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More names pop up for Roxbury, South Boston city council seats

Mayoral and City Council candidates must submit signatures for their bids by May 23. Councilors serve two-year terms.Keith Bedford/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

More names have surfaced as possible contenders in the 2017 City Council elections, particularly in two districts where it’s uncertain whether incumbents will stick around.

The potential candidates include Kim Janey, a community activist and public education champion who hails from a large and influential African-American family from Roxbury.

Janey told the Globe Wednesday she is seriously considering a bid to represent District 7, which encompasses her neighborhood of Roxbury. The current councilor, Tito Jackson, is strongly considering a challenge to Mayor Martin J. Walsh this year.

“I believe I have the right combination of skills, experience, and passion for my community to be a strong and effective voice’’ on the council, Janey said.


If Janey makes it official, she will join Rufus J. Faulk, the 34-year-old leader of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, who announced Tuesday he is ready to take his public safety advocacy to City Hall.

About 4 miles away from Roxbury — in District 2 — Corey Dinopoulos is weighing a run for the seat currently held by South Boston’s Bill Linehan, who is widely speculated to be departing the council.

Linehan, who would not comment on his plans, has said he will make a decision soon on his next steps. If he leaves, it would create an open seat and an easy contest for well-known community figures, such as Edward M. Flynn, the son of former mayor Raymond L. Flynn, who ran unsuccessfully for the District 2 seat previously.

Dinopoulos, an artist and community organizer who cofounded the privately backed Olympics bid known as Boston 2024, has been making the rounds in the district, saying his decision to run is “kind of an official yes.’’

The early speculation comes as councilors are fund-raising and campaigning for this year’s election.


The preliminary vote is Sept. 26, and the general election is Nov. 7.

Candidates must submit documents with the city’s Election Department between April 19 and May 16 declaring their intention to run. Mayoral and City Council candidates must submit signatures for their bids by May 23. Councilors serve two-year terms.

Mayoral candidates must submit 3,000 signatures; 1,500 for councilor at large; and up to 200 in the other council districts, according to the city’s elections website.

Another one of the candidates mulling a run is Hassan Williams, a 51-year-old attorney and former algebra teacher at Boston Latin School.

Williams ran unsuccessfully for office in 1999 against Chuck Turner. He said does not intend to challenge Jackson if the councilor decides to seek reelection.

“I’m not looking to unseat Tito Jackson,’’ said Williams, a lifelong Roxbury resident and community champion. “I’m looking to replace him. So if he moves on to larger office then I’ll run for his seat.’’

Miguel Chavez, a City Hall veteran, told the Globe previously he was exploring a council run in District 7. He said he does not plan to compete against Jackson.

Marvin L. Venay, former deputy director of government affairs for the state treasurer, is also considering a District 7 run, he said.

So far, Chavez and Faulk have filed documents seeking to organize a candidate’s committee, state records show.

Janey would add an interesting wrinkle in the race if she pursues her bid to become the district’s first female councilor. She has more than two decades in community and public education advocacy and is the senior project director at the Massachusetts Advocates for Children.


Originally from Dracut, Dinopoulos lived in Mission Hill and Jamaica Plain before moving to South Boston nine years ago, he said. District 2 also includes the South End and Chinatown.

Although the Boston 2024 bid failed, he said he learned a lot from the process, including the complexities, capabilities, and limitations of government. He called the experience humbling.

He has been eyeing a council run since 2011, saying the city needs more young leadership.

“There is an appetite for someone who is going to speak on behalf of the neighborhood,’’ he said.

Meghan E. Irons can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.