Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell ’00
Andrea J. Campbell, an alumna of Boston Public Schools, has committed herself to public service. She has done amazing work as a city councilor representing District 4. Councilor Campbell’s focus has always been on public safety, whether that be police accountability or strengthening public education to build a better tomorrow. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been an emphasis on helping those who have been overlooked by many policies in place. While these issues are starting to gain more traction, this is work Campbell and her team have been doing for years. She believes this momentum will help bring more opportunities to discuss racial inequalities with her counterparts. Campbell wants the public to see Boston for what it is, and to recognize that putting our city on a pedestal is not an effective way to improve it; disparities and discrimination are still prevalent. There is always work to be done, Campbell states: “we can always do better”. One of Campbell’s many goals is economic opportunity for all. Increasing accessibility to programs and stressing diversity in the workplace are important steps to achieving that goal. Campbell also highlights the importance of affordable housing. Within her first year as a councilor, she co-sponsored the Community Preservation Act. This act allowed for an annual 20 million dollars to be put towards the production of affordable housing. It is important to note that Campbell’s team directly reflects who she represents in District 4: those who come from all walks of life. She believes diversity in experience is just as important as racial diversity. Campbell emphasizes intersectional diversity as it is often seen as secondary in many political spaces. Councilor Campbell values teamwork and encourages engagement from everyone she works with, no one is made to feel small in the workplace. No one is made to feel insignificant.
-Danielle Augustin WF’20
Andrea Campbell was born and raised in Boston where she attended Boston Public Schools and graduated from Boston Latin School. After finishing high school, Campbell would go on to graduate from Princeton as well as UCLA Law School. After returning home to Boston, Campbell would go onto provide pro bono legal services at Roxbury Non-profit, assisting students and families with legal matters involving education. Early in her career, Campbell also worked in the private and public sector and would eventually become the deputy legal counsel for Governor Deval Patrick. In 2015, Campbell was elected to serve as the Boston City Councilor for District 4, representing Dorchester, Mattapan, and parts of Roslindale and JP. In 2018, she was unanimously voted by her peers to become the first African-American Women President of the Boston City Council.
As a City Councilor, Andrea Campbell has been an outspoken advocate on issues regarding criminal justice, public safety, fair housing, and racial equity. She spearheaded the Community Preservation Act which provided annual funding for affordable housing and open space in the city. Councilor Campbell was also responsible for transforming the Committee on Public Safety to focus on issues of Criminal Justice reform. On the committee, she has raised city-wide discussions on solitary confinement, citizen re-entry, and the school to prison pipeline. Most recently, Campbell has proposed the City’s first ever Civilian Review Board in order to combat Police Brutality and Misconduct. Campbell has also pioneered a line item in the City’s budget to specially support youth development programs and services. Additionally, Councilor Campbell is a leader in the fight for local economic development, increased civic engagement, more transparency in Council, and support for Boston’s Senior citizens.
Today, Councilor Campbell resides in Mattapan with her husband, Matthew, and their two sons, Alexander and Aidan. The Councilor adores her neighborhood for it’s tight-knit community, diversity, and civic engagement.
-Mateo Daffin WF’20
Andrea Campbell regularly asks herself how two twins from the same household could end up as differently as she and her twin brother Andre did. Growing up in Boston, Campbell attended the esteemed Boston Latin School while neither of her brothers did. She then went on to attend Princeton University while her brother Andre suffered the relentless scrutiny of the criminal justice system, and ultimately died in custody when he and Andrea were only 29. This traumatic experience galvanized Campbell towards advocating for a justice system that is transparent and equitable, and an education system that keeps youth away from incarceration. Campbell now serves the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale and Jamaica Plain in her role on the Boston City Council, and was the first African-American woman to serve as President. Alongside her efforts to reform criminal justice and eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline, Campbell has distinguished herself as a tenacious advocate for affordable housing, a key aspect to leveling Boston’s playing field. Recently, the culmination of racial tension in the US has turned national attention toward local level policies and the power of the city council, so Campbell’s focus on reforming the police with body cameras and a civilian review board has risen in popularity. She also has experienced Boston’s segregation firsthand, going from her primarily non-white neighborhood to a primarily white high school, and emphasizes the need for Bostonians to recognize how far we still have to go. She specifically highlights the fact that within a 10 minute drive in Boston, there will be million dollar-mansions and there will be shuttered, degrading businesses, the remnants of a legacy of redlining and housing discrimination that plagues Boston to this day. Today, she lives with her husband, Matthew, and son, Alexander, in Mattapan and continues to fight for equity among her constituents and a more just Boston.
-Graciela Berman-Reinhardt WF’20