The Case for Black With a Capital B



A Conversation with Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Council At-Large

A Conversation with Boston City Councilor At-Large, Ayanna Pressley
By Talia Whyte


City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley was honored March 30 at the "Get Konnected" event at the W Boston Hotel for becoming the first woman of color to gain such a seat at Government Center. Pressley’s life story of triumph helped her win victory last November. Originally from Chicago, Pressley came to Boston to attend Boston University. However, she had to make the sacrifice of dropping out of school to support her mother after she lost her job.

Since then Pressley has worked in various capacities in government, including her most recent stint as Sen. John Kerry’s political director. She has also served on boards for many local organizations, including the UMass Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus and Emerge Massachusetts, and mentors young women through the Young Black Women's Society and the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.

One of Pressley’s first initiatives she has undertaken since being in office is her women and health program, which she talks about in the video. She said that she is very interested in first lady Michelle Obama’s focus on childhood obesity, and wants to look at ways of dealing with the issue locally.

As for her own political future, she said she is only looking to make sure she is doing her current job well, and being a role model for other women of color. “There is so much potential for many people of color in this city, and now is the time to take advantage of it,” she said.