Hyde Park resident Kelly Bates, a mom, problem-solver, crisis management leader, lawyer and a champion for women and girls, will launch her campaign for Boston City Council At-Large on Monday.
Since filing with the Office of Political Finance (OCPF), the Bates Campaign has raised $53,000 from 182 donors, with an average donation of $291.
Bates, who has led a number of local and national non-profit organizations over the past 25 years, is the daughter of a Black mother and an Irish father, who married in 1963 before interracial marriage was safe or widely accepted. Bates said, “I grew up in two worlds that were so similar yet so different. I saw pain, but also beauty, in each.” Bates lost relatives on both sides of her family to addiction, and felt the toll that mental illness played in her mother’s life. Bates has lived in Boston for nearly three decades and currently resides in Hyde Park with her husband Yves and sons Paul and Christian.
Bates decided to run for City Council because “Boston, the city I love, is in crisis: COVID-19 and addiction are ravaging our public health, families can no longer afford to remain in the city they love, and we desperately need a swift economic recovery that works for all. I’m running for City Council At-Large because I know that by coming together, we can not only repair our communities, but reimagine a better and more equitable future for Boston.”
Launching her campaign in Women’s History Month, Bates highlighted the role that women have played in her life: “I’m standing on the shoulders of strong women, who taught me that by bringing people together, we can overcome anything,” said Bates.
Issues facing women and girls will be central to Bates’ platform. After graduating from Boston University Law School, Bates led a coalition of over 50 women’s groups that successfully advocated for policies that benefited women and girls, passing legislation that ensured new mothers could stay in the hospital longer after childbirth and one of the first laws prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace. Bates is also a founding board member of Emerge Massachusetts, which trains and supports women running for political office. “I truly believe that when women succeed, Boston succeeds,” she said.
Bates has also been a long-time advocate for Boston’s young people. Bates brought together residents throughout the city, and fought to save Boston’s neighborhood libraries from closures and devastating cuts. She also serves on the board of directors of her son’s school, Fenway High, supporting students, parents, and educators during remote learning, “By bringing people together, we can build a more equitable Boston.”
Bates released a video and a campaign website, batesforboston.com. A transcript of the video follows:
Every day, I think about my parents. I’m the proud daughter of a Black mother and an Irish father who married in 1963. I grew up in two different worlds, and saw a lot of loss and a lot of love in each.
I moved through these worlds standing on the shoulders of strong women who taught me that by bringing people together, we can overcome anything.
I’ve had relatives survive and others lose their lives from addiction; be it opioids, crack cocaine, or alcohol.
I lost my mom when she was 60, she struggled for most of my life with mental and physical health challenges. My dad always reminds me of her deep belief in hope despite the hardships she faced.
Boston is in crisis: COVID-19 and addiction are ravaging our public health, families can no longer afford to remain in the city they love, and we desperately need a swift economic recovery that works for all.
We need to rebuild our crumbling schools and help our children rebound from the pandemic.
We can tackle the climate emergency before it’s too late.
Save Boston residents money and create jobs by making the T fare-free, and end violence by uplifting our youth, like during the Boston Miracle.
I’m Kelly Bates and I’m running for Boston City Council-At Large because I know that by coming together, we not only can repair our communities, but reimagine a better and more equitable future for Boston.