Former Boston mayoral contender and outgoing city councilor Andrea Campbell is rolling out a slate of endorsements Tuesday — but a mayoral candidate’s name will be conspicuously missing from that list.
Campbell, who placed third in the city’s preliminary mayoral election last month, will back the At-Large bids of incumbent councilor Julia Mejia, David Halbert, Ruthzee Louijeune and Carla Monteiro, as well as Brian Worrell in the race for the District 4 seat she currently holds.
The candidates, she said, would continue to diversify the council, which became majority women and people of color for the first time in the 2019 municipal election cycle.
"I have met with them. They each bring, of course, unique lived experiences to the work, deep passion for community, a commitment to equity and accountability," said Campbell.
Each agreed to an eight-point policy pledge that mirrors some of Campbell's biggest campaign priorities, she said, including: staffing and financing the new Office of Police Accountability and Transparency; pursuing discipline and overtime changes to the city's contracts with police officers; and establishing a "universal birth to 5 initiative" to guarantee pre-K and affordable childcare for Boston’s youngest kids.
She told GBH News she has met with both former rivals Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu and is still waiting for specific commitments on police reform and schools before giving one of them her political blessing.
"I've made it more clear to Councilor Essaibi George that our positions on policing reform are very much far apart. I've told Councilor Wu that I am open," Campbell explained. "But, I'm waiting for commitments and looking to push her, particularly on policing reform and reallocation, which is something she signed on to previously."
Last year, Wu signed on to a letter authored by acting mayor Kim Janey demanding a set of legislative measures aimed at addressing the roots of systemic inequities plaguing Boston’s Black and brown communities. A 10% reduction of the Boston Police Department budget and overtime budget was among those measures.
Wu's position on police reform is the focus of a new negative ad launched over the weekend by a super PAC backing Annissa Essaibi George. In it, a woman's voice accuses Wu of wanting to defund Boston's police, city services and the MBTA system over an ominous piano tune.
A spokesperson for Wu labelled the ad a "dishonest, desperate" and "Trumpian" in a written statement.
"Michelle has called for increased funding for public safety and public health, and unlike our opponent, she has real plans for police accountability and reform instead of the broken status quo," said Sarah Anders, Wu’s communications director.
Campbell said Monday night she's hoping to hear more details from Wu on her plans to reallocate a portion of the police budget into violence prevention programs and community-based groups that address the root causes of violence.
"It's a way to build trust in communities, especially communities of color, that distrust government and don't think it will work for them in the way in which to change. ... If you don't have that level of specificity, it's really hard to hold any elected or candidate accountable," Campbell explained. "And I plan on holding everyone accountable who I endorse. Hence, the policy pledge I put out."
"I'm still open to conversation," she added.
Wu has racked up multiple endorsements from other elected officials in the weeks since the preliminary election, including two Monday from former Roxbury city councilor Tito Jackson and former state representative and 2013 mayoral candidate Charlotte Golar Richie.
A recent poll also found even without her endorsement, Campbell's preliminary voters are more likely to support Wu in the Nov. 2 final election.