Thinking Citizen Blog — The Next Mayor of Boston: Michelle Wu (“Progressive”) vs Annissa Essaibi George (“Centrist”)
Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day
Today’s Topic: The Next Mayor of Boston: Michelle Wu (“Progressive”) vs Annissa Essaibi George (“Centrist”)
Michelle Wu fits the standard profile of an up and coming politician: a lawyer from an Ivy League school. Annissa Essaibi George does not: a former school teacher who runs a knitting shop. What they have in common is that they are both daughters of immigrants. Wu’s parents came from Taiwan. Essaibi George’s father is Tunisian (muslim) and her mother Polish. Today, a few notes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
EDUCATION: Biggest piece of the budget — three differences
1. Essaibi George is a supporter of lifting the cap on charter schools, the continued presence of law enforcement officers in schools (“resource officers”), and the return to the old system of exam-based schools.
2. Wu would not lift the charter cap, would remove “resource officers” from schools, and supports a new system for exam-based schools that rank students by socioeconomic tier.
3. The Boston teachers unions have yet to endorse a candidate. I would expect them to endorse Wu.
“WU’S SUPPORT WAS BROAD, ESSAIBI GEORGE RELIED ON BASE” (Boston Globe)
1. “Wu, a flag bearer of the progressive movement in Boston, finished first or second in 17 of the city’s 22 wards.”
2. “Essaibi George, who is widely seen as a centrist, finished first or second in eight out of 22 wards; she came in fourth or fifth in 11 of them.”
3. “The data show that Councilor Annissa Essaibi George, who placed second, was able to run up her vote tally in the whiter, more conservative neighborhoods that have long put candidates into office. But she saw only limited enthusiasm for her candidacy beyond South Boston and parts of Dorchester and West Roxbury, while drawing minimal support in Boston’s Black communities.”
NB: “Janey dominated the heart of Boston’s Black communities, winning 56 percent of the vote in Ward 12 and 50 percent in Ward 14. Those wards stretch from Nubian Square to Morton Street at Mattapan, and along the Blue Hill Avenue corridor.”
MICHELLE WU, 37, LAWYER, PROTEGE OF ELIZABETH WARREN
1. Her municipal Green New Deal “sets the goals of having a net-zero carbon footprint for municipal government buildings by 2024, running the city on 100% renewable energy by 2030 and achieving citywide carbon neutrality by the year 2040.”
2. She has called for the “demilitarization” of the police and a reduction in the police budget.
3. Supports fare-free public transit.
NB: has served on the Boston City Council since 2014, as President from 2016 to 2018. Married, two children. Husband, Conor Pewarski, is a commercial real estate banker.
ANNISSA ESSAIBI GEORGE, 47, FORMER SCHOOL TEACHER, CENTRIST
1. Taught social studies electives at East Boston High School from 2001 to 2014.
2. “An ally of Mayor Marty Walsh, whom she has known since childhood.”
3. Supports a mandated $15 minimum wage.
NB: has served on the Boston City Council since 2016. Married, four children. Husband is a real estate developer.
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