by Lauren Bennett • May 24, 2019

Six contenders for Boston District 8 City Council participated in a standing-room-only forum moderated by President Emerita of Lesley University, Margaret McKenna, on May 21. Candidates Kenzie Bok, Montez Haywood, Landon Lemoine, Kristen Mobilia, Jennifer Nassour, and Helene Vincent shared their thoughts on various issues ranging from education to the opiate crisis to traffic. Though the position of city councilor is non-partisan, all candidates are Democrats except for Jennifer Nassour, who is a Republican.

The candidates were asked how to close the opportunity gap—Nassour, Vincent, and Bok said universal Pre-K, while Lemoiune thinks free lunches would help, Montez said building schools in neighborhoods, and Mobilia said that additional support services would contribute to closing the gap.

Candidates were also asked individual questions based on their personal experiences. McKenna said that the last time a Republican was on the Boston City Council was 1981, and asked Nassour what it would be like to be the sole Republican on the Council should she be elected.

“We need a diversity of opinions,” Nassour said. “I’m a public school kid, my mom said, ‘go to school, get your education, and work hard,’ It’s not about politics, it’s about streets, traffic, sidewalks, and quality of life. That’s why it’s a nonpartisan position.” She believes her experience raising three young girls has given her a “vast view of the world.”

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