Michelle Wu: First Female And Person of Color Elected Boston’s Mayor

By Eunho Jung, Senior Editor

For the first time, Boston elected its first female and person-of-color candidate to serve as its next mayor on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Breaking away from the long traditional line of white, male mayors, Michelle Wu will serve as Boston’s next mayor.

Daughter of immigrants from Taiwan, Wu grew up in the South Side of Chicago. Graduating from Barrington High School as valedictorian in 2013, Wu continued on to Harvard University, graduating in 2007 with a B.A. in economics. After starting her new job months after graduating, Wu returned home to Chicago to watch over her siblings as her mother struggled with mental illness. She then continued on to Harvard Law School, where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 2012.

As a student of Elizabeth Warren at law school, Wu developed a close friendship with the Senator. Wu later worked as her constituency director in Warren’s 2012 campaign against Scott Brown.

Having been a member of the Boston City Council since January 2014, Wu is well-aware of the issues that face the city. Wu served as president of the council from January 2016 to January 2018 after being elected by a unanimous vote.

Running against her moderate challenger Annissa Essaibi George, Wu won 63.6% of the vote compared to George’s 36.4%. Running on a progressive platform, Wu called for a fare-free transit system among several other policies, such as housing affordability, education equity, and closing the racial wealth gap.

On Tuesday evening around 10:15 PM, George conceded to her victor. “I want to offer a great big congratulations to Michelle Wu. She’s the first woman and first Asian American elected to be mayor of Boston,” George said to her supporters.

Kim Janey, the first African-American mayor, currently serves as the mayor of Boston after elected mayor Marty Walsh stepped down after answering President Joe Biden’s call to serve as Secretary of Labor within his cabinet.

At her victory speech late Tuesday evening, Wu spoke to a crowd full of her supporters. “I came to this city as a homesick college kid. But as soon as I stepped foot on the red line to Chinatown, tea token in hand, I knew I was home. Thank you, Boston,” Wu said. She showcased her fluency in not only English but also Spanish and Mandarin in the speech.

Wu will officially take office on November 16.

Jaein Han, a senior at Wayne Hills and a Korean American, shared her thoughts on this historic election.

“I think representation is really important and it’s great to see female and POC leadership. It fights the stereotype that’s kind of unique towards Asian women that they’re meek and unfit to be leaders. It’s great to see changes being made in traditionally white male-dominated fields,” Han said.