By Ponette Kim
Boston University News Service
Mayor Michelle Wu reflected on the changes her office made during her first 100 days as mayor in a March 22 Boston Globe town hall. The town hall was hosted by Globe reporter Milton Valencia, with Dr. Gislaine N. Ngounou, the interim president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, giving opening remarks.
“Many of us, including myself, admire Mayor Wu’s drive and commitment to the work and to the people of Boston, often wondering how she does it, when she’s able to catch her breath, rest and restore — especially in the midst of protests and being the recipient of resistance and hate mail,” Ngounou said.
Valencia opened the town hall by asking Wu if a particular day of her first 100 days in office stood out to her. Wu didn’t have a specific answer but reflected on the overall feel of the last 100 days.
“What I’m proudest of, even over only 100 days, we’re already starting to see a shift in what Boston believes is possible,” Wu said. “I’m excited by how fast we’ve been able to move things and how much we’ve been able to shift [what] was possible.”
When asked about what the Wu city budget will look like, Wu admitted that it is a “tighter fiscal year.”
“We are still seeing the impacts of the pandemic and having to use some of the federal funds to plug holes,” Wu said. “What we hope to present to [City Council] is a package that will include housing as a foundation for our recovery.”
Valencia and Wu went on to discuss several things Wu has been working to improve, such as housing for the homeless population, raising vaccination rates and electing a new Boston police commissioner.
Wu wishes to close Boston’s vaccination gaps, despite some public opposition to the city’s current COVID-19 policies.
“Our policies, since they’ve been announced, even with opposition, have been very successful in getting the city’s workforce up to a 95%-plus vaccination rate,” Wu said. “There are very, very large vaccination gaps, particularly for Black and brown families and young people within our school system.”
Wu stressed the importance of improving Boston Public Schools, an issue she seemed passionate about having raised her little sister and with two children in the Boston public school system.
“We need to create predictable pathways, from early [education] all the way to high school,” Wu said. “We’ve launched a new Office of Early Childhood because there aren’t enough seats to begin with to be able to access through our school lotteries.”
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