January 13, 2019
Freshman U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley vowed Saturday to tackle inequality in housing, education and to be a voice for the voiceless in Washington as hundreds of supporters pledged to partner with her at Roxbury Community College.
Chanting “black girl magic,” hundreds of people from the 7th Congressional District turned out for Pressley’s “community swearing-in” ceremony. Attorney General Maura Healey, who backed Pressley in the campaign, swore Pressley in before hundreds of residents who also took a pledge to partner with the former Boston city councilor.
“I think she brings a refreshing change in our Congress,” said Ingrid Trench, 48, of Mattapan. “I think she will bring change for our neighborhoods and fight for the causes we are fighting for in our neighborhoods like gun violence and equality for all. It is awesome to hear her say ‘Can a congresswoman wear braids and a black leather jacket?’ Of course she can.”
Pressley, Massachusetts’ first black congresswoman, brought up young children from black, brown and LGBTQ communities onstage to be the center of the community pledge. A choir group, the Voices of Renaissance from the Boston Renaissance Charter School, performed.
In Washington, Pressley says she is lobbying for a seat on the financial services committee, where she says she can address inequity in public housing, consumer protection and address the impact of redlining.
“The 7th Congressional District is the most diverse and unequal district in our delegation, arguably one of the most unequal in the country,” Pressley said. “From Cambridge to Roxbury — a nearly three-mile radius — life expectancy drops by 30 years and median household income by $50,000. I want to do something about that. Unprecedented times require unprecedented legislating.”
Pressley blasted President Trump over the government shutdown.
“We have to continue to apply pressure on this Senate and current occupant of the White House to end this shutdown,” Pressley said. “The irony is he has framed this shutdown as a Trojan horse on border security when our borders are secure. We do not need to be kept safe from families and children seeking asylum, which is legal immigration. We have immigrants overstaying visas which speaks to the fact that we have a policy problem. This is not about border security. It is laughable that he continues to frame things in this way.”