BOSTON (CBS) — Michelle Wu made history Tuesday night, becoming the first woman and person of color to be elected mayor of Boston in a landslide win. Now her priority shifts to organizing her administration with less than two weeks to go until she is sworn into office.
Wu kicked off Wednesday morning with a victory breakfast in Roxbury, where she spoke to the media about preparing for the “unusual situation” of officially becoming mayor so soon after an election.
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“The top priority is building out our team. No single elected official, no single person is going to be able to solve or take on the scale of challenges we see across the city,” said Wu, who has yet to name a chief of staff. “This is about empowering a full team that is reflective of Boston, representative of the expertise in our communities, connected to the urgency of the issues.”
Wu expects it will take beyond Nov. 16 – her swearing in date – and likely until January’s ceremonial inauguration to fully build out her administration
“We need to meet this moment,” Wu said. “There is an incredible responsibility and obligation and opportunity on our shoulders right now that requires a clear vision from City Hall.”
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Wu met with Acting Mayor Kim Janey Wednesday afternoon to discuss transition priorities, one of which she identified as the substance use and public health crisis at “Mass and Cass.” The city started removing tents from the area on Monday.
“That’s an important piece that we discussed earlier, the need to ensure that we are leading with a public health approach, and not furthering criminalization,” Wu said. “Every day that goes by we get closer to winter and life-or-death temperatures for anyone who’s on the streets.”
“Everything from battling COVID-19 to making sure that our city continues to run despite the challenges. I’m completely confident that Mayor-Elect Wu is prepared and ready to lead on day one,” Janey said.
Wu, a Taiwanese-American, also reflected on the historic nature of her win earlier in the day and an incoming city council that will be more representative of the diversity of Boston.
“In 2021 we are still seeing barriers come down,” Wu said. “To be coming into office with a city council that is reflective and representative of our communities is incredibly meaningful.”