Boston city councilors define their priorities in mayoral race

Campbell announces her mayoral candidacy on Sept. 24, outside the public housing where she lived as a child. Photo by Katharine Swindells/BU News Service

By Haley Chi-Sing
BU News Service

Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell sought to outline their priorities in the upcoming race for mayor in an interview with Boston University’s BUTV10 on Tuesday. As two women of color running for mayor, Wu and Campbell highlighted their particular priorities and vision for the city. They would be taking on incumbent Marty Walsh, who has yet to announce his re-election campaign. 

With both councilors having quite distinct backgrounds and experiences coming into the mayoral race, Wu and Campbell expressed varying positions and platforms on issues such as the MBTA, the possibility of a coronavirus vaccine and the operating of schools in the city. 

“My push in this campaign and beyond is to be out in every community, lifting up the struggles and the dreams of our residents, and connecting that with policy changes that we can deliver together for the bold urgent leadership Boston deserves,” said Wu.

A daughter of immigrants, Wu is a Chicago-native but has lived in the Boston area since childhood. She is currently raising her family in Boston, with both of her school-aged boys enrolled in the Boston Public School system. Wu expressed concerns about air ventilation in older school buildings and the need for more green spaces in the city, specifically during the COVID-19 era. 

A vocal supporter of presidential candidates Vice President Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, Wu has proposed her own Green New Deal focused on Boston’s needs, which she plans on putting into play if voted into the mayoral office. 

“It’s not just about sea-levels rising and decompensation,” Wu said. “It’s about housing justice, and equitable recovery for small businesses, and how we are all depending on an economic future that is just as resilient as we depend on that climate future.”

Having just recently announced her mayoral campaign at the end of September, Councilor Andrea Campbell brings her childhood and upbringing in Roxbury to the table in her mayoral campaign. A practicing lawyer and the first Black woman voted city council president, Campbell spoke about her platform of diminishing racial and social inequalities, providing more green spaces and housing justice. 

“The reason I jumped into this race was this moment in time in which we’re talking about race and racism and systemic inequities. Not just in this country, but in the city,” said Campbell. “This is a unique opportunity for the city of Boston to address its own painful history of division in racism, which I know far too well growing up in the city of Boston, in attending Boston Public Schools. But I also take tremendous pride in being from the city of Boston, because this is the city that gave me all the opportunities that have allowed me to be successful in life.”

Calling herself a “daughter of Boston,” Campbell touted her own experiences growing up and knowing Boston’s neighborhoods and people. She also addressed the possibility of a coronavirus vaccine and how it directly relates to communities of color, especially the areas she represents, Dorchester and Mattapan.

“We also have to be intentional around any conversations around the vaccines with communities of color, and we need to do that quickly because that distrust still exists,” Campbell said. 

Both Wu and Campbell are currently the only candidates in Boston’s 2021 municipal race. Incumbent Mayor Marty Walsh has yet to announce his re-election campaign. 

BU TV10’s Gov’t Center’s Mayoral Special will premiere Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. EST on and the BUTV10 Facebook page. 

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