Ben Ewen-Campen is a biologist. As of January 2 2020, he is the Somerville City Councilor, Ward 3. On Twitter, he describes himself as "Progressive, Biologist. Endorsed by Our Revolution, Mass Alliance, Boston DSA, SEIU 888, Working Families Party."
Boston DSA endorsed candidates
In late May, Charlotte Kelly spoke to a half-dozen volunteers ready to knock doors for her City Council of Somerville campaign.
Kelly is one of seven candidates running for Somerville City Council who has been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). This slate of campaigns is bound not just by the idea of winning socialism in a general sense, but specific, concrete reforms to pave the way. To get there, the candidates demonstrate intricate knowledge of policy battles and embed themselves in community organizing, but it’s more than that, too: their proposals for the future drill down to the details. According to Spencer Brown, co-chair of Boston Democratic Socialists of America, the election centers on three issues of daily life—affordable housing, climate change, and public safety—and in addressing those issues the DSA-endorsed candidates move seamlessly from broad-stroke abstractions to net zero stretch code and idling police cruisers. The slate in Somerville has the potential to translate the grand aim of socialism into the minutiae of city politics.
Besides the mayor, Somerville’s municipal government includes an 11-seat city council, with four at-large and seven district seats. Two of the incumbent district councilors are also endorsed DSA members: JT Scott in Ward 2 and Ben Ewen-Campen in Ward 3. Beyond the incumbents, the socialist slate features five candidates running in open races, including three for the four at-large seats—Charlotte Kelly, Eve Seitchik, and Willie Burnley, Jr.—and two more for district seats—Tessa Bridge for Ward 5 and Becca Miller for Ward 7. According to a spreadsheet by Calla Walsh, data from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance shows that, as of the end of June, all seven DSA district candidates lead their races in fundraising (though Miller leads what may be the tightest district race by less than $2,000).
But it’s important to consider the slate collectively, Boston DSA co-chair Brown said. For some, the decision to run itself was collective and contingent on others’ running, but also prompted by the disappointments of the current Council’s governance. On paper, the Council looks like a fairly left-leaning legislative body. Besides the two socialist incumbents, a clear majority identify as “progressive.” Back in 2017, coming off of Bernie’s first run, Our Revolution secured a wave of victories in the city. But amid the uprising against police brutality sparked by the state murder of George Floyd, the Council failed to implement a full 10 percent cut to police spending, a decision some candidates cite as something a socialist-majority Council would have done differently.
JT Scott, Samia Bomfim and Ben Ewen-Campen
Our Revolution - Somerville activists
Our Revolution - Somerville activists gathered to celebrate our first year of organizing in Somerville. Afterwards we canvassed door-to-door to build support for Thursday’s Labor Rally and recruit new members for ORS. — with Jacob Kramer, Ben Bradlow, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Anosha Siripala, Michael Bowler, Ben Ewen-Campen, Monica Achen, Nate Clauser, Matthew Miller, Jon Leonard, James Crall, Melinda Green, Donald Cronin, Jenn Penelope, Bob Massie, Chris Lay, Rachel Eve, Frank Lee and Stephanie Hirsch.
On November 7 2017, in Massachusetts, all seven of the alderman candidates for the city of Somerville endorsed by Our Revolution, , won seats. Two were Democratic Socialists of America members: Ben Ewen-Campen and JT Scott, who comfortably knocked off incumbents to win.
DSA elected official
- The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) today (11/9/17) announced that its membership now includes 15 new elected officials. This is in addition to 20 elected already in offices around the United States. On Tuesday the DSA was represented in 25 elections across 13 different states. Four of those running have national endorsements from the DSA, and many others were supported by our local chapters.
DSA Elected Officials, March 2019
From a March 6, 2019 by DSA National Electoral Committee statement "DSA Elected Officials Support Teacher Power and Working People Everywhere."
Endorsing Democratic Socialists of America members included Ben Ewen-Campen, Somerville City Council, MA.
2017 electoral successes
Says Matt Miller, the "Boston area chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (Boston DSA) is pleased to announce that our endorsed candidates performed very well in the 2017 elections. We endorsed candidates in the Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston municipal elections and knocked on over 12,000 doors across the three cities."
“Our victories last night show that democratic socialist candidates can win when we put the weight of our ever-growing organization behind them. Now we’ll hold our candidates to their bold promises and continue organizing in our communities to pave the way for housing justice,” says Presley Pizzo, a leader of the Boston DSA Electoral Politics Working Group and Somerville resident.
After coming in second in a very close primary this September, Boston DSA endorsed candidate Lydia Edwards won an upset victory in her run for Boston City Council in District 1. Edwards captured 52.8% of the vote with 6897 votes, thanks at least in part due to Boston DSA volunteers knocking on thousands of doors. This endorsement came in recognition of Edwards long track record of advocacy for workers’ rights, most notably her work that lead to the passage of the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in 2015.
Meanwhile in Somerville, Boston DSA endorsed and directed volunteer efforts for DSA members JT Scott (Ward 2) and Ben Ewen-Campen (Ward 3), as well as endorsing Jesse Clingan for Ward 4, and Will Mbah for Alderman-at-large. All four candidates were part of an Our Revolution Somerville slate and won their respective races, a major accomplishment considering Ewen-Campen and Scott were both first-time candidates who unseated long-time incumbents, with 58 percent and 57 percent of the vote, respectively.
“In Somerville, Boston DSA showed its political force by mobilizing young people and working-class residents. We are proud that two DSA members won their elections and will undermine the status quo that favors developers over working people in Somerville,” says Pizzo.
“Thank you to all of our members who put painstaking effort into electing our endorsed candidates! We are overjoyed to see that our hard work has paid off, but now we must now look forward. This is just the beginning. Boston DSA plans to hold elected officials, especially our endorsed candidates, accountable as we work to eradicate capitalism in the pursuit of a socialist future,” says Simran Fitzgerald, a leader of the Boston DSA Electoral Politics Working Group and Cambridge resident.
Our Revolution - Somerville
Supporting Ben Ewen-Campen.
Rand Wilson September 9, 2017:
Our Revolution - Somerville canvass taking Paid Family and Medical Leave petitions out for signatures in Ward 3 along with knocking for the ORS slate and new members! #vote4justice #OurRevolution — with Ben Ewen-Campen, Penelope Jennewein, Matthew Graham, Anosha Siripala, James Davis, Frank Lee, Alexander Place, Jon Leonard and Fenna Krienen at Somerville, Mass.
Our Revolution - Somerville July 31, 2017 ·
Our Revolution - Somerville has posted our official endorsements to our website at ourrevolutionsomerville.com. At yesterday's city-wide meeting, 75 of our members voted to endorse Matthew McLaughlin (Ward 1), JT Scott (Ward 2), Ben Ewen-Campen (Ward 3), Jesse Clingan (Ward 4), Mark Niedergang (Ward 5), Lance Davis (Ward 6), and At-Large candidates Will Mbah, Mary Jo Rossetti and Bill White, and Payton Corbett for Mayor. Get in touch with us to sign up for canvassing for our slate of progressive candidates.
- Ben Ewen-Campen's Twitter account accessed January 2 2020
- Ben Ewen-Campen's Tweet dated Oct 12 2019, accessed January 2, 2020
- [https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/11/election-day-socialists-carter-brisport-jentzen-singh-krasner-dsa Jacobin Yesterday Was a Good Day BRANKO MARCETIC 11.08.2017]
- [ http://www.dsausa.org/15_dsa_members_elected DL 15 DSA Members Elected!, 2017 election Posted by Dsa 🌹 on 11.09.17 By Democratic Socialists of America]
- DSA website, DSA Candidates Win Big in Boston-area Municipal Elections