Michelle Wu

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Michelle Wu in 2019

Michelle Wu (born January 14, 1985) is an American lawyer and politician who is currently the mayor of Boston. She previously served on the Boston City Council as the first Taiwanese American council member and first Asian American woman council member in Boston's history. From January 2016 to January 2018, she served as president of the council and was its first woman of color president. In September 2020, Wu announced her candidacy for the 2021 Boston mayoral election. In November 2021, Wu became the first woman and person of color elected to the mayoral office.



  • For me, the decision to run was driven by an internal motivation to break down barriers for families that were going through similar struggles to the one my family had gone through.
    City government is the level of government that has the greatest impact on your day-to-day life. It is what effects the quality of schools that you are going to send your kids to, it affects the jobs that are available, it affects the cleanliness and safety of our streets, and it is also the level of government where you can innovate the most quickly. As city councilors, my colleagues and I are the first and last resort for residents when they are struggling with issues and problems. To be that direct link to services and programming is incredibly rewarding.
    Please consider running for office and reach out to others in the community. It’s a very strong network and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Most important is to know what drives you as a person and follow that. Public life comes with a lot of scrutiny, it comes with a lot of criticism. It can be a tough environment, and it’s a long time away from family. But as long as you’re doing what you think is right and following what feels authentic to you, that’s all that matters at the end of the day.


  • This is about bringing leadership from every community to the forefront. In my time on the council, I've seen that when you work in coalition, when you follow the lead of community members, the ideas that are put forward can happen at the city level and can be implemented pretty immediately.
    Everything that I do is shaped by the experiences that I've had with my family and that I've heard in families all across the city who share the same struggles and dreams. I am a daughter of immigrants, someone who never thought I would be running for office when I was a young girl. And I get my resilience from seeing the challenges that my parents faced as immigrants to this country who came here with nothing.
    We're actually building a movement here to connect with the real history of Boston, our legacy as a city that has always stood up for what is right, fighting for those systemic big picture changes, even when the odds are slim.
  • In general, we need to think about safety and healing as one system, because when we think about law enforcement on its own, and public health on its own, we’re not making the right investments relative to what actually delivers safety and health for our community members.
  • What we need to just connect all the dots is leadership that has that sense of bold aspiration, urgent action, and community-based vision.


  • We need to make sure that every single seat in our Boston Public Schools is nurturing, high quality access to a whole child’s education and opportunities — rigorous academics, arts, sports, extracurriculars...
    Rent stabilization is not a generator of affordable housing, and over the long run, it has the opposite impact. But it’s very important that, if we want to be a city where all income levels are represented, where we are not displacing families of color at an accelerating rate out of Boston, we need to take steps for immediate relief for families and ensure that we’re managing both the increase in supply and the transition period where our residents shouldn’t be facing double-digit rent increases, year after year after year.
  • We are proud to have the oldest police force anywhere in the country to have been known nationwide for innovations that focused on community, building community trust, and shifting the dynamic away from arrests and punitive measures and more towards community relationships... We should be demilitarizing the Boston police in weapons and tactics, and interactions with community. We should be reining in ballooning overtime for the police — a part of the city budget that has been eating into other necessary investments. And we know this is tied to the underlying contract, and it’s not just about slashing a line item because that has failed. It has been a show, a political statement, but then ended up setting up the city to overspend, because overtime hours must be paid out by contract and by law, no matter what the budget line item is. And we also need accountability for misconduct or misuse of force, and again, this is tied into the underlying police contract.
  • Anyone in a position of leadership should be using that position to build trust in vaccines.
  • Our movement is a continuation of that activism and community, showing everyone what’s possible when we all dig in and push for what we truly deserve. And what we deserve is a Boston where all of us are seen, heard, treasured, and valued — a Boston for everyone.
    We are ready for every Bostonian to know that we don’t have to choose between generational change and keeping the streetlights on; between tackling big problems with bold solutions and filling our potholes; to make change at scale and at street level. We need, we deserve, both. All of this is possible. …These things are possible. And today, the voters of Boston said all these things are possible, too.
    I want to be clear: It wasn’t my vision on the ballot. It was ours, together. Over 10 years in City Hall, and in every neighborhood, connecting with all of our residents I’ve seen and experienced just how big an impact local government makes in people’s lives. And I’ll never stop fighting to make our systems work for all of us.
    And although we put in a lot of work to get to this day, our movement does not end here. We have a lot of work to do. So let’s dig in.
    Thank you for placing your trust in me to serve as the next mayor of Boston. So let’s celebrate tonight and tomorrow we’ll continue the work together. Thank you everyone.
  • City government is special. We are the level closest to the people, so we must do the big and the small. Every street light, every pothole, every park, every classroom lays the foundation for greater change. Not only is it possible for Boston to deliver basic city services and generational change, it is absolutely necessary in this moment. We'll tackle our biggest challenges by getting the small things right, by getting City Hall out of City Hall into our neighborhoods, block by block, street by street.
    After all, Boston was founded on a revolutionary promise that things don't have to be as they always were. That we can chart a new path for families now and for generations to come, grounded in justice and opportunity. And we can take steps to raise us all up to that promise together.
    The first time I set foot in City Hall, I felt invisible. But today I see what's possible in this building and I see all the public servants raising us up. Front line workers, first responders, teachers, bus drivers, building inspectors, city workers. I am deeply honored to work alongside you, and I ask everyone to join me in expressing our gratitude for your service.
    Boston, our charge is clear. We need everyone to join us in the work of doing the big and the small, getting City Hall out of City Hall into our neighborhoods and embracing the possibility of this city. The reason to make a Boston for everyone is because we need everyone for Boston right now. We have so much work to do and it will take all of us to get it done. So let's get to work.


  • None of us move through this world as individuals in isolation. We are all the constellations of people in our lives who believe in us, trust us, and empower us to do the work that it takes to make each moment possible.
  • There is power in being open and honest about your "behind-the-scenes." In showing others that sometimes it's okay not to be okay. Because those moments are all a part of a longer, and larger, process of becoming who we are.
  • None of us should have to be resilient to systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, any kind of harm being done to our communities. We shouldn't have to be resilient in the face of violence, or hunger, or homelessness. Resilience, and our ability to survive injustices, are never reasons to stop fighting for justice.


  • Together, we can build a Boston that’s more green than concrete. Where housing is a given, not a godsend, and mobility is the minimum, not a miracle. Where the things we build inspire—but don’t define—us; and where each generation shines brighter than the last.
  • It can feel surreal and stressful, exhausting and empowering—it feels like the most important work in the world. But more than anything, it feels like a gift: To be able to get up every day and go to work for the city I love with people who love it, too. People unafraid to do things differently—willing to meet crises with creativity, and reach deep in the dirt to pull up the roots of the challenges that block our view of the sky.
  • Boston is a city that will never stop reaching—up toward the progress we know to be possible, and out to the community whose work makes it lasting.
  • My family and so many others were able to come to this country to raise their kids in a land where they believed we'd have a shot at leading better lives than they'd ever had because of generations of Black leaders. Leaders who gave their lives to the pursuit of freedom and justice for everyone—and many who had their lives taken by people who feared that equality for all would expose the mediocrity of some.

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