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Will Michelle Wu Be Boston’s First Woman Mayor?

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Sep. 15 2020, Published 8:57 a.m. ET

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After serving as the first Taiwanese American and first Asian American woman on the Boston City Council, Michelle Wu is pursuing another first: the first woman and the first person of color as Mayor of Boston.

This morning, Wu announced her bid for the office of Boston Mayor via twitter video.

It’s official: I’m running for Mayor because Boston should be a city for everyone. Now’s the time for bold, urgent leadership.

— Michelle Wu 吳弭 (@wutrain) September 15, 2020

Who Is Michelle Wu?

From 2016 to 2018, Wu served as the president of the Boston Council, also making her their first woman of color president. She says that she can best lead the city through a reckoning on policing, racing, this unprecedented health crisis, and the gap between the city’s rich and poor populations.

The two-minute video features a diverse collection of Boston residents of varying backgrounds, including immigrants, women of color, men of color, and other people who find themselves marginalized in predominantly white-led cities. Wu’s foundational platform is making Boston “a city for everyone.”

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Wu herself is the child of immigrants who came to America from Taiwan with no financial means. Her mother’s struggle with mental health issues pushed Wu into raising her own sisters.

In the video, Wu states, “The Boston we love is a city that takes care of each other, where hard work meets big dreams with grit and resilience. But for too many, during this pandemic and well before, it’s been impossible to dream when you’re fighting to hold on.”

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During an interview with the Boston Globe, Wu added, “In this moment of crisis it’s not only possible but necessary to reimagine our systems, because we’ve seen how business ‘as usual’ has been failing Bostonians since well before the pandemic…we have the resources in Boston to be a city where everyone can reach their full potential. We need leadership and vision and political will.”

During her interview with the Glove, Wu focused heavily on a broad vision for the city she sees as a welcoming place for all peoples there, no matter their background, rather than on specific policy change proposals. Her previous work in Boston speaks for itself: work to regulate the short-term rental industry, protection of affordable housing, environmental projections, and vast reforms for the public transit system of Boston, seeking to make the system free for anyone to use.

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Why Is Michelle Wu’s Bid Important For All Of Us?

The political race between Wu and the current Boston mayor, Marty Walsh (who is white and male),  illustrates the changing landscape of politics that is taking place in the city and around the country. Wu’s run demonstrates the rallying cry for more diverse leadership in political positions that have long been held by long white men. Win or lose, Wu’s bid is historic.

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By: Rita Pike

Rita Juanita Pike is the granddaughter of Jerrie Mock, the first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Rita has taken inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theater, podcasting, and novel writing. She now writes about travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves a very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.

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