Election Politics

Michelle Wu and Other Mayoral Candidates of Color Make History This Election Day

Michelle Wu made history by winning Boston’s mayoral election on Tuesday– Wu is the first woman and person of color to be elected to the position in Boston’s history.

Wu is the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, and a Boston Public Schools mother– with two young children, she is the first mother elected to lead the city. And, at 36, she’s the youngest mayor in almost 100 years.

In this Boston mayoral election, nearly every contender was a person of color, and most of them were women. Wu gained support as a champion for progressive policies and earned endorsements from Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey, and Representative Ayanna Pressley. 

Wu’s progressive platform included support of a Boston Green New Deal and a fare-free transit system, which earned her support from progressive organizations including Sunrise Movement Boston, Planned Parenthood Massachusetts, and Working Families Party.

“From every corner of our city, Boston has spoken. We are ready to meet this moment. We are ready to become a Boston for everyone,” Wu said to a crowd of supporters Tuesday night. “I want to be clear, it wasn’t my vision on the ballot, it was ours, together.”

In other cities across the country, candidates of color made history. In Pittsburgh, voters elected Ed Gainey, the city’s first-ever Black mayor.

“We know how people have talked about Pittsburgh, how siloed it is, how segregated it is,” Gainey told supporters on Tuesday. “But today, you changed that.”

Aftab Pureval won his mayoral race in Cincinnati, making him the city’s first Asian American mayor. Thirty-nine-year-old Pureval defeated 82-year-old insider David Mann.

In Dearborn, Michigan, Abdulla Hammoud became the first Arab-American and Muslim mayor last night. Though the suburb has one of the largest Arab communities in the US, the city’s elected officials have rarely reflected its population.

In his Tuesday night speech, he dedicated his victory to “any young girls or boys who have been ridiculed for their faith or ethnicity.”

Sources: CNN 11/3/21; NPR 11/3/21; Center for American Women in Politics, Rutgers University

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