Barros is the fifth mayoral candidate to enter the race.
Community development leader, small business owner, and Boston’s first Chief of Economic Development John Barros will launch his campaign for Mayor of Boston on Thursday. A former community organizer and executive director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Barros will make the announcement on Thursday, March 4 at 10:00 a.m. at Restaurante Cesaria, the neighborhood restaurant he has owned and operated for the past two decades.
A lifelong resident of Boston, Barros’ parents emigrated from Capo Verde to Boston, where he attended both public and Catholic schools. At age 14, he became a community organizer with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), the Roxbury and Dorchester-based community land trust. In 1991, he was the first youth elected to the DSNI Board of Directors.
Barros later served as executive director of DSNI/DNI, the largest urban community land trust in the country. He held that post for 13 years, during which time the organization made tremendous strides toward neighborhood revitalization and community wealth creation. Working with community partners, DSNI developed new community centers and created open spaces and parks. It opened schools, commercial property, and built permanently affordable housing.
In 2014, he was appointed as Boston’s first Chief of Economic Development, where he oversaw programs to help businesses grow while fostering economic inclusion and equity. Prior to that, John had served on the Boston School Committee for three years.
Barros earned a Master of Public Policy from Tufts University and a B.A. in African/African-American Studies from Dartmouth College. He lives with his wife Tchintcia and their four children in Dorchester.