Before you head to the polls, learn where Boston City Council candidates stand on important issues facing Bostonians.

Local elected officials have considerable power to shape and implement policies that impact all of us. Find out how the candidates for Boston City Council intend to use their power to create safe neighborhoods. Public safety, especially for people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and other marginalized communities, is at risk due to over-policing, excessive prosecution, violence, and invasive face surveillance. Our communities deserve access to resources for education, employment, drug treatment, health care, and other social services.

The questionnaire asks candidates where they stand on a wide range of issues that impact the daily lives of Bostonians—criminal punishment, policing, surveillance, immigration, and civil rights and civil liberties. It was created by the ACLU of Massachusetts, Boston Users’ UnionCosechaCouncil on American-Islamic Relations-Massachusetts (CAIR), Digital FourthFamilies for Justice as Healing and Student Immigrant Movement (SIM).

You can find a sample of the candidates' answers below, and view their full responses at the bottom of the page.

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Violence Prevention

Q.Violence Prevention
A.

Boston City Councilors have the authority to approve the city budget for various departments, including the Boston Police Department. Within a budget of more than $414 million for FY2020, the Boston Police Department budget allocated over $58 million for overtime. Police overtime spending exceeds spending on youth jobs and community centers. This encourages over-policing of people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and other marginalized communities as well as limits resources for community-based violence prevention programs.

 

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you work to impose stricter limitations on police overtime spending and invest cost savings in housing, education, youth jobs, and drug treatment?

At Large

  • Alejandra St. Guillen: Yes
  • Althea Garrison: No response
  • Annissa Essaibi-George: Yes
  • David Halbert: Yes
  • Domingos Darosa: No response
  • Erin Murphy: No response
  • Herb Lozano: Yes
  • Jeffrey Ross: No response
  • Julia Mejia: Yes
  • Martin Keogh: No response
  • Michael Flaherty: Yes
  • Michel Denis: Yes
  • Michelle Wu: Yes
  • Priscilla Flint-Banks: Yes
  • William King: No response

District 1

  • Lydia Edwards: Yes

District 2

  • Ed Flynn: No response

District 3

  • Frank Baker: No response

District 4

  • Andrea Campbell: No response

District 5

  • Alkia Powell: No
  • Cecily Graham: Yes
  • Jean-Claude Sanon: No response
  • Justin Murad: No response
  • Maria Farrell: No response
  • Mimi Turchinetz: Yes
  • Ricardo Arroyo: Yes
  • Yves Jean: No response

District 6

  • Matt O’Malley: No response

District 7

  • Kim Janey: Yes
  • Roy Owens, Sr.: No response
  • Valerie Rust: No response

District 8

  • Hélène Vincent: Yes
  • Jennifer Nassour: No response
  • Kenzie Bok: Yes
  • Kristen Mobilia: See full response
  • Landon Lemoine: No response
  • Montez Haywood: Yes

District 9

  • Amanda Smart: Yes
  • Brandon Bowser: Yes
  • Craig Cashman: Yes
  • Daniel Daly: See full response
  • Jonathan Allen: Yes
  • Lee Nave, Jr.: Yes
  • Liz Breadon: Yes

 

Immigration

Q.Immigration
A.

The Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC) is a unit of the Boston Police Department that gathers, analyzes, and shares intelligence — like the gang database — with federal law enforcement. However, the database disproportionately documents men of color, using a broad set of identification criteria. Data from the BRIC was recently used to deport at least one Boston Public School student, when a BPD incident report — which contained unsubstantiated allegations that the student was a gang member — was shared with ICE. The BPD’s information collection and sharing policy puts immigrants, people of color, protesters, and journalists at risk when that information is shared with federal agencies.

 

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support ending the gang database?

At Large

  • Alejandra St. Guillen: Yes
  • Althea Garrison: No response
  • Annissa Essaibi-George: See full response
  • David Halbert: Yes
  • Domingos Darosa: No response
  • Erin Murphy: No response
  • Herb Lozano: Yes
  • Jeffrey Ross: No response
  • Julia Mejia: Yes
  • Martin Keogh: No response
  • Michael Flaherty: No
  • Michel Denis: Yes
  • Michelle Wu: Yes
  • Priscilla Flint-Banks: Yes
  • William King: No response

District 1

  • Lydia Edwards: See full response

District 2

  • Ed Flynn: No response

District 3

  • Frank Baker: No response

District 4

  • Andrea Campbell: No response

District 5

  • Alkia Powell: No
  • Cecily Graham: Yes
  • Jean-Claude Sanon: No response
  • Justin Murad: No response
  • Maria Farrell: No response
  • Mimi Turchinetz: Yes
  • Ricardo Arroyo: Yes
  • Yves Jean: No response

District 6

  • Matt O’Malley: No response

District 7

  • Kim Janey: Yes
  • Roy Owens, Sr.: No response
  • Valerie Rust: No response

District 8

  • Hélène Vincent: Yes
  • Jennifer Nassour: No response
  • Kenzie Bok: Yes
  • Kristen Mobilia: See full response
  • Landon Lemoine: No response
  • Montez Haywood: No

District 9

  • Amanda Smart: No
  • Brandon Bowser: Yes
  • Craig Cashman: See full response
  • Daniel Daly: See full response
  • Jonathan Allen: Yes
  • Lee Nave, Jr.: Yes
  • Liz Breadon: Yes

 

Drug Use and Treatment

Q.Drug Use and Treatment
A.

While the overdose and drug contamination crises have moved some politicians to discuss the importance of harm reduction services, our local and statewide laws and budgets still prioritize punishment rather than a public health response to drug use. For over 50 years, the criminalization of drugs and of people who use and sell drugs has failed to curtail drug use and substance use disorder; the policy has also led to the arrest, punishment, and imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people — a majority of whom are people of color — and limited resources for education, treatment, economic empowerment, housing, and other social services outside the criminal legal system.

 

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you support curtailing law enforcement responses to drug use, ending arrests for personal possession and small sales of all drugs, and instead implementing a public health referral response based on human rights?

At Large

  • Alejandra St. Guillen: Yes

  • Althea Garrison: No response

  • Annissa Essaibi-George: See full response

  • David Halbert: Yes

  • Domingos Darosa: No response

  • Erin Murphy: No response

  • Herb Lozano: No response

  • Jeffrey Ross: No response

  • Julia Mejia: Yes

  • Martin Keogh: No response

  • Michael Flaherty: No

  • Michel Denis: Yes

  • Michelle Wu: Yes

  • Priscilla Flint-Banks: Yes

  • William King: No response

District 1

  • Lydia Edwards: Yes

District 2

  • Ed Flynn: No response

District 3

  • Frank Baker: No response

District 4

  • Andrea Campbell: No response

District 5

  • Alkia Powell: Yes

  • Cecily Graham: Yes

  • Jean-Claude Sanon: No response

  • Justin Murad: No response

  • Maria Farrell: No response

  • Mimi Turchinetz: Yes

  • Ricardo Arroyo: Yes

  • Yves Jean: No response

District 6

  • Matt O’Malley: No response

District 7

  • Kim Janey: Yes

  • Roy Owens, Sr.: No response

  • Valerie Rust: No response

District 8

  • Hélène Vincent: Yes

  • Jennifer Nassour: No response

  • Kenzie Bok: Yes

  • Kristen Mobilia: See full response

  • Landon Lemoine: No response

  • Montez Haywood: Yes

District 9

  • Amanda Smart: Yes

  • Brandon Bowser: Yes

  • Craig Cashman: Yes

  • Daniel Daly: See full response

  • Jonathan Allen: Yes

  • Lee Nave, Jr.: Yes

  • Liz Breadon: Yes

 

Surveillance

Q.Surveillance
A.

In June, the City of Somerville became the first East Coast city to ban municipal use of facial recognition technology. Police departments are using this technology to enforce the law, even though it imposes racial and gender bias. Private companies are aggressively pushing its use on police departments across Massachusetts, endangering people’s civil rights and civil liberties. There are currently no statutory protections in place to guard against abuse or misuse of this flawed and biased surveillance technology.

 

If elected or reelected to the City Council, will you vote in favor of an ordinance to require City Council approval before city agencies use or acquire surveillance technologies?

At Large

  • Alejandra St. Guillen: Yes

  • Althea Garrison: No response

  • Annissa Essaibi-George: Yes

  • David Halbert: Yes

  • Domingos Darosa: No response

  • Erin Murphy: No response

  • Herb Lozano: Yes

  • Jeffrey Ross: No response

  • Julia Mejia: Yes

  • Martin Keogh: No response

  • Michael Flaherty: Yes

  • Michel Denis: Yes

  • Michelle Wu: Yes

  • Priscilla Flint-Banks: Yes

  • William King: No response

District 1

  • Lydia Edwards: Yes

District 2

  • Ed Flynn: No response

District 3

  • Frank Baker: No response

District 4

  • Andrea Campbell: No response

District 5

  • Alkia Powell: Yes

  • Cecily Graham: Yes

  • Jean-Claude Sanon: No response

  • Justin Murad: No response

  • Maria Farrell: No response

  • Mimi Turchinetz: Yes

  • Ricardo Arroyo: Yes

  • Yves Jean: No response

District 6

  • Matt O’Malley: No response

District 7

  • Kim Janey: Yes

  • Roy Owens, Sr.: No response

  • Valerie Rust: No response

District 8

  • Hélène Vincent: Yes

  • Jennifer Nassour: No response

  • Kenzie Bok: Yes

  • Kristen Mobilia: Yes

  • Landon Lemoine: No response

  • Montez Haywood: Yes

District 9

  • Amanda Smart: Yes

  • Brandon Bowser: Yes

  • Craig Cashman: Yes

  • Daniel Daly: See full response

  • Jonathan Allen: Yes

  • Lee Nave, Jr.: Yes

  • Liz Breadon: Yes

 

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