Massachusetts representative Ayanna Pressley is known for being an outspoken member of the Democratic party. She’s also part of the “Squad,” an informal group of six progressive members of Congress that includes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. We know her politics, but what about her personal life? Who is Conan Harris, her husband of eight years?
Conan Harris’ Career in Boston
Like Presley, Harris has made a career out of helping others. He worked at Boston City Hall as a senior public safety advisor and later became executive director of My Brothers Keeper Boston, a mentoring program. In 2019, he resigned from his position at Boston City Hall and formed his own consulting firm, Conan Harris & Associates.
However, there is much more to Harris’ story. Before all of this, Harris served ten years in prison for drug trafficking. In 2020, he testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on the challenges people face when trying to reintegrate into society after time in prison.
His Thoughts On Ex-Cons’ Re-entry Into Normal Life
In an interview with The Appeal, Harris shared his thoughts on how he was able to successfully re-enter society after getting released. “Re-entry, as I talked about in the hearing, starts when you’re incarcerated,” he said. “It is so crucial and important to do the work internally while you’re inside the institution before you come out.”
“When I came home, I had to be prepared and ready for the resources that my family and other supports would be able to help me with,” Harris continued. “I think that one of the main things that was supportive was finding a safe place to sleep, rest my head, so I could collect my thoughts. All the other things that organizations can offer, like identification cards, are important, but it all starts with where you lay your head at night.”
Pressley, whose father was also incarcerated, chimed in, saying, “What Conan has helped me to realize is how many impacted persons there are when one person is incarcerated. I had my own lens and viewpoint as a child who was resentful and ashamed and living with very real societal and self-imposed shame and stigmatization because of my father’s incarceration. But I didn’t have the context to appreciate the things that I have appreciated through hearing Conan’s story.”