Ayanna Pressley Bio
|Ayanna S. Pressley was born on 3 February 1974 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. She is an American politician serving as an at-large member of the Boston City Council in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the first woman of color to be elected to the council in its 108-year history. In the 2018 7th congressional district in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’s Pressley challenged incumbent Michael Capuano. She defeated him on 4 September 2018, in the Democratic primary.|
|Born||February 3, 1974|
|Ayanna Pressley Age||44 Years old as of 2018|
|Ayanna Pressley Husband||Conan Harris|
|Ayanna Pressley Children||1|
|Ayanna Pressley Education||Boston University|
|Ayanna Pressley Salary||$107,500 pa as from 2016|
|Ayanna Pressley Member of the Boston City Council At-Large|
|Preceded by||Sam Yoon
Michael F. Flaherty
Ayanna Pressley Biography and Education
Pressley was born in Chicago, Illinois, to her mother, Sandra Pressley who worked multiple jobs to support the family and also worked as a community organizer for the Chicago Urban League advocating for tenant’s rights, and father, Martin Pressley, who struggled with addiction throughout Pressley’s childhood, but eventually became a college professor. Her parent’s marriage ended in divorce. Pressley grew up on the north side of Chicago.
Pressley and her mother later moved to Brooklyn, where her mother worked as an executive assistant and then remarried. When Pressley was elected to the Boston City Council, her mother would often attend the public meetings, wearing a hat that said “Mama Pressley.”
From 1992 to 1994, Pressley went to school at the College of General Studies at Boston University but left school to take a full-time job at the Boston Marriott Copley Place to support her mother, who had lost her job. She took further courses at Boston University Metropolitan College, also known as MET.
Ayanna Pressley Career
After finishing her studies Boston University, Pressley worked as a district representative for United States Representative Joseph Patrick Kennedy II (D-Mass.), who she had interned for during college. Her work schedule entailed assisting constituents with Social Security claims and working with senior citizens and veterans and people with disabilities. Pressley went on to become Kennedy’s scheduler, then worked as constituency director, before becoming the political director and senior aide to Senator Kennedy.
In 2009, Pressley served as the United States Senator John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) political director, responsible for managing his relationships with elected officials at the city, state and federal level and with various community leaders.
Ayanna Pressley Boston City Council
Pressley was first elected to the Boston City Council in November 2009. She was later on sworn in on 4 January 2010, to became the first woman of color to serve in the 100-year history of the Boston City Council. Pressley was also the only woman in a field of 15 candidates, and she earned one of four at-large spots on the city’s 13-member council with nearly 42,000 votes.
In the November 2011 Boston City Council election, Pressley faced competitive reelection but finished first among at-large candidates with 37,000 votes. She won 13 of the city’s 22 wards and finished second in three others. Pressley won Boston’s communities of color and many progressive neighborhoods. In all, Pressley placed first in more than half of Boston’s 22 wards. Pressley topped the ticket again in November 2013 and November 2015 and placed second in November 2017.
Ayanna Pressley United States House of Representatives
In January 2018, Pressley announced her challenge to United States Representative Michael Capuano in the 2018 Democratic primary nomination for Massachusetts’s 7th congressional district, held on September 4. The 7th district is traditionally Democratic, and Capuano has received endorsements from civil rights veteran and U.S. Representative John Lewis as well as U.S. Representative Maxine Waters. Pressley has been endorsed by The Boston Globe, the Brand New Congress and the Justice Democrats, locals of the hotel workers and the electrical worker unions, former Mass. Democratic Party chair John E. Walsh, former Newton Mayor Setti Warren and Boston city councilor Michelle Wu. The nomination win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over long-time representative Joseph Crowley has increased the visibility of her campaign, while some outlets have distinguished Pressley’s campaign from that of Ocasio-Cortez, because unlike Crowley, Capuano is understood to have among the most progressive records in Congress.
Ayanna Pressley Honors and awards
- 2012: Aspen-Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership, Class of 2012
- 2012: Truman National Security Project Partner
- 2014: Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, 10 Outstanding Young Leaders
- 2014: Victim Rights Law Center, Leadership Award
- 2015: Boston magazine, 50 Most Powerful People
- 2015: EMILY’s List, Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award
- 2016: The New York Times, 14 Young Democrats to Watch
- 2018: Boston magazine, 100 Most Influential People in Boston, #20[2
Ayanna Pressley Family and Personal life
Pressley lives in Dorchester with her husband, Conan Harris, and her stepdaughter. The two got married in 2014.
Pressley spoke out publicly about being a child survivor of sexual abuse. She was also sexually assaulted while a student at Boston University.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) May 25, 2016