Citizens of Boston elected Chinese American Michelle Wu as one of the four city councilors at-large at City Hall on election day.
Wu, a 28-year-old lawyer whose parents are immigrants from southeast China’s Taiwan Province, is the city’s first Asian-American city councilor at-large. She said that she wants to lift the barriers between families and city government. Wu and the other councilors said they were buoyed by a higher-than-expected turnout.
“I am thrilled and exhausted at the same time,” said Wu. “It’s been a really long day and a long eight months. But I couldn’t be happier to be in the top four.”
Wu grew up in suburban Chicago and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. As an attorney and former law student of U.S. Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, Wu says she gained a considerable amount of experience while working full-time on the Warren campaign, where she directed statewide outreach to communities of color. In this role, she served as the liaison to the many diverse communities in Boston as well as in the Gateway Cities of the Commonwealth.
Wu has a background in community advocacy, having worked at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain, providing legal advice to low-income small business owners. She also worked at the Medical-Legal Partnership at Boston Medical Center on immigration cases for survivors of domestic violence. Wu serves on the boards of the Kwong Kow Chinese School in Chinatown and the Puerto Rican Veterans Monument Square Association, and she is part of the RoxVote coalition in Roxbury.
As a city councilor, Wu intends to use her background working with diverse communities to bring new ideas to city government.
Female Chinese-American politicians are playing increasingly important roles in the U.S. political arena. In the 2012 presidential campaign, Elaine Chao and Judy May Chu led Asian American voters of the Republican and Democrat parties respectively.