Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu
City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu is the first woman of color to serve as Boston’s City Council president as well as the first Asian-American woman to serve on the council. The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Councilor Wu grew up in Chicago before attending Harvard College for her undergraduate and law education, where she was able to work and learn under Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. To this day, she uses her background as an attorney to serve small business owners and immigrants.
Councilor Wu is well-known for her boldly community-oriented and progressive policy proposals. As an Asian-American woman of color, she has an intimate connection to Boston’s Chinatown and has used her platform to advocate for Chinese-Americans against gentrification and development in the Leather District, as well as for immigrant-owned businesses in light of Asian-American racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. Growing up in a working-class immigrant household, Councilor Wu has a deep understanding of the hardships faced by first-generation and low-income Americans and the importance of community building in our city’s most vulnerable spaces. She has also sponsored the passage of legislation for paid parental leave, the prohibition of gender discrimination in healthcare, opportunity reform for minority- and women-owned businesses, and food access.
Some of Councilor Wu’s most well-known initiatives include the Free the T campaign, a call for fare-free transit for the MBTA in Greater Boston. Recognizing that access to transportation is critical for low-income families across the city and encourages more environmentally sustainable transportation options for all, Councilor Wu has made bold proposals for Boston, a historic city in many aspects, to lead the change in transportation equity in America. She has also advocated for abolishing the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), which oversees the process of construction and urban development in the city, and establishing a municipal public entity in its place. Councilor Wu has been very outspoken about the lack of community stakeholders in the current conversation around urban development, and she advocates for a system accessible not just to the wealthy.
Councilor Wu has also spoken extensively on the need to reallocate funding from the Boston Police Department to community-oriented programs and advocated municipal accountability for use of military-grade weapons against protestors.