Northeastern doctoral candidate announces bid for City Council

By Ryan Grewal, city editor

Rufus J. Faulk, the director of the Boston TenPoint Coalition and a Northeastern doctoral candidate, declared his intent to run for District 7 city councilor on Tuesday, Jan. 3. 

Tito Jackson a Democrat, has represented District 7, which comprises much of Roxbury including the southern section of Northeastern’s campus, for five years. The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that Jackson will join the mayoral race against Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Faulk announced his candidacy in a public Facebook post which describes his vision of District 7 as “a collection of unique, hardworking neighborhoods unified into a city full of hope and opportunity.”

Faulk, a 34-year-old Roxbury resident, currently runs the TenPoint Coalition, a Boston anti-violence group where he has worked for 11 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Temple University in 2005 and a master’s in urban affairs from Boston University. Faulk is currently a first-year doctoral student in law and policy at Northeastern University. His thesis is focused on income inequality in Boston, an issue he hopes to combat if elected to City Council.

The overarching goal [of my candidacy] is focusing on income inequality in Boston, specifically how residents in District 7 could benefit from development, technology and education to increase their socioeconomic standing,” Faulk said.

Faulk thinks working to lessen income inequality could alleviate other problems that impact Boston residents.

It is my belief that many of the other issues here stem from income inequality,” Faulk said. “Gun violence, unemployment, housing, public safety and education issues all stem from a lack of wealth and from Boston being number one in income inequality [in America].”

The impending vacancy in Jackson’s seat has attracted many potential candidates to consider running in District 7. Charles Clemons Muhammad, an activist and former candidate for mayor of Boston, announced his candidacy on Wednesday. Clemons ran against Jackson in 2015 as well, garnering nearly one-third of the vote. Roxbury-based attorney Hassan Williams and former Jackson-staffer Miguel Chavez are also considering running, according to The Boston Herald.

Prior to Jackson’s announcement, Reverend Eugene Rivers, the co-founder of the TenPoint Coalition which Faulk now heads, cited Faulk’s candidacy as a reflection of the shortcomings during Jackson’s tenure as councilor, according to The Boston Herald

“The candidacy may be understood as evidence that beyond the charismatic personality, there’s some sense of substance and policy focus lacking from Councilor Jackson,” Rivers told The Herald. 

Faulk says he has not spoken to Rivers about his candidacy and responded to Rivers’s claims.

“I’m not running as a referendum on Tito Jackson,” Faulk said. “I’m running because I believe I can provide the district with the effective leadership for it to reach its full potential.”

Boston will hold elections for city council and mayor on Nov. 7.

Photo courtesy Rufus Faulk

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