BOSTON (CBS) – Michelle Wu will be sworn in next Tuesday, November 16 as the first woman and person of color to be elected Mayor of Boston.
In a one-on-one conversation Monday afternoon, she said her top priority now is putting together a leadership team that reflects the whole city.
“It’s exciting. It’s a lot of work already but in the best of ways,” Wu told WBZ-TV
She is well aware of the pandemic’s long shadows and the challenges she’ll face leading the city’s recovery.
“We’re following the case counts very closely and, in general, Boston is doing pretty well,” she said.
But with questions about Covid-19 transmission in colder months and a budding vaccination campaign for young children, the mayor-elect isn’t ready to drop the masks yet.
“Boston needs, first and foremost, to focus on the protection of all of our residents, workers, everybody who’s out and about in community, but we’ll make sure to move quickly to respond to the numbers,” Wu said.
She sees affordable transportation as a key to Boston’s economic recovery and points to the fare-free MBTA 28 bus pilot program as a model for the future.
“Being able to get around to where you need to go in a reliable, accessible, affordable way, is basic for every single person,” she said.
A different kind of recovery is the mayor-elect’s priority for people facing addiction and homelessness. The goal is to connect them with resources.
“We need to ensure that the capacity that we have within the emergency shelter system and also within transitional housing, matches, realistically, the needs of residents who are currently at Mass and Cass,” Wu said.
The mayor-elect says she’s eager to meet these challenges and bring City Hall into neighborhoods, it’s an idea her former boss, long-time Mayor Tom Menino, would applaud.
When asked if she had one word to describe Boston, the mayor-elect said, “Ready.” Ready, she says, to see what’s possible in the city when everyone has a role in shaping its future.
She did acknowledge that she will have to do some work to win back the trust of Boston Police, but she’s says she’s confident she can.