Michelle Wu Makes History in Boston as City Mayor

November 3, 2021

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Michelle Wu has made history in Boston by becoming the first woman and person of color to be elected mayor in one of the oldest cities in the country.

Michelle Wu makes history winning the race in epic fashion

Acting Mayor Kim Janey is the first woman to hold the post in over 200 years. She had replaced Marty Walsh who joined the Biden administration as labor secretary in March.

Mr. Walsh had been in office since 2014. Janey tried to keep the job but only came up third in the primary election on September 14, 2021.

Janey, a Black woman, is the first incumbent to lose the election since 1949. Two weeks after the preliminary election, Janey backed Wu.

The next mayor of Boston also had the endorsements of well-known figures like U.S.

Senator Ed Markey and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Wu, a proud progressive Democrat, has managed to beat fellow Democrat Annissa Essaibi-George in a race that she always led in the public polling.

Essaibi, who identifies as Arab American, obtained close to 36 percent of the votes versus 64 for Wu.

Michelle Wu makes history and has a unique history with Boston

The 36-year-old old politician accomplished another interesting feat; she won despite not being from Boston. The city is known for favoring elected officials with deep roots in the area.

Wu is originally from Chicago and only moved to Boston when she attended Harvard University and Harvard Law School. Her parents are Taiwanese immigrants.

She mentioned this in her victory speech Tuesday when she said that she arrived in Boston homesick, but she quickly felt home.

She also referred to her gender when she joked that one of her two sons asked her if boys could be Boston’s mayor. She has vowed to make the city a welcoming place.

Michelle Wu makes history and is a star for progressive Democrats

She campaigned on making housing affordable, improving transportation, and bringing more fairness to the education system.

She has also pushed for a Green New Deal agenda at the city level and wants to close the racial wealth gap.

Her election is a bright spot for progressives who have a hard time winning elections against moderates in the Democratic Party.

Her rival ran as a person who could appeal to the middle and even the right.

The Democrats are torn at the national level between the idealistic views of the progressive left and the pragmatic ambitions of the moderates.

It will be fascinating to see if Wu will inject more pragmatism into her platform while in office.

Michelle Wu makes history as part of a larger trend about Asian Americans

Asian Americans are slowly gaining more presence in American politics. One year

after Andrew Yang made a splash in the Democratic primary for president, Wu and Aftab Pureval were elected mayors of Boston and Cincinnati.

Experts expect the trend to continue. Some even see Wu going further in politics because she has always been a real trailblazer.

In November 2013, she became the first Asian woman to serve on the city council. Less than three years later, she was the first woman of color to serve as council president.

She credits her friendship with her former professor, Senator Elizabeth Warren, for getting her into politics. Wu will take office on November 16.

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