By, Araybia G. ’19
If you live in Massachusetts, you have probably heard of Ayanna Pressley by now, but there is so much about her that you likely do not know! Pressley grew up in Chicago, Illinois, with a low-income family and moved to Boston to attend Boston University in 1992. Pressley had her share of tribulations in her own life, especially when she survived sexual assault as a young woman while attending college. Pressley never graduated from Boston University, as she made the decision to withdraw from school in 1994 to help support her mother, both a selfless act and a testament to the kind of person Ayanna Pressley is: someone who stands up for those in need. She often uses her platform to advocate for women, people of color, low-income citizens, and anyone who needs a voice stronger than their own. Despite not graduating, Pressley was able to acquire a job working as a district representative for Joseph P. Kennedy, whom she met through an internship at Boston University. As Pressley worked for Kennedy, she gained more and more recognition. In 2009, Ayanna became Senator John Kerry’s political director; later that year, she was elected onto the Boston City Council and named an official member on January 4, 2010. She was the first woman of color to be a representative on the Boston City Council.
Pressley has continued to make history, recently becoming the Democratic nominee for Massachusetts’s 7th Congressional District. She won against Michael Capuano, who had held his seat for over 20 years, and her victory is being celebrated not only with her team but also by people all over the nation! What makes Pressley stand out is her relentless drive and her approach to battling both communal and nationwide threats. She is a strong advocate on issues such as gun control, income inequality, accessibility to a college education, affordable health care, and much more. As the Massachusetts Democratic nominee, Ayanna is running to have a seat in Congress, which would be a phenomenal accomplishment for a woman with her background in this district! Teresa L. ’19 shared that she “was really excited to hear that Ayanna Pressley had won!” Over the summer, Teresa was able “to see her speak both while campaigning to be representative and while advocating for residents as a Boston City Councilor.” Teresa also added, “She is a powerful change maker and will do great things in DC.” Samantha C. ’19, with a different knowledge of Pressley said “I don’t know much about her, but I think what’s she done is really cool! I hope this inspires more minorities to pursue positions of power.”
In this time in the country, there has been a lot of tension between political parties and American citizens altogether. At this time, new voices are necessary to bring back the purpose of having different political parties: to represent different perspectives and break the tension. It is not only exciting, but also inspiring for so many people to have Ayanna as a nominee for Congress.
Her resilience throughout her own personal and political life has made the American people put faith in her vision and the difference she can make. She continues to be supported on a larger scale every time she attempts to pave the way. Ayanna is a true trailblazer and people from all walks of life are genuinely excited to stand with her on this journey