Remarks as prepared:
Good morning, thank you all for being here today.
Boston is my home. I have deep roots here. A connection that drives me to work harder and deliver more for the city I love.
My name is Annissa Essaibi George and I am running for Mayor of Boston.
I want to be Mayor of this Boston –
The city that welcomed my mother, born a child with no home, only with the hope of her parents for a better future.
The city that welcomed my dad, an Arab Muslim from North Africa, who because of his experiences, could never have imagined his daughter, with a name like Annissa Essaibi, could ever be elected to anything.
They worked hard and sacrificed to ensure their children could have a shot at the American dream, and it is because of them that I am able to stand before you today as an At-Large City Councilor, a former teacher, a small business owner, a mom and now a candidate for mayor in the city they were so proud to make home.
My past, like all of you, is very much a part of who I am and will continue to shape my work.
I’m a mom to four boys. Four teenagers. To all the moms out there–I see you, holding your families together during a global pandemic–you know that we have no choice but to multi-task. To manage priorities. To show up every damn day and do the hard work, most unseen and without praise or fanfare. City Hall needs to operate in the same way. There’s too much to do. That’s why I will take it head on: Roll up my sleeves, take on the day, and dig in. Work hard. Get it done. Deliver.
I am a former Boston Public Schools teacher here at East Boston High School. It has made me a fierce advocate for access to a great education for all. But it also gave me a front row seat to the challenges that our families face day in and day out. Housing and homelessness. Food insecurity. Poor access to transportation. The need to juggle multiple jobs. Language barriers. Childcare. Healthcare. The roadblocks in this city are real. The inequities persist. We have to face them head on and fast.
I am also a small business owner. I’m so proud of what I built. It took work. Small shops and restaurants and businesses make each neighborhood special, and in turn, make Boston special. These past few months have been devastating for our small businesses. They need support to rebuild and recover.
I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished for my city over the past 5 years. And I don’t plan on slowing down.
As I travel around the city, I see it, hear it, feel it – I feel it. Every day. From Dorchester to Charlestown, Brighton to Mattapan, Hyde Park to here in East Boston and everywhere in between, I hear your voices, your stories, your struggles.
And then I do something. I find a path forward. I work to make it better.
Mayor Walsh has fiercely dedicated himself to bettering Boston over the past 7 years, and there’s still so much work to do.
And while Boston is an incredible place to call home, COVID has shone a bright light on our shortcomings and disparities. But this is a city of scrappy, hard working people. I know there’s nothing we can’t accomplish together. We can and will learn from our mistakes and build a stronger, more resilient city for all.
I’m running for Mayor because I believe in a Boston that sees the inequity, the everyday injustices, the wrongs and tackles them head on.
I believe in a Boston that lifts up every neighborhood and embraces all who call it home.
I have been doing the work on the Boston City Council engaging with all our neighborhoods, being present, responsible and responsive to the needs of our residents. And I will work to improve the everyday lives of Bostonians.
A strong city government is led by a Mayor that listens and learns, shows up, gets in the trenches, and isn’t afraid to work. Real change, real progress happens when we come together. When we seek to better understand each other. Nothing is off the table, when we ensure everyone is at the table.
I believe in a Boston that doesn’t settle.
That isn’t okay with just good enough. That doesn’t accept that only some are thriving.
I believe in a Boston that sees growth and inclusion. Justice and safety. Wealth and equity. These things are not mutually exclusive. Boston can do this.
I want to be Mayor of this Boston, this great city. A place that has lifted me up and made it possible for me, a first generation American, a daughter of immigrants, a Dorchester kid with an Arab name to run for Mayor.
I want to be Mayor of this incredible city, a place where we ask more of ourselves, where we push ourselves for better.
Because we can always do and be better.
Read more about Councilor Essaibi-George’s campaign here.