Michelle Wu’s First Year As Mayor Notches Notable Future For Progressives


By Anzor Mustafa, Staff Writer

Michelle Wu’s mayoral win in November 2021 was a remarkable win for diversity: becoming the first person of color, as an Asian-American, and the first woman to be elected Boston mayor. It was also a win for all progressives in the United States.

The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Michelle Wu, graduated from Harvard Law school and was a City Councilor from 2014-2021 and council president from 2016 to 2018. During her time as City Councilor, Wu handed out flyers and urged commuters to sign a petition opposing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s proposal for a 6.3 percent fare hike, later becoming part of her campaign to make the T free. “Making the investment in fare-free transit would not only nourish our future but also align with our history,” she said in an op-ed in The Boston Globe.

In the past, no one dared to go against MBTA. Her type of commitment and determination embodies the very attributes of the progressive movement. Sophomore Natalie Lewis said, “We need people in power who care about making feasible change.”

Michelle Wu’s win illuminates that progressive ideology and litigation can appeal to the majority of Democratic voters. Wu’s campaign ran on a swath of progressive policies: rent controlfree transit, and a Boston Green New Deal. When criticized for what people considered “unrealistic” agendas, Wu said, “I’m not running for mayor to say what we can’t do.”

People often question progressives and how they can enact change and what they care about.

Throughout her first year, Wu has tackled affordability, housing, plans to abolish the Boston Planning and Development Agency, political risk-taking, fare-free public transit, Mass and Cass, and other various issues. She made an important change in Boston, proving that progressives can take their large sentiments and commit them to reality.

As younger people get involved in politics, there will be a shift in how things are traditionally done.