”

In her first speech as Council president, Louijeune addressed historic inequities as a cornerstone of her work while also laying out her vision for a city that welcomes everyone to the table. She touched on barriers to homeownership, working with unions, creating stronger models for waste collection in all of our neighborhoods, and ensuring that every city public school student has the tools they need to reach their full potential.

She wore red in tribute to Haitian Independence Day. Each Jan. 1, Haitians celebrate their role in history as the first free Black republic in the Western hemisphere and the only country in the world founded from a slave revolt, Louijeune’s office said.

Boston is home to the third-largest Haitian diaspora in the country.

On Twitter, Louijeune expressed her gratitude and said she was “deeply humbled to have earned the unanimous support of” her colleagues.

Louijeune takes the helm as new colleagues Enrique Pepén, John FitzGerald, Henry Santana and Ben Weber join the Council.

During Louijeune’s first term, she led the Council through the tumultuous redistricting process, passing a map that met standards set by a federal court order. She chaired the Committee on Civil Rights and Immigrant Advancement.

District 1 Councilor Gabriela Coletta nominated Louijeune for the council presidency, calling the move “an honor.”

District 4 Councilor Brian Worrell also expressed his confidence in Louijeune, adding that she has demonstrated herself to be a true leader.

“Councilor Louijeune has shown she knows how to build bridges to address issues that impact all Boston residents, from tackling crucial city services to spearheading initiatives that create more affordable housing and uplift our most underserved communities,” Worrell said. “I am proud to support her as our next Council president in my capacity as Council vice president, and look forward to partnering with her and all of our colleagues to deliver for our city.”