In Congressional Run, Pressley Says She Wants To Take Her Work 'Higher And Farther'

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Ayanna Pressley speaks at her campaign office in Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Ayanna Pressley speaks at her campaign office in Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is running for Congress. She announced she will challenge Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary for the 7th district.

Click here for our conversation with Capuano.


Ayanna Pressley, Boston at-large city councilor. She tweets @ayannapressley.

Interview Highlights

On why she's running for Congress

"The issues that I have dedicated my life to are certainly being exacerbated in this current climate, given the draconian, cruel and often-bigoted policies coming out of Washington. Tuesday was the State of the Union and I see the state of the union on the front lines every single day with growing income inequality, systemic racism, gentrification, displacement, civil rights, democracy, planet are being eroded and threatened every day. And so I just want to take the work that I've dedicated my life to higher and farther at this critical moment."

On why she's challenging fellow progressive Capuano

"I know that Congressman Capuano, whom I respect and I'm grateful for his contributions, doesn't take any of this personally. He challenged an incumbent himself. And so he knows how daunting this can be and how intimidating this can be. But even in knowing that, you know, I'll just say that I'm resolute and I have a resolve about at a time in our country when democracy is being dismantled, that we should be preserving and affirming democracy, and that is about choice. And I think I've earned the right to run. I've already been leading in this district. Boston is nearly 70 percent of the 7th Congressional District."

On what she thinks her biggest challenge is

"It's probably the skepticism that people don't believe that one would be willing to take on the behemoth that is entrenched incumbency that has become a part of the cultural status quo here in Massachusetts. Just because I want to serve — perception. And certainly there are implicit biases, but none of that is new to me. And truthfully I'm used to being underestimated and discounted. And that's been true for my life personally and certainly as an elected official. I'm up for the challenge. I think this is a fight worth taking on."

This article was originally published on February 01, 2018.

This segment aired on February 1, 2018.


Meghna Chakrabarti Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.


Jamie Bologna Senior Producer/Director, Radio Boston
Jamie Bologna was senior producer and director of Radio Boston.



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