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Boston Herald
Boston Herald
6 Jan 2024
Lance Reynolds

NextImg:Boston City Councilor deactivates X after retaking oath of office

Boston City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson’s X account has been deactivated following a tumultuous week in which she had to retake the oath of office before she could be legally allowed to start her duties for her second term.

As of Saturday morning, users trying to access the councilor’s account on the platform formerly known as Twitter were met with the following messages: “This account doesn’t exist… Try searching for another,” and “This Post is from an account that no longer exists.”

Fernandes Anderson did not immediately respond to Herald messages about the account Saturday. An automated email response included links to her now deactivated X account, and active Instagram and Facebook accounts as well as her council profile.

The councilor made an Instagram post Saturday morning, advertising resources for the city’s older residents.

“Empowering Boston’s seniors!,” the post stated. “Connect with the Age Strong Commission for personalized support and guidance in navigating specialized resources tailored to those 60 and above. Your journey to enhanced well-being starts here!”

Boston Ward 4 Dems, an account for the Democratic ward committee covering the South End, Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods, made a post Saturday morning at 10:30 advertising a Town Hall event Fernandes Anderson is scheduled to hold next Saturday for her District 7 constituents of Roxbury, Dorchester, Fenway and parts of the South End.

Dorchester’s Rev. Eugene Rivers, one of the city’s spiritual leaders, told the Herald he believes it’s not a good look that Fernandes Anderson’s X account has been deactivated.

“Shutting her Twitter feed down makes no sense,” he said Saturday afternoon, “and in fact, it raises the question about what’s going on.”

Fernandes Anderson’s account did receive a fair share of negative commentary from critics following last Monday’s inaugural ceremony at Faneuil Hall.

As the Herald first reported, Fernandes Anderson was told to retake the oath of office after a video showing her not saying the words or raising her right hand during Monday’s inaugural ceremony went viral on social media — by way of the Boston Accountability Network and Libs of TikTok.

On Friday, Mayor Michelle Wu said City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson failed to recite the oath of office, and was not legally allowed to start her duties for this term until she properly took the oath on Thursday.

According to a City Hall source, Fernandes Anderson — now paid $115,000 — was instructed by City Council President Ruthzee Louijeune and the city’s law department to retake the oath, both verbally and in writing.

City Clerk Alex Geourntas said Fernandes Anderson had signed the city’s oath book, along with the 12 other city councilors sworn in by Wu, on New Year’s Day. She officially verbally took the oath of office late Thursday afternoon at City Hall.

Fernandes Anderson later appeared on Thursday’s edition of NightSide with Dan Rea on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM, explaining that while she considered the oath she took Monday to be sufficient, she did retake the oath hours before.

“What I want people to understand is that, and I can speak from personal practice and experience,” Fernandes Anderson said, “whenever I am in a place of great appreciation or celebration, my practice is to pray. I think this oath itself is a kind of prayer so I got caught up in the moment of reflecting.”

“This is my second term but it’s all so emotional, it’s a lot, and you’re grateful,” she continued. “And I took it seriously, I made an intention to listen carefully to every word I was being told to repeat. We stand all together — 13 — but I’m in the back. I was reflecting sincerely and nodding because I was literally saying the words to myself. These are words I’m promising to God to serve my community.”

Speaking with the Herald Saturday, Rivers tried to make sense of it all, calling Fernandes Anderson’s actions “irrational.”

“It makes no sense not to take the oath of office,” he said. “It’s irrational and not leadership, and very unfortunate for her constituents.

In a statement on X Thursday night, Fernandes Anderson called out the coverage on the situation.

“The coverage of this non incident aren’t serious commentary,” she wrote. “They’re one thing, and one thing only. More anti-immigrant racist vitriol.”

Herald editor Joe Dwinell contributed to this report.