Suffolk Law alumnus hopes to become first blind city councilor in Boston

Alex+Gray+via+his+campaign+website

Alex Gray via his campaign website

Suffolk Law alumnus and advisor to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Alex Gray, is running to become the city’s first city councilor who is blind. 

Gray, of Jamaica Plain, is running for a councilor-at-large seat and said that his unique perspective will add to an already diverse council.

“Boston, and Massachusetts in general, has gotten stronger when more diverse voices were brought to the table,” Gray said.

Gray grew up in Boston and began to lose his sight around middle and elementary school, but stayed in the public school system with the support of his parents. He eventually attended Boston College for his undergraduate degree and graduated from Suffolk University Law School. Before working for Mayor Walsh, Gray was a policy analyst for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Gray said he was inspired to run because he feels that many voices in Boston are going unheard. ”There are a lot of people that feel that way over the city. I became a great listener when I went blind, you sort of have to be to excel at school and work.”

Gray said that his time at Suffolk Law prepared him for life in the public sector.

“I took legislative courses, municipal law courses, etc.. You’re right in the middle of everything, people from the government are always there. People in government are connected to the school so much,” Gray said.

Gray said that his unique perspective as a person with a disability has shaped his view on policy and how it can affect communities who are not always brought to the table when these policies are created.

“I think my perspective showed me that there are oftentimes people impacted by policy that you don’t necessarily think about,” Gray said. “Policy has a way of touching all types of people in all different ways.”

Gray said he hopes younger people who are disabled can take away from his candidacy that there are always opportunities for them.

“I think when you first have a disability, the first thing you hear is ‘I’m so sorry’ and ‘That’s terrible.’ The natural reaction is that (a disability) is a tragedy,” Gray said. “As time goes on, what I hope happens is people take pride in their disability. We can learn from the LGBTQ+ community about how important having pride is.”

”We in the disabled world have to work hard to show that things are possible, that a vast majority of jobs are realities,” Gray said. “Shoot for the stars because you never know.”