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'I Understand The Challenges,' Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey Running For Full Term

BOSTON (CBS) – Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey has officially declared she's in the race for mayor this fall. Janey made the announcement in a video early Tuesday morning.

"I am here today to announce that I am running for a full term as mayor," she told reporters at a news conference in Roxbury's Nubian Square. "The work to address the challenges we face from COVID and racial inequalities that have been inherited from centuries of structural racism will take longer than a few months to change."

Janey, 55, was the City Council president when she became the first woman and first Black Mayor of Boston last month after Marty Walsh resigned to become Secretary of Labor. Janey is serving out the rest of Walsh's term this year.

Read: Keller @ Large: Kim Janey Has Huge Advantage In Boston Mayor's Race

Janey will be up against at least five other candidates: John Barros, Boston's former Chief of Economic Development, State Representative Jon Santiago, and city councilors Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu.

boston mayor race candidates
(WBZ-TV graphic)

"It is going to take fearless leadership, bold action, and a commitment to doing the hard work to make Boston the equitable city, our residents want, need, and deserve," Janey said. "My life experience is like none of my predecessors."

Janey grew up in Roxbury, and is a graduate of the Boston and Reading Public Schools, as well as Smith College. She was elected the first woman to represent District 7 in 2017, and was voted president of the council in 2020. She became a mother in high school and is now the grandmother of three.

"There are huge challenges facing our city. I think I have unique experiences as someone who grew up here and faced many of those challenges firsthand," Janey said Tuesday.

She added that she wants the city to come out of the pandemic stronger than before.

"As we recover together as a city we can't simply go back to the way things were. The only option is to go better," the acting mayor said. "I am focused on recovery, reopening, and renewal."

"We need to make home ownership, and the generational wealth that it creates, possible for those who have for far too long been denied the American dream," Janey said.

"I understand the challenges so many of our residents are facing, from structural racism, food and housing insecurity, failing schools, and faltering public transportation, hurdles to homeownership, and the fear for our families and neighbors' safety. I understand these challenges, because I have lived them."

Challengers Wu, Essaibi George and Santiago all welcomed Janey to the race.

"Our campaign is focused on organizing in every neighborhood with the strongest track record of delivering bold changes. We're building a multigenerational, multicultural, multiracial coalition to meet this moment and build a city for everyone," Wu said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

"I've had the privilege of serving alongside her on the Boston City Council and know we share a deep love for the City of Boston and commitment to its future," Essaibi George said.

"As we confront this urgent moment and build a recovery rooted in equity and opportunity, the more voices we have at the table, the better. This is a historic field of candidates that is truly reflective of our city," Santiago said.

Campbell, the only other Black woman in the race, told WBZ-TV her experience and background still set her apart. "Boston has a unique opportunity to address our own painful history of racism and division and to do the really hard work of eradicating the inequities in our city that exist because of that history. And for that to happen, I truly believe and still believe that I'm the best candidate to do just that," she said.

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