Edwards Announces Her Candidacy for State Senate

Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards announced her candidacy for State Senate Sunday afternoon during a campaign kickoff event held at the William Reinstein Bandstand on Revere Beach.

Edwards is running for the First Suffolk and Middlesex District seat held by Sen. Joseph Boncore of Winthrop, who has stepped down from the position to become the chief executive officer at Mass BioTech.

Democratic State Committeeman Juan Pablo Jaramillo introduced Edwards prior to the announcement of her candidacy in front of an enthusiastic group of supporters.

“I am a long-time activist in this city and the neighborhood of Ward 2 and I’m very excited that you have all joined us today,” said Jaramillo. “We know that Lydia has been a tireless advocate for working families in our community and around the Commonwealth – from her work doing the domestic workers’  bill of rights, and insuring that we have good, strong-paying jobs throughout the district.

“Just a stone’s throw away from here, she fought to ensure that we have more affordable housing in what will be a 20-year development in the area,” continued Jaramillo. “Aside from her being my friend, I know that she is the best candidate to fill what will be my former boss’ position. I had the pleasure of working in Senator Boncore’s office for three years, and I know exactly what type of senator our district needs, and I know Lydia will meet that expectation and exceed it by a lot.”

Edwards, who represents East Boston, Charlestown, and the North End on the Boston City Council, began her remarks by stating, “I’m running to be your next state senator. My name is Lydia Edwards, and I live in East Boston. I’m a career advocate. I’m a person who has come from all over the world – my mother was in the military and raised me all over the world to really appreciate what community can be.

“And while you may not be born in a community, you can create community, you can lead in that community, and you can always serve in that community – and that’s why I’m running – to serve each and every one of you in whatever language, to make sure you are seen, that you are heard, that you are valued,” said Edwards.

She told the attendees that she is a legal services attorney who has been practicing law for 15 years. “I have worked in immigration, I have worked for workers’ rights, I’ve done criminal defense for people who are driving without a driver’s license – I have been there when people have had nothing, because I have been that person who needed people to help people.”

Edwards said that after her mother left the Air Force, “she worked two jobs because the minimum wage was $5.15 an hour. I know a lot of you know parents who are working two jobs right now to pay the rent. I will not forget where I come from, and I will not forget that my mother still taught me, it’s about service to others, even when she worked two jobs, and had a part-time job on Saturday. I had a job and my sister had a job, and we would pull our money together to pay the bills.

“A lot of families are doing that right now,” she said. “A lot of families are doing that in East Boston and they’re doing it throughout the district. I’m running for them. I’m running for the kids who are on free lunch. I’m running for the seniors oftentimes who are on limited income and can barely afford to keep their homes.

“There are a lot of people who are struggling right now,” said Edwards. “And I’ve been honored to serve them as a legal services attorney, and I certainly could do so as your next state senator. We have a grassroots campaign and it is strong and growing every day.”

Edwards said her supporters consist of people from varied jobs and backgrounds. “You can’t look and see what a typical Lydia Edwards voter is, and that’s intentional. I meet people, all people where they are, and it’s important to hear and listen. We speak a lot as politicians but we don’t really hear the pain, the struggle, and understand the policies to really help people.”

Proud of her service as a member of the Boston City Council, Edwards said, “I have the strongest record right now of delivering for my district. In this race, I currently represent the most people of anybody running. I represent over 75,000 people in my district. My district is very diverse in its political leanings, but I can say honestly that they have said consistently I have delivered for them.”

Turning her thoughts to the new development planned for the Suffolk Downs site, Edwards said, “We pushed to make sure that was an equitable development, and we got resources for all of our communities, especially in East Boston. We brought home $800,000 for rent relief – 800 families are going to get a $1,000 check.”

Edwards said that government needs to be proactive and progressive to ensure that everyone is represented, and everyone is getting their value for their tax dollars.

“I have the strongest record of delivering, not just only in housing and making sure people are housed, but in transportation and making sure we’re building infrastructure for all modes of transportation, including a ferry which is finally going to start in East Boston on Sept. 27,” said Edwards. “I have the strongest record in making sure that immigrants are protected and heard, and this is all before I was a politician.

I’m asking for your vote. I’m asking for your time. I’m asking for your heart. I’m asking to get on the doors with me. We can do this. December 14. Again, my name is Lydia Edwards, and I’m running to be your next state senator.”

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