Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson Is Running For Mayor

City Councilor Tito Jackson at a City Hall meeting in May 2016. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
City Councilor Tito Jackson at a City Hall meeting in May 2016. Jackson initially proposed the Office for Black Male Advancement several years ago. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson is launching a campaign for mayor.

In a campaign ad posted to YouTube Wednesday evening, Jackson says, "I am running for mayor of the city of Boston for all of the dreams of young people."

An African-American from Roxbury, Jackson says he is the progressive choice for voters, and he wants to address housing issues and Boston's vast income inequality.

"I will ensure that our government protects people living with dignity because Boston is a city of compassion, and we must work together if we are to succeed," he says in the ad.

Jackson will formally announce his campaign Thursday afternoon.

Jackson has been a city councilor for District 7 -- which includes Roxbury and parts of the South End, Dorchester and Fenway neighborhoods — since March 2011. He was raised in Roxbury and went to college at the University of New Hampshire. He spent more than a decade in sales and marketing before becoming an aide to former Gov. Deval Patrick, according to his website.

Incumbent Mayor Marty Walsh, who's running for a second term, says he welcomes any challengers, but he's focused right now on his job.

"I love my job," he told reporters Wednesday. "I've done it for three years, [and] we have a very strong record."

It's been nearly 70 years since an incumbent Boston mayor lost re-election.

But Larry DiCara, a former city council president, says Jackson brings a lot to this campaign.

"Tito has experience as a political organizer," DiCara said. "I expect he will have a grassroots campaign centered in neighborhoods where he is well known."

But DiCara added that Walsh has a money advantage and a more robust organization.

"I recall [Walsh] had 5,000 people on the street on election day in 2013," DiCara said. "This is a very strong candidate in a city that's doing very, very well."

With reporting by WBUR's Jonathan Cain and Delores Handy

This article was originally published on January 11, 2017.



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