Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com
Michelle Wu has often called for city leadership that meets the urgency of this moment.
On Tuesday night, it was Wu’s moment to own as she took the stage to a roaring crowd of supporters in the South End, where she emerged victorious against fellow city councilor Annissa Essaibi George to become Boston’s next mayor.
Here’s what the 36-year-old mayor-elect said after making history as the first woman of color elected to lead the city:
Good evening. So one of my sons asked me the other night if boys can be elected mayor in Boston.
They have been and they will again someday, but not tonight. On this day, Boston elected your mom because 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. We’re ready to be a Boston that doesn’t push people out, but welcomes all who call our city home. We’re ready to be a Boston where all can afford to stay and to thrive. And yes, Boston is ready to become a Green New Deal city.
Today at the polls, and over this last year, and over generations in this city, Boston has come together to reshape what is possible. We are the city of the first public school in the country, the first public park, the first subway tunnel in the country. We’re the city of revolution, civil rights, marriage equality. Boston has always been that city that punches above our weight, where our activism, our community, our joy radiates out into progress across the country. And today, together, we are marching into Boston’s promise.
We stand here in the South End on the edge of the Southwest corridor. It is here where 52 years ago, there was a 12-lane highway planned. They said it was a done deal, that stopping it would be impossible. And for a while that’s how it seemed until a coalition of activists from across our neighborhood stood up for people over highways.
Some of them are here in this room and they successfully fought for housing that was affordable, for an Orange Line instead of an interstate, for families then and for families for generations to come.
Our movement is a continuation of that activism and community, showing everyone what’s possible when we all dig in and push for what we truly deserve. And what we deserve is a Boston where all of us are seen, heard, treasured, and valued — a Boston for everyone.
We’re ready for every child to go to a school connected to the full resources of our communities and their full potential, for every resident from the Forbes Building to Georgetown Homes to be protected from soaring rents and displacement; for a thriving Boston business community grounded in a thriving Black business community; for every Bostonian experiencing homelessness, mental health, substance use at Mass. Ave and Melnea Cass Boulevard and across our city and beyond to have dignity, treatment, and housing.
We are ready for every Bostonian to know that we don’t have to choose between generational change and keeping the streetlights on; between tackling big problems with bold solutions and filling our potholes; to make change at scale and at street level. We need, we deserve, both. All of this is possible. …These things are possible. And today, the voters of Boston said all these things are possible, too.
I want to be clear: It wasn’t my vision on the ballot. It was ours, together. Over 10 years in City Hall, and in every neighborhood, connecting with all of our residents I’ve seen and experienced just how big an impact local government makes in people’s lives. And I’ll never stop fighting to make our systems work for all of us.
I came to this city as a homesick college kid. But as soon as I set foot on the Red Line to Chinatown, T token in hand, I knew I was home. Thank you, Boston.
To my family: Thank you to my family: my husband, Conor; my two boys, Blaise and Cass; my mom; my sisters, Sherelle and Tori. My whole family…you are my support system and a source of strength.
Mayor (Kim) Janey, my forever sister in service: Thank you for your friendship and partnership. Thank you for leading our city and blazing this trail.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren: I will always fight hard because I learned persistence from you.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley: Your bold leadership paved the way for me and so many others.
To the Menino family, my former boss Mayor (Tom) Menino and Mrs. Angela Menino, whose support has been incredibly humbling. To the many in that family — Uncle Frank, who opened doors for me, thank you so much.
To the courageous candidates who joined me in this historic race, Councilor Essaibi George, who fought hard throughout this entire campaign, thank you for your service.
Councilor Andrea Campbell, John Barros, (state) Rep. Jon Santiago: Thank you for elevating so many voices in our neighborhoods.
And to the many community leaders, elected officials, labor unions, climate groups, democratic ward committees, every organization who supported us along the way: Thank you so much for all that you do for the city and for powering our movement.
And to the whole Wu train, …especially this incredible staff who have put in so much day after day, hour by hour, up until the last second to represent all of our communities to make sure we were all part of shaping this future: For 414 days, you built an effort from the grassroots up. We built neighborhood teams into small (families). We reached into immigrant communities and communities across the city in every language. We moved every generation into this work. Wu train: You canvassed, you texted, you called, you knocked on doors, and you showed yet again in Boston that anything is possible when we do it together.
And although we put in a lot of work to get to this day, our movement does not end here. We have a lot of work to do. So let’s dig in.
Over the next two weeks and well beyond we will work with Mayor Janey’s team to ensure we’re ready to hit the ground running on Nov. 16. This will be a huge team effort and we’re not going to get this done by sitting in a corner office at City Hall, but by bringing City Hall to every block, every street, every neighborhood. Because if we truly want to deliver change, we need every one of us shaping our future.
Thank you for placing your trust in me to serve as the next mayor of Boston. So let’s celebrate tonight and tomorrow we’ll continue the work together. Thank you everyone.
Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com