Ruthzee Louijeune, serving her second term as City Councilor At-Large and unanimously elected as Boston City Council President, is a grounded, thoughtful, and inclusive leader. A dedicated public servant, Ruthzee is committed to fostering shared prosperity in Boston with a focus on justice and equity. Born and raised in Mattapan and Hyde Park to working-class Haitian immigrants, Ruthzee’s journey is deeply rooted in the fabric of Boston. Her first job was as a walking tour guide with the youth organization MYTOWN, where she offered a people-centered history of Boston’s neighborhoods. While a student activist, Ruthzee contributed to redesigning the student assignment process under Mayor Menino and served as a Ward Fellow for former State Representative Marie St. Fleur.
As a lawyer, Ruthzee fought for families facing eviction and foreclosure in Boston Housing Court. She defended voting rights in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, helped elect progressive prosecutors nationwide, and served as the senior attorney on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. A fierce housing advocate, she drafted agreements that secured millions of dollars for first-generation homeowners as a member of Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA).
In her first term as a City Councilor At-Large, Ruthzee chaired the Committee on Civil Rights and Immigrant Advancement, where she successfully advocated for the expansion of the Office of Returning Citizens, won financial support for immigrants and new arrivals, stood up for the rights of our LGBTQ+ siblings, and convened marginalized communities for a civil rights forum to tackle pressing issues together. After a federal court order returned the proposed district map to the council, Ruthzee successfully led the redistricting process to pass a new map.
Additionally, she served as Vice Chairs of the Committee on Government Operations and Housing and Community Development. In these roles, she advocated for affordable housing and accessible homeownership, resilient, energy-efficient school buildings, teacher diversity, and more supportive services for students—all in an effort to address racial justice and equity. Her advocacy resulted in budget wins for communities too often overlooked.
Ruthzee makes history as the first Haitian American elected to Boston municipal government, the U.S. city with the second largest Haitian population per capita, and the first Haitian American to serve as President of the council. An alumna of Boston Public Schools, Columbia University, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Ruthzee is trilingual, fluent in French and Haitian Creole, with conversational proficiency in Spanish. Her multifaceted background and unwavering dedication to serving her community make her a transformative leader shaping the future of Boston.