BOSTON (CBS) â€” Julia Mejia shed tears of joy Monday while she was sworn in as Bostonâ€™s first Latina Councilor.
â€œThere were a lot of people who had never voted before, who never had anything to believe in. So, I kept seeing the people who I met along the way, thinking about them, and thinking about the responsibility that I now have made me feel really emotional,â€ she told WBZ-TV.
Mejia won the Boston City Council seat by just one vote. The single mother of a nine-year-old daughter told WBZ she has always felt like an underdog.
â€œI cleaned offices with my mom and here I am, representing a city with a big responsibility. And many ways, still living the realities that I campaigned on,â€ said Mejia.Â Issues like violence, housing and creating opportunities.
â€œComing in as a freshman City Councilor who is all about the voices of the people, Iâ€™m really looking forward to figuring out how do I bring a sense of community voice into the housing space, so that weâ€™re co-designing and building housing that is created with people and not as an afterthought.â€
The 49-year-old Dorchester resident aims to get people who she feels are unrepresented more involved in the political process.
â€œIf weâ€™re not at the table, weâ€™re on the menu and every day weâ€™re being eaten alive here in the city of Boston. So we have to be intentional about creating opportunities for those who have been left behind to participate,â€ Mejia said.
She wants to do that by offering child care and dinner at public hearings.