Boston Elects Its First Woman Of Color As Mayor

According to the Associated Press Michelle Wu was elected Mayor of Boston on Tuesday. This makes her the first woman and first person from color to win a mayoral election.

Michelle Wu, the Mayoral Candidate, kicks off a Get Out The Vote canvassing session on November 2, 2021 in Boston's Allston neighborhood. MediaNews Group via Getty Images

The Key Facts

After polls close at 8., the Associated Press called Wu's election at 11 p.m. Annissa Essaibi George, a city councilor, was leading Wu 60.8% to 38.8% at 11:02 p.m. According to unofficial results, 62% of city precincts reported, although the election was not partisan. However, both candidates were Democrats. Several news outlets reported that Essaibi George gave in to Wu Tuesday night. Both Wu and EssaibiGeorge were poised to be the first women of color to win the Boston mayoral race. Wu is the daughter a Taiwanese immigrant, while Essaibi Georges father was born in Tunisia.


After Marty Walsh, the former mayor of Boston, resigned in the middle his term to become U.S. secretary of labor, Kim Janey, the current acting mayor of Boston, became the first Black politician to be elected to the position and the first woman to hold the office of chief executive. Janey ran a campaign to be elected mayor for a full term, but was defeated in the September preliminary race. Wu and Essaibi were eliminated from a field that included five candidates.

Important Background

Chicago native, Wu is a former campaign staffer for Senator Elizabeth Warren (D.Mass.). Wu served as Boston's City Council member for almost eight years. On a progressive platform, she ran for mayor, pushing to drastically reform the police department, provide free service on Boston's state-run mass transportation system, rewrite city zoning rules, and control housing costs through rent control. This controversial idea is prohibited by state law. Essaibi George, a former teacher, criticized rent control and free transportation as unpractical and financially risky. She also pushed for more police officers and accused Wu, who has denied the claim. Wu, like many Boston residents, was born in another state. She moved to Massachusetts to go to college. This contrasts with Essaibi George who is a Boston accent-wielding Dorchester native and who spoke out about her deep community ties during the campaign trail.

Surprising Fact

Wu and EssaibiGeorge have both worked in the public sector most of their careers. However, they each have small business experience. The Boston Globe reported that Wu returned briefly to Chicago after graduating from Harvard to care for her mother, who suffered from mental illness, and she opened a tea shop featuring literary themes with her family. Essaibi George, meanwhile, owns a yarn and fabric shop, which she used to make scores of face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.