Wu elected as first Asian-American City Council president
By NBP Staff | January 4, 2016, 14:23 EDT
BOSTON – Boston got its first Asian-American City Council president Monday, as newly sworn-in members joined their returning colleagues to vote in Councilor at Large Michelle Wu to lead the legislative body.
Wu, who turns 31 later this month, won the position by a unanimous vote. The Roslindale resident was first elected to the 13-member council in 2013 and becomes only the third woman to preside over the body in its 106-year history.
“We’re sworn in today at a time of historic inequality. This lack of opportunity has to led to stark divisions in Boston,” Wu said at City Hall, according to the Boston Herald. “It is against this backdrop that the work of city government is more vital than ever.”
A Harvard-educated lawyer, Wu first worked in City Hall as an aide to Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Her election to the council in 2013 was her first foray into elective politics.
One of her former professors, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, took a front-row seat to the swearing in ceremonies, according to the Boston Globe.
“She’s not just a woman full of good ideas and a passionate heart, but a woman who gets out and does what needs to be done,” Warren told the broadsheet.
“When I first met her, I think neither one of us thought we’d end up here,” Warren told the Herald. “I knew there was something special about her.”
Two other women, at-large Councilor Annissa Essaibi George and District 4 Councilor Andrea Campbell, took the oath of office for the first time at a swearing in ceremony in Faneuil Hall, State House News Service reported. They joined returning councilors Wu, Michael Flaherty, Ayanna Pressley, Salvatore LaMattina, Bill Linehan, Frank Baker, Timothy McCarthy, Matt O’Malley, Tito Jackson, Josh Zakim and Mark Ciommo. Essaibi George ousted Stephen Murphy for one of four at-large seats, and Campbell defeated Charles Yancey, the longtime Mattapan and Dorchester district councilor in the November election.
“This is an exciting day in the City of Boston. We are a city on the rise, and we are a city that’s not going to look back,” said Mayor Marty Walsh after he swore in the new councilors, the Herald reported.
“It’s also important that we see women and people of color step into up into the leadership role,” Walsh said. “A big part of the council is your diversity, it’s something that’s very important to our city.”
“You’ve proven that when we work together, I’m a better mayor and you are a stronger council, and that’s something that’s very important for us to remember,” Walsh said, according to the Herald.
“Forty years ago this month was my first city council inauguration, and I can’t help but observe, my, how the council has changed,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Korff, the city’s chaplain, according to State House News. “God has blessed us with progress and change to reflect the beauty of our beloved city.”