On Tuesday, March 16, mayoral candidate Michelle Wu held a press conference aimed directly at student journalists, and any questions they may have about her or her campaign.
The conference was held via Zoom, and was made up of nine student journalists, City Councilor Michelle Wu, and Sarah Anders, a Communications Director on Councilor Wu’s campaign.
The conference began with Anders and Councilor Wu talking briefly about Councilor Wu’s new plan to close the early education and child care gap in Boston, and moved straight into the Q&A directly after that.
Every student journalist who wanted to had the opportunity to ask Councilor Wu at least one question. Questions ranged from the very broad—regarding Councilor Wu and her campaign—to the very specific, regarding specific ordinances Wu has proposed and bills she’s signed.
When asked who or what encouraged her to run for mayor, Councilor Wu had several answers.
“I think there are so many moments that remind me why this matters, how government can make a difference, and how much we can change big issues right at the city level,” said Councilor Wu.
She highlighted one piece of legislation in particular that she passed regarding paid parental leave for city workers in Boston, and influential interactions with a few constituents that led her to feel eager to cause change as well.
One student journalist noted that the amount of candidates in the mayoral race had increased as of late, and asked Councilor Wu what made her the best candidate for mayor of the city of Boston.
“Our campaign launched back in September,” said Councilor Wu. “We were the first campaign to announce, because it wasn’t ever about who else would be running, or running against anyone for that matter. It’s about this moment, in Boston, and taking every possible action to empower communities, and to solve our challenges with the scale and urgency that our communities deserve and need.”
“It’s looking like I will end up as the youngest candidate in the race, but the longest serving elected official with 8 years on the council now,” added Councilor Wu.
Another student journalist asked about how Councilor Wu sees herself as a part of representation in politics.
“It’s powerful not just to see candidates bringing lived experiences and breaking down barriers in terms of representation, but also [to see] an authentic engagement and connection to community, with communities now feeling much more ready to organize and partner with government as a platform for that activism,” responded Councilor Wu.
Another question was posed regarding Councilor Wu’s status as the only candidate who is not native to Boston, and how that may affect her campaign.
“I [. . .] see the potential for Boston to break down so many of the walls and the silos between our communities as someone who has come to Boston and found my way, found a home here,” responded Councilor Wu.
“We have the potential to be a city that is welcoming to everyone,” continued Counselor Wu. “We have the resources, we have the activism, we have the ideas to be that city for everyone, but it’s not reflected in the experiences of Black and Brown Bostonians . . . I come with a drive to make sure we are building a city that everybody feels reflected in and welcome in, as someone who has found that here,” continued Councilor Wu.
The Mass Media decided to follow up on the email interview conducted with Councilor Wu regarding progress on the ordinance she proposed late January in order to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have a hearing date now . . . [March] 29 . . . and we are having a hearing jointly on both of the ordinances that we had filed that relate to vaccinations,” replied Councilor Wu. “One for equitable distribution in terms of access in every zip code at hours . . . that match families lives . . . as well as the other one that would guarantee paid sick leave to city workers who go to get vaccinated to allow people time to recover from the vaccination if needed as well.”
“It should be a good conversation to talk about not only the feasibility and how to implement these specific ordinances, but the vaccination push in general and what we should advocate for even beyond this legislation,” continued Councilor Wu.
To learn more about Councilor Michelle Wu and her campaign, visit: https://www.michelleforboston.com/meet-michelle