Who is Michelle Wu? Boston elects new mayor in historic race

By CBSBoston.com Staff

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BOSTON (WBZ) – Michelle Wu will be Boston’s next mayor after defeating City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George in a historic race that ended Tuesday night.

Wu will be the first woman and the first person of color to be elected mayor of the city.

She will replace Kim Janey, who served as acting mayor for eight months after Marty Walsh became Labor Secretary to President Joe Biden earlier this year.

Wu was clearly the front-runner ahead of election day, with some polls showing her ahead of Essaibi George up to 30 points. She defeated Essaibi George by 10,000 votes in the preliminary election and was bolstered by endorsements from Janey, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

As WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller put it, his victory crowned a “decade of skillful political organization.”

So who exactly is the city’s next mayor?

Wu was born in Chicago and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She lives in Roslindale with her husband, Conor, and sons, Blaise and Cass.

She got her start in Boston politics working for former Mayor Tom Menino on a scholarship, and then later in Warren’s first campaign. She was elected to Boston City Council in 2013.

Here is his position on some of the major issues the next mayor will face:

Wu campaigned on the idea that Boston’s leaders must take bold action to tackle issues with the status quo. One of its best-known promises is to “free the T” and create free public transport throughout the city. She also published a city-level Green New Deal program to tackle climate change.

It is committed to achieving city-wide carbon neutrality by 2040, using 100% renewable energy sources by 2030 and having a net zero municipal footprint by 2024. Under his plan, all school buses would be replaced with electric buses and the number of trees on city streets would be doubled.

In Wu’s first 100 days, she wants to expand outreach funding to tackle homelessness and drug use to Mass and Cass. She would like to expand treatment in partnership with community health centers and address the root causes of the housing crisis.

During the first debate, Wu said city-owned buildings would be audited to see where they could provide short-term housing for the homeless. She believes that reopening the Long Island Bridge is a solution that would take too long to come into effect.

Wu wants to streamline the processes in place to create more affordable housing in the city, using city-owned land to add more units. She also said she would not hesitate to use rent control to avoid travel if necessary.

Wu said it was a priority for the next police commissioner to immediately start working on a new contract with the police union. She believes the police should operate as part of a public health-led response and there should be more accountability for budget and misconduct.

On education, she campaigned on the promise of improving the process of allocating schools in the city to reflect fairness. It also favors universal preschool and vocational education and the renovation of facilities.

Here is what WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller said:

What did we learn about mayor-elect Michelle Wu last year? That she is methodical, disciplined, able to envision and implement a long-term plan, and that she will never be exceeded. This is the lesson of his dominant march to mayor, which began against then-mayor Marty Walsh, seen as a solid bet for his re-election, overcame the advantages of acting mayor Kim Janey and demolished Annissa Essaibi George and his citizen base. employee unions and traditionally high-voting neighborhoods. In doing so, Wu achieved a vision that had been in the making for over a decade with an impressive display of political skill, from grassroots organization to his ability to defuse a well-funded opposition.

But now the real work begins. Nothing can fully prepare someone for the drudgery of being mayor of Boston 24/7, from the tsunami of often difficult decisions every day to relentless pressure from activist groups and special interests. Wu will receive unprecedented federal aid, but this is a one-off event, and competing demands for money will test his leadership. Progress on the challenges of its flagship campaign, such as stabilizing rents and free public transport, will depend on collaboration with Beacon Hill, which is by no means guaranteed. And she, like Walsh, will be expected to adhere to a “Menino schedule,” which means being physically present in every corner of the city from before dawn until well after dark. night, 24/7/365.

For all of his campaign rhetoric on ‘big and bold’ measures and ‘the urgency’, look for the new mayor to proceed with caution and patience, avoiding headlines and controversies wherever possible, and creating the right things. necessary alliances within the city and the region. And if you don’t think others are already considering a 2025 challenge for Wu, you don’t know Boston’s politics.

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