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Andrea Campbell on Political Advocacy for Youth

Meet The Homegirl: Boston City Councillor, Advocate for Youth

by Shermarie Hyppolite

Edit by Abigail Estrada

City Councilor Andrea Campbell is a powerful, community-minded leader who inspires young women across Boston with her genuine, dedicated advocacy for the people. Councilor Campbell earned her position as the District 4 Boston Councilor in November of 2015, representing Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, and Roslindale. She finds great importance in supporting African Americans in any way she can, representing districts that are predominantly black and lower-income.

Criminal justice is an important issue to many residents in Andrea's district; her own father was incarcerated for the first eight years of her life, and her two brothers cycled in and out of the criminal justice system during their young adulthood. Andrea deeply relates to families who are impacted by incarceration and strives to bring their voices and stories to the Council. She was inspired to run for City Council by the death of her twin brother, Andre. Andre and Andrea were both born and raised in Boston, attending Boston Public Schools. But while Andrea left Boston to attend Princeton University and UCLA Law School, Andre cycled in and out of the criminal justice system. He passed away at the age of 29 from scleroderma while incarcerated awaiting trial. His loss had a tremendous effect on Andrea, leading her to question why two twins born and raised in the City of Boston could have such different life outcomes.

Andrea Campbell’s experience with the criminal justice system inspired her to bring awareness to racial profiling while also providing opportunities for the youth of Massachusetts. She uses her platform to address the school-to-prison-pipeline, increase opportunities for young people to keep them out of the system, increase funding for re-entry services for residents returning from incarceration, and increase job opportunities for residents with a CORI . She began her career providing free legal services to students and parents with unique educational challenges, such as school discipline and special education needs.

Andrea has earned admiration from her constituency due to her reputation as a woman who genuinely cares for her community. Her steps towards providing affordable housing by supporting the Community Preservation Act, as well as providing opportunities for the youth and helping for those involved with the criminal justice system, make her an amazing role model to the youth.

Despite her success, Andrea must face countless barriers in order to enact political change. In 2018, there are a historic six women of color serving on the Boston City Council, and Andrea has the tremendous honor of being the first African-American woman to serve as President of the Council. But it has not always been this way; Andrea has had to push her way into an institution that has historically excluded those who look like her. That is why she is passionate about inspiring more young women to enter politics.

Today, Andrea Campbell is a fearless but compassionate leader. She looks out for all of her people, even those who do not have money, the right to vote, or even their freedom. By staying true to her roots and standing in solidarity with those without a voice, she hopes to empower more people than ever before.

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