By Talia Lissauer
Boston University News Service
BOSTON – Cheers erupted from the crowd just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday as news of Annissa Essaibi George’s concession spread across Michelle Wu’s election night event.
Almost a half-hour later, Wu took the stage as the first woman and person of color elected to the Boston mayor’s office. Throughout her speech, she touched on Boston’s positive qualities but said there is still a lot of work to be done.
“It wasn’t my vision on the ballot; it was ours, together,” Wu said in her victory speech at the Boston Center for the Arts. “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. I’ll never stop fighting to make our systems work for all of us.”
As the polls came to a close, supporters for mayoral candidate and at-large City Council Member Wu gathered to await the results of the election. One of those supporters included Jaely Pereira from Swanson, who has worked to support Asian American candidates in and outside of her area.
“’I’ve been supporting Michelle Wu behind the scenes as a nonvoter just helping wherever I can in hopes that she wins,” Pereira said. “Young Asian American students and children can see themselves in her leadership and aspire to be in leadership positions one day.
Emma Krug, a student at Emerson College, who has volunteered for Wu since April 2021, was in the crowd, ready to watch Wu make history as the first woman and person of color to be elected to the Boston mayor’s office.
“I like being able to like doorknock and get more into Boston,” Krug said. “Everyone on her campaign is just so nice to be me. Her staff has been awesome.”
After Essaibi George’s concession, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, D-Boston, took the stage before Wu did. Michlewitz, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, eagerly spoke about Wu. He cited all the elected officials who had endorsed her throughout the race, including Acting Mayor Kim Janey, U.S. Senators for Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and several of Wu’s colleagues on the City Council.
As an international student who has lived in the United States for 10 years, Darren Deng from Brandeis University valued Wu’s determination for inclusion and encouragement for citizen initiative and enjoys the representation she provides to the Chinese community.
“No matter where you come from, you can lead in Boston. She really encourages people to take the initiative, and therefore I really like her,” Deng said. “I really want my students to take the lead in the local community.”
Wu campaigned on a progressive platform, farther to the left on many issues compared to her opponent and peer on the City Council, Annissa Essaibi George.
Pledging to work toward a “Green New Deal,” affordable housing and better schools, Wu said she will be a mayor for everyone while making major changes.
“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,” Wu told the crowd. “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.”