Raul Fernandez, EdD is the former Vice Chair of the Brookline Select Board, a Senior Lecturer at BU’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, a candidate for State Representative.
Raul Fernandez is running for State Representative in the 15th Norfolk District because he knows what Brookline can accomplish when we devote our energy and our resources to equity. Raul grew up in New York City, where he saw that public institutions can create safe and stable neighborhoods, and when his family climbed the ladder into the middle class with good union jobs, he saw the power of organizing as a tool to secure economic justice. As a student at Bronx Science, he saw that a well-resourced public school can unlock the limitless potential in its students, while his zoned public school down the street graduated fewer than 3 in 10 students. He has found community in and around Brookline since he came to Massachusetts to attend BU in 1995, and is thrilled to be raising his family in Brookline with his wife Christina, who is a lifelong resident.
Raul has seen what Brookline can accomplish when we put racial and economic justice at the top of our agenda. We can keep our entire community safe — as Chair of the Task Force to Reimagine Policing in Brookline, he led a community process to imagine a crisis response system that puts mental health and well-being first, and has laid the groundwork to build a new social services department in Brookline. Raul cosponsored Brookline’s language access warrant article; he created and chairs Brookline’s Small Business Development Committee; he helped negotiate a settlement with Gerald Alston to provide monetary compensation for the harm he suffered from racial discrimination in Brookline; and he championed the warrant article to ban the Town from requiring non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) as a condition of future settlements for allegations of racial or sexual harassment or police misconduct.
Raul has been leading at the local level, but he hasn’t seen the same urgency from our state government. As a Board Member of the Racial Imbalance Advisory Council at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, he has seen how school segregation and inequitable education funding continue to lock many students of color in Massachusetts out of educational opportunity. When he co-created a working group to support the Brookline Housing Authority and its residents, he saw that state funding for public housing is woefully inadequate, both for maintenance and for programming for residents. When he championed the push to secure voting rights for 16- and 17-year-olds in Brookline, he saw it pass Town Meeting and die amid legislative inaction on Beacon Hill, like thousands of progressive bills and home rule petitions every session. When he went to Beacon Hill to fight for local options for tenant protections alongside Reps. Nika Elugardo and Mike Connolly, he saw just how few State Representatives were in the fight with him.
Raul knows that real progress requires representatives who are deeply committed to these fights. As our next State Representative, he will work every day for our Brookline community and to build justice across the Commonwealth on topics from housing to education to climate to community safety. He knows what it takes to make change, why we need it so urgently, and that it’s past time for us to get to work making it.
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