Born in the Dominican Republic, I arrived in the neighborhood of Dorchester when I five years old. Raised by a single mother who was undocumented for most of my childhood, I was forced at an early age to speak up on behalf of my mother and others who felt ignored by the very institutions that were supposed to serve them.
A proud graduate of the Boston Public schools, I was the first in my family to graduate high school and college and the first to purchase my own home in Boston. Driven by a lifelong pursuit of justice and equity, I am proud to have created countless opportunities for others to step into their power and advocate for positive change. I created and led a civic engagement group focused on voter registration, and am the founder of a nonprofit education network, and worked on national social justice campaigns as a producer for MTV.
Moved by a sense of urgency to uplift the voices of Bostonians who had been left out of the conversation time and time again, I announced my candidacy for City Councilor At-Large in November 2018. Following the 2019 election AND a historic two-month recount, I won my seat by a single vote. I am currently the Chair of the Committee on Education, the Chair of the Committee on Government Accountability, Transparency, and Accessibility as well as the Chair of the Committee on Labor, Workforce, and Economic Development.
I am running because, after two terms in office, I continues to see that there is more work to be done when it comes to equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as bringing together Bostonians of every demographic. As someone who has had to navigate tough systems throughout my life, I want to continue to use my seat to uplift the work of those around me and be a convener for those in my community who often are unheard. I continues to believe that we need the voices of ALL people at the table to bring about change.
In the last two terms on the Boston City Council, I have been a champion for equity in the education space, serving as the current Chair of the Education Committee and advocating for important legislation around youth mental health in BPS, lowering the voting age for young people, my opposition of state receivership for BPS and fighting for a Green New Deal for BPS.
I have also turned my personal story into action, from being an unofficial translator for my community as a child, to passing the Language Access Ordinance so residents have access to vital city services. I have activated my All Means ALL approach to the City Council as well, supporting and uplifting residents' ideas such as the Residential Kitchen Ordinance and bringing the budget process to the community through our Budget Pop Pops around the city. Finally, I have supported historically disenfranchised communities such as my leadership in the creation of the Black Men and Boys Commission and the Task Force on Reparations, as well as legislation such as the Boston Fair Chance Act, and advocacy around Black Maternal Health. I have also gone beyond legislation to assist disenfranchised communities, such as my Workforce, Wellness and Wealth fair, and hosting an Essential Workers Family Dinner along with making March 13th Essential Workers Day in the City of Boston.
I know that Bostonians of all backgrounds share a common story, and that we need advocates who will bring people together and uplift the stories of all communities. I have lived the story of so many Bostonians and will continue into the next term living our values and never fearing speaking up. Together, Boston can create an equitable and fair Boston for all. Because all means ALL.
We are putting power in the hands of the people because we know that nothing about us, without us, is for us.
Awards and Speaking Engagements
Julia Meija is a committed and passionate politician who has dedicated her career to making a positive impact in her local community. She has achieved a number of major accomplishments, from helping to pass legislation that protects underserved communities to fighting for educational reform in Boston.
Julia’s experiences have made her a strong advocate for social justice and a powerful leader. She is committed to creating a better future for her constituents and works tirelessly to ensure that her voice is heard. Learn more about Julia’s work by visiting her online site.