Josh Zakim

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Josh Zakim
Zakim Pride Parade (3x4).jpg
Member of the Boston City Council
from the 8th district
In office
January 2014 – January 2020
Preceded byMike Ross
Succeeded byKenzie Bok
Personal details
Born (1983-12-16) December 16, 1983 (age 39)
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseGrace Sullivan Rosenthal (2016–present)
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (BA)
Northeastern University (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Josh Zakim (born December 16, 1983) is a Boston politician, attorney, and community activist. He formerly served on the Boston City Council representing District 8, which includes Boston's Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway–Kenmore, Mission Hill, and West End neighborhoods.[1]


Zakim is the son of Lenny and Joyce Zakim.[1] He grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, with his two younger sisters, Deena and Shari. Zakim's father was a Jewish-American religious and civil rights leader in Boston. After his death in 1999, Boston's Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge was named in his honor.[2]

Zakim is an active Board Member of the Lenny Zakim Fund.[3] Founded in 1995 by his father and his activist friends, the Fund gives small grants to support local grassroots organizations seeking to address complex social issues such as youth violence, adult literacy, and job training.[4]


Zakim attended high school at Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from the Northeastern University School of Law.[1] He was sworn into the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on December 2, 2009.[5]


Zakim in the 2015 Boston Pride Parade

Zakim began his career at Greater Boston Legal Services in their Consumer Rights Unit. He then went on to join the Public Finance group of the law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, where he worked on municipal bond transactions for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, MassPort, and the MBTA.

Zakim family on Boston Election Day in 2013
Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh at the 2015 Mission Hill Little League Opening Day Parade

Zakim was elected to the Boston City Council in November 2013. He served as the Chair of both the Committee on Human Rights and Civil Rights and the Special Committee on Transportation, Public Infrastructure, Planning, and Investment.[6] Zakim was a progressive voice on the Boston City Council, with his legislative priorities centered around social and economic justice. He was re-elected without opposition in November 2015. In November 2017, he was challenged for his seat by longtime community activist Kristen Mobilia,[7][8][9] but Zakim held his Council seat with a better than two-to-one win.

In November 2017, Zakim announced that he would run for Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth in 2018, challenging incumbent and fellow-Democrat William F. Galvin.[10] In the Democratic primary held on September 4, 2018, Zakim was defeated by Galvin, by approximately a two-to-one margin.[11]

On March 21, 2019, Zakim announced that he would not seek re-election to the City Council in the November 2019 election.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Josh Zakim". Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  2. ^ "Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge website".
  3. ^ "Lenny Zakim Fund Board Members".
  4. ^ "About Us". Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers Website". Archived from the original on 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  6. ^ "Boston City Council Committees".
  7. ^ Kristen Mobilia home page
  8. ^ Boston Herald article about Kristen Mobilia
  9. ^ Ballotpedia article about Kristen Mobilia
  10. ^ Buell, Spencer (November 28, 2017). "A Fellow Democrat Says It's Time for Secretary William Galvin to Go". Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Buell, Spencer (September 4, 2018). "Bill Galvin Defeated Challenger Josh Zakim in a Feisty Democratic Primary Battle". Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  12. ^ Dwyer, Dialynn (March 21, 2019). "Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim releases statement on not seeking re-election". Retrieved March 22, 2019.

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