Taiwanese American Becomes Boston City Council President

Taiwanese American Becomes Boston City Council President

What you need to know

First time in 106 years, Boston has elected an Asian American as the City Council President. Taiwanese American Michelle Wu takes up the position in Boston and joins a growing list of Taiwanese Americans who are taking a role in the US government.

The News Lens international edition is sponsored by Tutor A B C

On January 4, Michelle Wu, a Taiwanese American raised in Chicago, was elected unanimously to become Boston’s City Council President. Entering the Boston City Council as the first Asian American back in 2003, Wu is making an even larger mark by becoming the third female and first woman of color to hold this position that has had 106 years of history.

In her inaugural speech, Wu talked about her vow to tackle what she described as “historic inequality and uneven opportunity.”

“In too many parts of our city, we see skyrocketing housing costs, nightly gunshots, devastating opioid addiction, insufficient mental health supports, imbalanced schools, and stagnant wages that haven’t kept pace with the costs of supporting a family,” Wu said. “Against this backdrop, the work of city government is more vital than ever.”

Also at the inauguration was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whom Wu was a former student of and helped campaign for. Warren said, “I knew there was something special about her, what I learned over time is that she’s not just a woman full of good ideas and a passionate heart, but a woman who gets out and does the hard work that needs to be done to make a difference.”

In an interview with TaiwaneseAmerican.org, Wu noted how family and heritage played a part in her campaign. “The importance of family I was raised with as a Taiwanese American is something that resonates with a lot of other cultures too. Whether I was speaking Spanish with a Latino family, or in South Boston with an Irish American family, that was the piece that really got to with people,” she said.

Wu now joins the list of Taiwanese Americans in the US government, alongside names like Rep. Grace Meng (New York 6th District), former Rep. Ted Lieu (California 33rd District) and John C. Liu (former New York City Comptroller).

Edited by Olivia Yang