Is Boston finally past tribal politics?

During Mel King’s 1983 mayoral campaign, a coalition of Black, Latino, Asian and progressive white activists came together to push for the former state representative’s bid. While King lost to City Councilor Raymond Flynn in the general election, the nexus of activists and voters of color that supported him, referred to as the Rainbow Coalition, took on a life of its own.

Although the name died out locally after Jesse Jackson used it in his 1984 presidential campaign, an informal alliance of political activists and voters of color and white progressives in Boston has persisted since then, helping to fuel electoral victories for candidates such as Felix D. Arroyo, who in 2003 became the first Latino elected to the City Council, Sam Yoon, who in 2005 became the first Asian American elected to the council, and Ayanna Pressley, the first Black woman elected to the council and later to Congress


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