• Althea Garrison sworn in, fills City Council seat vacated by Ayanna Pressley

    By: Crystal Haynes

    Updated:

    BOSTON - A new face on the Boston City Council. After decades on the Boston political scene, Althea Garrison now has a spot in City Hall. 

    On Wednesday, 78-year-old Althea Garrison was sworn in as Boston city councilor at-large, filling the seat vacated by now Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. 

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    "Although I ran, been running a lot of times, it does make a difference," said Garrison. 

    Garrison won the election in 1992 for state representative and served one term. Since then, she's run as both a Democrat and Republican in races for state representative, mayor and city council.

    Her friend Joao DePina came to watch her swearing-in ceremony. 

    "To me, it's a slap in the face for everyone who always talked badly about her," said DePina. 

    In an interview after her first council meeting as a member, Garrison said her focus will be on veterans and affordable housing.

    "Help veterans get housing, affordable housing, not the housing they're calling affordable, but it's not affordable. And the same with the seniors. A lot of the seniors are being priced out of their home," said Garrison. 

    According to city rules, if a seat is vacated, the fifth-place finisher in the last at-large election is offered the position. That person was Garrison.

    She said she hopes to be a fresh voice on the council.

    The longtime Boston community activist is known for her in-person approach and aversion to the use of technology. But some of her more conservative views have caused debate including her open support for President Donald Trump. When Boston 25 News reporter Crystal Haynes asked Garrison about it, she said, "If I want to vote for Trump, that's my business. It's not yours, not yours, not yours. So goodbye." 

    Haynes asked Mayor Marty Walsh what effect Garrison's views will have on her work, his office and the council. 

    "The best governing is when you have the difference of opinions and you come up with common ground. And that’s the best type of government and that’s the stuff that we’re hoping out of Washington," said Walsh. 

    Garrison made a point in her speech Wednesday to say when this term is up, she's going to run for re-election. 

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