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.
- 23 May 2016 in "Counsel from a councilor: An interview with Michelle Wu ’12" in Harvard Law Today
- 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.
- 15 September 2020 "'No One Is The First Until They Do It:' Why Michelle Wu Thinks She Should Be Boston's Next Mayor" in WBUR
- 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.
- 23 September 2020 in "English transcription of Q&A with Mayoral Candidate Michelle Wu" in The Boston Scope
- What we need to just connect all the dots is leadership that has that sense of bold aspiration, urgent action, and community-based vision.
- 28 September 2020 in "Michelle Wu’s personal path to politics" in Commonwealth Magazine
- 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.
- 26 May 2022 "2022 Commencement" in BHCCBoston
- 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.
- 26 May 2022 "2022 Commencement" in BHCCBoston
- 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.
- 26 May 2022 "2022 Commencement" in BHCCBoston
- Justice for all means reproductive justice, gender justice, queer justice. Liberty for all means the all-inclusive freedoms that guarantee every person agency over their own body.
- We all benefit when we stamp out injustice. We are all healthier when reproductive care is available to our communities. We are all free only if we are all free.
- If there's anything more exhausting than having to battle for our basic human rights, it's letting them go without a fight.
- Boston is not a city that takes our rights lightly. Here in the birthplace of revolution, we have always, always fought for each other. We're damn good at it.
- Here in Boston, in Massachusetts, we will do what we do best: We will fight back, fiercely—for our freedoms and for each other. This moment does not belong to the far right. It belongs to us, like our bodies. And we decide what to do with it.
- Freedom is not a thing that we have, but a thing that we do.
- The city’s mayor signed a bill to eliminate the controversial investments by 2025. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has signed into law an ordinance to divest the city from the fossil fuel, tobacco, and private prison industries by the end of 2025... In 2014, Wu presided over a Boston City Council hearing that examined the potential effects of fossil fuel divestment and its relation to the city’s economy. She also provided testimony at the state in support of city/state divestment from fossil fuels. Boston is among an increasing number of municipalities, universities, and private foundations that have announced plans to divest from fossil fuels.