Boston DSA endorses candidates who share our purpose of building a mass socialist movement in the US and extending democratic principles into all spheres of life including the workplace and economy. We see our electoral work as inseparable from that mission. We are selective in who we endorse, because we aim to build close relationships with our endorsed candidates, provide them significant support in contacting voters, and build a socialism movement together.
The Endorsement Process
- Questionnaire – Candidates seeking endorsements complete our questionnaire. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of the questionnaire and submit responses back to us in either Google Docs or Microsoft Word format. Please do not submit in PDF format as we cannot easily redact the confidential questions about your field plans. Questionnaire answers will be shared with our membership unless otherwise noted.
- Candidate Forum – After you submit your questionnaire, our Electoral Working Group will review your answers and reach out for clarification on any points. Then, the working group will vote on whether to invite candidates in for an endorsement interview via Zoom. This will be recorded and may be published. Any Boston DSA member will be able to ask you questions about your candidacy or specific policies.
- Electoral Working Group Vote – The Electoral Working Group will do a final review of the candidate, and have a debate and vote on whether to advance the candidate to the general membership.
- Endorsement Vote – We will hold a debate during a General Meeting, and then members will vote online.
- Endorsement Announcement – We will announce the endorsement on our website (like we do below) and through our chapter’s regular communication channels.
Our 2023 Endorsements
Through our democratic endorsement process, our chapter has voted to endorse five candidates so far this election cycle.
Boston’s City Council has four at-large councilors and nine district councilors. In 2023, Boston DSA has endorsed City Council candidates in District 3 and 6.
Joel Richards is a Boston Public School teacher, pastor, father, and DSA member running for Boston City Council in District 3. He is the proud son of Jamaican immigrants who instilled in him the values of hard work and mutual care, and wants to take those lessons to the city council and improve the lives of the people of Dorchester.
Kendra Lara is a proud first-generation Black Dominican woman, artist, mother, DSA Member, and is currently serving as District Six Councilor on the Boston City Council. She is the first open socialist black woman to ever serve on the Boston City Council, and gave her maiden speech on the merits and values of socialism. During her first term, Kendra has been a fearless champion for rent control, affordable housing, and reallocating police funding toward social services.
Somerville’s City Council has four at-large councilors and seven ward councilors. Councilors are elected every two years. Thus far in 2023, Boston DSA has endorsed:
Willie Burnley Jr., a community organizer, former union steward, and DSA member who is currently serving as Somerville City Councilor At-Large. In his first term on the council, Willie has made national headlines for his work on abolishing medical debt, expanding rights for tenants and workers, increased protections for LGBTQ+ folks, and passed first-in-the nation non-discrimination ordinances.
Cambridge’s City Council has eleven at-large councilors. Councilors are elected every two years with a proportional representation electoral process. Thus far in 2023, Boston DSA has endorsed:
Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, who is a renter, sidewalk socialist, and DSA member. As a Cambridge City Councilor in 2020-2021, he worked on legislation to add hundreds of new affordable homes in Cambridge, create safer streets, and ban the use of tear gas. Issues he plans to prioritize include: housing justice; childcare; functional transportation; and climate resilience.
Boston DSA endorsed one State Representative candidate in 2022. Our chapter first endorsed Erika Uyterhoeven for State Representative of 27th Middlesex, which covers much of Somerville, in 2020. Visit Erika’s website to learn where she stands on the issues and see the work she has done.
Boston DSA also published a 2022 primary voter guide and 2022 general election voter guide, which were meant to provide members and the public with Boston DSA’s recommendations for how to vote strategically. These recommendations were not endorsements. Endorsements must go through the above outlined endorsement process and be voted on by the chapter.
Boston DSA endorsed 12 City Council candidates across Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford in 2021.
Seven of our twelve endorsed candidates were elected or re-elected to city council. Boston DSA also published a 2021 general election voter guide. Read about each of our 2021 endorsed candidates.
Boston DSA endorsed 3 State Representatives candidates in 2020.
One of our endorsed candidates, Erika Uyterhoeven, was elected to the Massachusetts State House. Boston DSA published a 2020 voter guide, which contains information on our endorsed candidates.
One of our endorsed candidates, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, was elected to city council. Boston DSA also published a 2019 election voter guide, which contains information on our endorsed candidates.