2021 Candidate Endorsements

Boston Democratic Socialists of America will be endorsing candidates who share our purpose of building a mass socialist movement in the US and extending democratic principles into all spheres of life including the workplace and economy. We see our electoral work as inseparable from that mission. We are selective in who we endorse, because we want to build close relationships with our endorsed candidates, provide them significant support in contacting voters, and build a socialism movement together.

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The Candidates


Tessa Bridge for Ward 5

As a racial justice organizer and committed socialist, Tessa is running to build a Somerville that is equitable, sustainable, and healthy for all. That means fighting for affordable housing, fully funded public schools, and social services, climate justice, and racial equity on all levels of society. Tessa and her family are deeply connected and committed to the labor struggle, her husband is the President of the Somerville Educators Union. Tessa is inspired by her children and her work as an organizer to fight for a livable and just future for Somerville. Learn more about Tessa here.

Willie Burnley, Jr. for At Large

As a queer community organizer, former union steward, cyclist, and renter, Willie knows there is much more that we can do to stop displacement and evictions and to live up to Somerville’s values. Fighting on the front lines of the most pressing social movements of the day, Willie has seen first-hand the need for urgency and transformative structural change and hopes to bring that much needed vision to City Hall. Find out more about the policies he would bring to Somerville here.

Charlotte Kelly for At Large

A fourth-generation Somerville resident, Charlotte is a queer socialist and Boston DSA member. Charlotte has extensive advocacy and organizing experience; as Executive Director of the MEJA, she secured more equitable and better-funded public schools. Charlotte will fight for union-built affordable housing, fare-free public transit, municipal voting rights for undocumented people, citywide broadband, and expanded green space. Learn more about her campaign here.

Becca Miller for Ward 7

With a background fighting for food security and accessibility in our state, Becca is a democratic ecosocialist, a renter, and a climate justice organizer with Boston’s chapter and national DSA. Becca’s campaign is built around a Somerville Green New Deal, housing justice, defunding the police, and strengthening organized labor. She is running on her belief in collective struggle and community-based responses to the many crises we face. You can help support her fight for a green future here.

JT Scott for Ward 2

First elected in 2017, JT is a testament to the power of having socialists in office and is running for re-election this year to continue the fight for affordable housing, transparency, as well as racial and economic justice. JT uses his position on city councilor and as chair of the finance committee to hold the city accountable for the promises they make, as well as fight tooth and nail to make Somerville a more equitable place to live. Help get JT to a third term here.

Eve Seitchik for At Large

A life-long MA resident, Eve has been an organizer in Somerville the past two years, serving as Boston DSA’s co-chair. Eve is fighting for a fare-free transit in Somerville as part of a Green New Deal, Housing for All through protecting tenant rights and unions, and re-distributing police funds to crisis workers, trauma support, and non-congregate shelter. Find out more about their campaign here.

Ben Ewen-Campen for Somerville Ward 3

An advocate for housing justice, Ben has worked to make housing more affordable, sustainable, and secure by establishing a Citywide Affordable Housing Overlay District, overhauling Somerville’s Zoning to improve affordability, environmental sustainability, and green and open space, as well as passing tenant protections like the Tenant Notification Act and the Tenant Right to Purchase. He has also passed a Facial Recognition Surveillance Ban, civilian oversight of police, and a ban on tear gas. Learn how Ben fights for his constituents here.


Kendra Hicks for District 6

Kendra is a proud socialist, artist, and a first-generation Black Dominican woman running for Boston City Council in District 6. As a lifelong community organizer, she has long fought to bring the margins to the center, a fight she is bringing to city hall. She is committed to defunding the BPD, pushing for rent control, closing the racial wealth gap, and increasing government transparency and accountability. Check out her (self designed) website here.

Joel Richards for District 4

Joel Richards, is a BTU activist, first generation Jamaican American, community organizer, and candidate for District 4. As an organizer, he advocated to reduce the BPD budget and get police out of schools. He is running for city council to get more for District 4, more quality public schools, more affordable housing, and more resources for economic justice. Learn more and get involved here.


Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler for Cambridge City Council

Jivan is a Boston DSA member and organizer who was endorsed by the chapter in his winning bid in 2019. As the one of the only renters on the City Council, Jivan is a champion for tenants’ rights and housing justice, a critical issue facing Cambridge in 2021. Jivan has also been a leader on equitable transit. In his first term, Jivan has been a consistent voice for a more democratic Cambridge city government and knows how to work with our movement to keep organizing for the change Cambridge desperately needs. You can learn more about Jivan here.

Quinton Zondervan for Cambridge City Council

Quinton is an Afro-Caribbean immigrant and community activist who won the election to Cambridge City Council with Boston DSA’s endorsement in 2017. Quinton chairs the Health & Environment and the Public Safety Committees. He has been active on climate justice, policing, and advocating for our houseless neighbors in Cambridge. This term, he introduced policy orders seeking to divert a $4.1 million budget increase for the Cambridge Police Department to other City departments and to demilitarize the CPD. You find out what other policies he supports here.


Zac Bears for Medford City Council

DSA Boston is proud to endorse Zac Bears! A life-long resident of Medford with first-hand experience with the housing affordability crisis, Zac Bears is a DSA member who is running for reelection to continue the fight for the city budget Medford deserves. With an emphasis on using the budget to fund city services and public schools–a modern-day ‘Sewer Socialist’–Zac believes in moving funding away from the city police and toward emergency response services like mental health support professionals and civilian traffic enforcement. Get to know Zac here.

The Process

We will have two rounds of candidate endorsements. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

  • Jan 31st - Questionnaire - You will need to complete this 6-page questionnaire by January 31st (for the 1st round). Please email back your responses to electoral@bostondsa.org. Please submit responses back to us in either google docs or Microsoft word format. Please do not submit in PDF format, as we cannot easily redact the confidential questions about your field plans. Questionnaire answers will be made public.

  • Feb - Candidate Forum - After you submit your questionnaire, our electoral working group will review your answers, and might reach out for clarification on any points. Then, we'll vote on whether to invite candidates in for an endorsement interview via zoom. This will be recorded and may be published. Any Boston DSA member will be able to ask you questions about your candidacy or specific policies.

  • March 20th - Endorsement Vote - We will hold a debate during our March 20th General Meeting, and then members will vote online. We expect to be able to announce first round endorsements by April 1st.

  • 2nd Round - We have not established firm dates for this yet, but it is likely we'll ask for questionnaires to be submitted by March 31st, hold candidate forums during April, and debate/vote on endorsements at our May General Meeting. [It's possible we could delay these dates by a month]

Please create a copy in google docs or download as Microsoft word. (File > Download as > Microsoft Word). Do not submit as PDF or we'll be unable to fully redact your answers to the confidential questions.

Questions? Email electoral@bostondsa.org

Questionnaire Link