Springfield Election Ushers Greater Racial Representation On City Council, School Committee

There’s an historic shift in Springfield’s political landscape. That’s after a handful of notable upsets in the city council and school committee races. 

The two incumbent City Councilors who lost their bids for re-election, including Council President James Ferrera, were replaced by an African-American and a Latino.

For the first time in the city’s history, people of color will now comprise a majority on the 13-member council.

“City Council is increasingly looking more like the population of Springfield, which is exactly what should happen,” community activist Michaelann Bewsee says.

People of color will also comprise a majority on the 7-member School Committee.

According to the Census, 22 percent of Springfield residents are African-American and just under 40 percent identify as Hispanic.

Bewsee says Tuesday’s election marks a vindication for fellow proponents of ward representation, which was implemented in 2007. She says the power of incumbency created during the previous at-large system stifled both competition and fair city-wide representation.