City Councilor At–Large, City of Boston
City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu, a daughter of immigrants from Taiwan, is Boston’s first female Asian American City Councilor and was the first woman of color to serve as Boston City Council President. Michelle has been a national voice for bold, progressive action at the local level, authoring successful legislation for paid parental leave, healthcare equity prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity, procurement reform creating equity in opportunity for city contracts, language access, and healthy food purchasing. She got her start in City Hall working for the late Mayor Tom Menino, and became involved in politics when her former law professor decided to run for the U.S. Senate, serving as statewide constituency director for the Elizabeth Warren campaign in 2012. Michelle lives in Roslindale with her husband Conor and their two sons, Blaise and Cass.
My biggest surprise in government has been about what the true barriers to progress are—not lack of resources or ideas, but a lack of urgency and political will. This interview by the wonderful Meghna Chakrabarti highlights one community’s decision to bring urgency by declaring systemic racism to be a public health crisis, and it’s helped me think through how to marshal political will to address deep-rooted racism and emphasize the importance of doing so for our entire community to thrive
Councilor Wu’s Discussion Questions (PDF for Print)
- How does structural racism in the systems that you see or experience in Boston impact public health across all communities in the city?
- Would you encourage the City of Boston to make a similar declaration of racism as a public health crisis? Why or why not?
- How could Boston better engage with the city’s history of systemic racism and policy-making that has exacerbated racial disparities?