“This incumbent has never been about action.”
You may be tired of politics after that exhausting presidential race and everything that went with it, but Ashawn Dabney-Small is just getting started. The 18-year-old Dorchester native is running for Boston City Council in District 3, taking on incumbent Frank Baker in next November’s municipal election.
Dabney-Small’s platform prioritizes accessibility, in terms of disability rights and constituent outreach, as well as education, housing, and youth engagement. A gay Afro-Latino student, they’re all issues that stem from his experience, which also includes spending time in foster care and, more recently, working with activist groups and on political campaigns for Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, and Ayanna Pressley, who he cites as a leading inspiration. Dabney-Small also served as an arts and culture youth director for the Mayor’s Youth Council, and as a Teen Arts Council member for the Museum of Fine Arts.
As for why he is running for this seat specifically; in addition to District 3 being home, the candidate is troubled by the incumbent and his center-right leanings. Baker has been in office since 2012, and has a somewhat controversial record on housing, especially since he voted against a nonbinding resolution for a pandemic rent moratorium.
“We need to be about action,” Dabney-Small told the Dig. “This incumbent has never been about action. He’s always been about slow [progress]. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about and quite frankly… he’s taking his position for granted.”
The candidate continued, “We need to call out the BS and that BS is Frank Baker.”
Annie Bennett is a student at Emerson College and freelances as a reporter. She is majoring in Journalism and minoring in Peace and Social Justice & Comedy: Writing and Performance. She reports primarily on politics and social justice issues. When not working, she can be found playing Mario Kart, sleeping, or on the quidditch pitch with her teammates from Emerson!