Sharon Durkan, chair of the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee and a longtime political organizer in the city, as well as a resident of Beacon Hill, has announced her candidacy for the District 8 City Council seat.
Raised by working-class parents in rural north Georgia, Durkan is a first-generation college graduate, earning a B.A. from Smith College. She first got involved with Democratic organizing as President of the Smith College Democrats and Vice President of the College Democrats of Massachusetts.
Durkan began working for then-City Councilor Michelle Wu upon relocating to Boston in 2015. She has since worked with Sen. Ed Markey, among many others, to organize communities across the state.
In 2019, Durkan was named chair of the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee.
“As chair of the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee, I have found my true passion in serving as a community advocate and organizer, working to address critical community challenges and elect leaders dedicated to the issues that matter most,” Durkan wrote in an email. “In this role, I helped elect our first woman of color Mayor and our first woman Governor and Lieutenant Governor duo, keep our Democratic leadership in the Senate, and elect the first Black woman for the Third-Suffolk district to state Senate. It has been energizing to be a small part of the infrastructure of what makes it possible for transformational leadership in our city, and I look forward to what we can accomplish if I am elected to City Council.
Durkan added: “I understand the needs of my District 8 neighbors because I face many of them myself. I have listened to so many of my neighbors and fellow community members on the issues that matter most to them, and know that affordable housing, quality transit and safe streets, access to health care, and climate resiliency are essential for strong, vibrant communities. As Ward 5 Chair, I have a proven track record of advocating for the needs of my community. I look forward to continuing to solve pressing challenges as a City Councilor.”
With current District 8 City Councilor Kenzie Bok poised to step down from her seat at the end of the month to lead the Boston Housing Authority, Durkan believes the time is right now for her to step up from behind the scenes as someone who has long encouraged women to assume leadership roles in local politics, and to assume a role as an elected official herself.
“As a volunteer trainer for Emerge Massachusetts, a group that trains women considering a run for office, I always posed the question, ‘If not you, then who?,’” wrote Durkan. “It is a pivotal time for the City of Boston. The decisions that our leaders make today will determine the success of future generations – we must tackle the issues that are keeping residents from thriving in our city.”
Within the first 24 hours of her candidacy, Durkan said she had already raised $25,000 for her campaign and garnered some notable supporters.
”Sharon cares about all of our greenspace and knows how important they are to every city neighborhood,” said Beacon Hill resident and avid horticulture expert, Janet Veasey. “She will protect and advocate for the environment on the Boston City council if elected.”
Brian Poe, the restauranteur behind two Beacon Hill establishments, The Tip Tap Room and the Crane River Cheese Club, as well the Parish Café in the Back Bay, is also firmly in Durkan’s corner.
”I’ve known Sharon’s family since I was a baby,” said Poe. “Having seen for generations what they bring to the communities they are involved in, I’m optimistic and supportive of her advocacy for independent businesses, and her support for the needs of our local communities.”
To learn more about Durkan’s campaign for District 8 City Councilor, visit sharondurkan.com, or you can donate any amount to her campaign via ActBlue at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/durkan-email-april.