U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who shook up the political establishment with her victory in last November’s election, came to Chelsea last Thursday night to support the candidacy of Damali Vidot, who is seeking re-election to the Chelsea City Council.
Pressley appeared at a campaign event that drew a tremendous crowd to the Ersiliana Festa function hall adorned with blue and white “Re-Elect Daali signs and balloons, rekindling memories of the Chelsea of the 1960s and 1970s when elections drew huge turnouts at the polls. Residents from all parts of the city and all walks of life came out to support Vidot, the current president of the City Council.
The state delegation of Sen. Sal DiDomenico and Rep. Dan Ryan attended as did Rep. Michael Connolly of Cambridge, and former Boston city councillor Tito Jackson. GreenRoots Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni, a former councillor-at-large, was also in attendance.
Like Pressley, Vidot is viewed as a bold and innovative community leader with an exceptional ability to rally her constituents behind important causes. As council president, Vidot has brought the spotlight to the City Council and its efforts to improve the quality of life in Chelsea.
Pressley received a warm and prolonged ovation as she took the stage. The congresswoman, who has quickly become a nationally recognized voice in the House of Representatives, delivered a stirring endorsement of Vidot’s campaign and her record as a city councillor.
“Leaders like Damali are ushering in transformation; a politics that is not based on transaction,” said Pressley. “Before you ask someone for their vote, you are asking them about their life and their struggles and lifting up their ideas and their innovation and extending a hand.
“These times demand and require bold activist leadership, not only in Washington but on a municipal level and Damali exhibits that every single day in her work for environmental justice, transit equity, housing justice, violence prevention and youth development,” said Pressley. “She is there for everyone that was ignored, left out and left behind – creating space for every voice.”
Vidot said she was “humbled” by the outpouring of support at the event that more resembled an old-fashioned political rally than a current day fundraiser.
“I am completely humbled by the over 200 people that came out to show their support of me at my campaign kickoff,” said Vidot. “The room was packed with youth, elders, members of clergy, elected officials both local and from the surrounding region; but most importantly a beautiful diverse group of residents from every corner of the city. It was a true reflection of Chelsea and our shared values. I am honored to be lifted in community and am prepared to drive our voices as my mission.”
The campaign fundraiser drew a sizable crowd to the Ersiliana Festa function hall, with Chelsea residents joining other supporters from beyond the city’s borders.