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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Henry Santana campaigns with youth representation in mind

Alexis Algazy
Supporters of Henry Santana, Ruthzee Louijeune and Ben Weber pose for a photo. Santana, Louijeune and Weber gathered in Jamaica Plain Saturday to speak with their supporters and show support for each other’s campaigns.

Boston City Council’s Nov. 7 elections are just around the corner, and former director for Mayor Michelle Wu’s Office of Civic Organizing, Henry Santana, is a contender for one of the four city councilor at-large positions. 

Incumbent councilors often win reelection, and current City Councilors At-Large Ruthzee Louijeune, Julia Mejia and Erin Murphy are seeking reelection. Michael Flaherty, however, is stepping down from his current role, leaving at least one position open for Santana or the additional four candidates: Bridget Nee-Walsh, Shawn Nelson, Catherine Vitale and Clifton Braithewaite. 

“Right now, representation really does matter,” Santana told The News. “As a young candidate, as a Black man, as a Dominican immigrant, I want to be able to inspire the next generation to really dream big, to serve, to help others and to be kind people.”

Santana immigrated to Boston from the Dominican Republic. He grew up in Mission Hill in public housing, granting him a unique understanding of the challenges low-income Boston residents face. 

Now, Santana is pushing for affordable housing, youth development, community-based policing, gun violence prevention, a well-trained green workforce for environmental justice and increased civic engagement. 

After experiencing Santana’s abilities while he worked in her office, Wu endorsed Santana,

“Henry’s story is Boston’s story. I’ve seen how much Henry puts his whole heart into serving people and serving our communities,” Wu said, according to Santana’s campaign website. “As someone who has worked on the council as an aide, worked in City Hall in a role that touches every single department, I can’t imagine someone who is more ready for this job and more ready to make sure that everyone in Boston is seen, is heard and is treasured.” 

Santana, Louijeune and Ben Weber (District 6) support one another’s campaigns because they are all dedicated to bringing down the cost of housing, taking climate action and closing the racial wealth gap in the city. The three candidates gathered in Jamaica Plain Oct. 28 to speak with their supporters before canvassing. 

“Let’s have a city council we can be proud of. I hope I’m part of it, and I hope Henry Santana and Ruthzee Louijeune are a part of it,” Weber said. 

Organizations like Jamaica Plain Progressives and the Boston Teachers Union showed their support for the candidates.

“It’s really important to have a young man, especially a person of color, to work to move the city forward,” said Anna Rousseau, co-founder of Jamaica Plain Progressives.

Henry Santana poses for a photo with representative Samantha Montaño and Martha Karchere, a supporter. Organizations including Jamaica Plain Progressives and the Boston Teachers Union attended to support the present candidates. (Alexis Algazy)

Santana’s campaign is centered around youth and community. He highlights public housing, education and public safety as some of his core values. 

“As someone who grew up in public housing, housing is a human right; it creates stability for people to not just stay here in the city of Boston, but to thrive here in the city of Boston,” he told The News.

Another area Santana focuses on is the Boston Public Schools system. 

“I think we advocate for it, but we really need to put investments behind it, and we need to be able to see those investments in schools,” Santana said.

He experienced the benefits of investments in the city’s youth during his childhood summers with the Mission Hill Summer Program, a student-led and volunteer-dependent academic program created in consultation with Boston and Cambridge Public Schools.

“Because he’s a product of the Boston Public Schools, he not only knows the issues, he’s lived them,” Rousseau said. 

Santana, Louijeune and Weber’s supporters spent Saturday afternoon knocking on doors and encouraging Jamaica Plain residents to vote in the local election.

“I’m really trying to focus on the next generation,” Santana said. 

Boston City Council elections take place Nov. 7. 

Alexis Algazy
About the Contributor
Alexis Algazy
Alexis Algazy, City Editor
Alexis Algazy is a second-year journalism and political science major with a public relations minor. This is her second semester serving as the deputy city editor, and she is looking forward to extending city and political coverage. This semester Alexis is doing media relations at BCG for co-op. Follow her on X @alexisalgazy for article updates.
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