On Tuesday, At-Large City Councilor Michelle Wu announced that she is going to attempt something that has not been accomplished in Boston politics since John Hayes unseated incumbent Mayor of Boston James Michael Curley in 1949.
Wu has officially tossed her hat into the 2021 Boston Mayoral race, and will try to oust Mayor Martin Walsh. An incumbent Boston Mayor has not lost election since the Hayes/Curley race some seven decades ago.
Wu released her campaign announcement via a YouTube video Tuesday and plans to hold a series of kickoff events in Eastie and across Boston this week.
In Eastie, Wu will make her first campaign stop on Thursday, September 17 at 3:30 p.m. with a visit to Eastie Farm Community Garden. She will also greet commuters at Maverick MBTA station at 4 p.m.
“The Boston we love is a city that takes care of each other, where hard work meets big dreams with grit and resilience,” said Wu in her announcement. “But for too many — during this pandemic and well before — it’s been impossible to dream when you’re fighting to hold on. Fighting to afford to stay. Fighting for our kids. Fighting a system that wasn’t built for us, doesn’t speak our languages, doesn’t hear our voices. That’s why today I’m announcing my campaign for Mayor to make Boston a city for everyone. If you’re ready for leadership that matches the scale and urgency of our challenges — that includes and empowers every community — please add your name to join the movement.”
Wu, a daughter of immigrants, said she has lived her whole life knowing what it’s like to feel unseen and unheard, even when you most need help.
“My parents came to America with no money and no connections, not speaking English,” said Wu. “When my mom started struggling with mental illness, I became her caregiver and raised my sisters. It’s the struggles and dreams of my family and families across our neighborhoods that I’ve carried to City Hall for the last seven years. Together we’ve broken barriers on the Boston City Council, passed groundbreaking legislation, changed the face of government, and changed the conversation about what is just and what is possible. And we have so much more to do.”
Wu added that she plans to build wealth in all Boston communities, place a value on public education, plan for the future of Boston neighborhoods, invest in affordable housing and transportation that serves everyone, truly fund public health for safety and healing, and deliver on a city Green New Deal for clean air and water, healthy homes, and the brightest future for children.
“Now’s the time to build on the activism of generations before,” said Wu. “With the urgency of this moment and this movement, we’re ready to go beyond fighting the system to hear us. Now’s the time for us to lead.”
Former City Councilor Tito Jackson was the last councilor to take on Walsh during Walsh’s run for his second term. Walsh, a son of Irish immigrant parents, beat Jackson in all of Eastie 14 Precincts and trounced Jackson citywide winning the election with 70 percent of the vote.
However, there is some speculation that Walsh’s desire to run for a third term may hinge upon the upcoming Presidential election. If former Vice President Joe Biden wins, some suggest Walsh may be tapped by Biden for a position in his administration. Walsh may be prime to take over the US Ambassadorship to Ireland currently held by Trump appointee and Republican Party member Edward Francis Crawford.