Boston welcomes Mayor Michelle Wu


James Bartlett

Outside of Boston City Hall

Mayor Michelle Wu officially became the first woman, person of color and Asian American elected to serve as Mayor of Boston after taking the oath of office just after noon on Tuesday.

Wu spoke to attendees gathered at the ceremony, which took place in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, about her first time in the building.

“The first time I set foot in Boston City Hall, I felt invisible — swallowed up by the maze of echoing concrete hallways, intimidated by the checkpoints and looming counters, reminded that my immigrant family tried to stay away from spaces like these,” Wu said. “Today I know City Hall’s passageways and stairwells like my own home. And this space is most special.”

Wu remarked on her experiences organizing in Boston as a city councilor.

“I am so honored to stand here, in this chamber that has meant so much to me, as your next mayor,” Wu said. “When we connect the power of city government to the force of our neighborhoods and communities, we see how much is possible for our city.”

In her speech, Wu addressed some of the work she and her city council colleagues have done, as well as her plans for her term as mayor.

“Not only is it possible for Boston to deliver basic city services and generational change, it is absolutely necessary in this moment to tackle our biggest challenges by getting the small things right. By getting City Hall out of City Hall [and] into our neighborhoods, block by block, street by street,” Wu said. 

A number of local and national politicians and elected officials attended the inauguration, including former Acting Mayor Kim Janey, U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.

Before Wu took the oath, Janey spoke to the crowd, referencing the fight for racial justice in Boston and the challenges ahead of the city.

Looking toward Wu, Janey said, “I am so proud to call you Madame Mayor.”

Wu was elected mayor on Nov. 2 after defeating former City Councilor at-Large Annissa Essabi George in a historic race against the most diverse field of candidates in the city’s history. Wu won the election with 64% of the vote, nearly 28 points higher than Essabi George.

Wu’s policies inspired voters such as Desiree Belonge, who moved to Boston in July. Belonge said on election day that she was excited about Wu’s plans to address affordable housing issues.

“I felt like [Wu’s] progressive ideas would most likely benefit Boston in the best way possible, especially her approach to housing,” Belonge said. “I feel like it’s more important to get rent under control, rather than focusing on young people finding long term roots in the City of Boston.”

According to the Boston Globe, Wu is the youngest mayor in nearly a century and the first mayor to be born outside the City of Boston in over a century. With her two kids, Wu is also the first mother to serve in the position.

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