Councilor Lydia Edwards is a career advocate, activist, and voice on behalf of society's most vulnerable. She is currently the Chair of the Committee on Government Operations and the Committee on Housing and Community Development in the Boston City Council. As a City Councilor, she has led efforts to protect Boston's affordable housing stock through innovative and bold policy proposals. In year one, she introduced and passed a city ordinance assisting seniors who are house-rich but cash-poor pay their back taxes to stay in their homes. She has spearheaded reforms to Inclusionary Development and Linkage and passed through the council a real estate transfer fee on the sale of properties valued over $2 million, with all proceeds dedicated to affordable housing. Representing three waterfront communities and multiple environmental justice populations, Councilor Edwards has pushed to reduce airport pollution, expand water transportation, address traffic congestion, ensure community voice in major energy projects, rebuild public housing and stop proposed highway expansion. She has solidified her role in the community as a bridge-builder, convening and organizing community meetings to take on larger conversations like Suffolk Downs in East Boston, the Bunker Hill Redevelopment project in Charlestown and climate resilience in the historic North End.
Prior to entering the City Council, Councilor Edwards worked extensively in the legal field serving as a judicial law clerk with the Massachusetts Superior Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court and as a public interest attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services focusing on labor issues. She served as the statewide campaign coordinator for the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers, which advocated for the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. In 2015, she was an honorable mention for the Boston Globe’s Bostonian of the Year.
Her mother is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and retired union worker with the Veterans Administration. Councilor Edwards received her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and received a LLM in taxation from Boston University School of Law.
Councilor Edwards is convinced that she has the best district because of the food, culture, and diversity that is offered in each of the three neighborhoods that she represents – Charlestown, East Boston, and the North End. In her spare time she continues her love of learning new languages; Councilor Edwards speaks German, Portuguese, and Spanish.