Thinking Citizen Blog — The November Boston Mayoral Election (Part II)

Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day

Today’s Topic: The November Boston Mayoral Election (Part II)

Continuity is key to depth and clarity of thought. So let’s continue with last week’s theme that local politics matters. I have never paid much attention to local politics because my life has only had so much time for politics at all and I’ve always allocated close to 100% of that sliver to national and international politics. But I have resolved to re-allocate my civic time portfolio in a more balanced fashion which I feel is appropriate given my decision to make education and health care my top civic priorities. Last week we discussed Boston’s current acting Mayor, Kim Janey, who has not yet decided if she will run in November. Today, three candidates who have declared: Andrea Campbell (38), Annissa Essaibi George (47), and Michelle Wu (36). All are Boston City Councillors. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

MICHELLE WU (1985 — ) first woman of color to serve as Boston City Council President (2016–2018)

1. Born in Chicago, daughter of penniless Taiwanese immigrants, her first language was Mandarin. Valedictorian of her high school class. She majored in Economics at Harvard and graduated in 2007. After college she worked for Boston Consulting Group but had to quit to take care of her mother who had fallen ill as well as of her two younger sisters.

2. At Harvard Law School (class of 2012), Wu was a student of Elizabeth Warren and volunteered to work on her campaign for Senate in 2012. This was her first political experience. She had previously been apolitical, although as a freshman at Harvard she had identified herself as Republican out of deference to her father who had always voted Republican because “he hated paying taxes.”

3. After law school, she worked for in Boston City Hall for Mayor Thomas Menino in the Office of Administration and Finance. In 2013 she was elected to the Boston City Council for the first time and has been re-elected three times.

NB: First Asian-American woman, first woman of color to serve as Boston City President (2016–2019). She announced her candidacy for Mayor in
September 2020. She has pushed for a “Green New Deal” for Boston.

ANDREA CAMPBELL (1982 — ) first African-American woman Boston City Council President (2018–2020)

1. Her mother died when she was 4. Her father was incarcerated for most of her childhood. Her twin brother died in jail.

2. She graduated from Boston Latin, attended Princeton, and has a JD from UCLA Law School. Her first job after graduation was at a non-profit in Roxbury. Her second was deputy legal counsel to Governor Deval Patrick.

3. In 2015 Campbell defeated a 32-year incumbent to represent District V (Dorchester, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury) on the Boston City Council. In 2018, she was elected President by her fellow councilors.

NB: In September 2020, she declared herself a candidate for Mayor. A signature proposal is the idea of “15 minute neighborhoods” — “an increase in the number of jobs, services, and amenities located within 15 minutes of all residential areas.”

ANNISSA ESSAIBI GEORGE (1973 — ) Boston Councillor, small business owner, former public school teacher

1. Born in Boston, Essaibi George was the daughter of a mother of Polish ancestry (who was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany) and a father from Tunisia. She was brought up Catholic but her father was a practicing Muslim. She attended Boston Technical High School and then majored in political science at Boston University. She later got a master’s degree in education from University of Massachusetts, Boston and taught social studies electives at East Boston High School from 2001 to 2014.

2. She was elected to the Boston City Council in 2015 and then re-elected in 2017 and 2019.

3. She is the founder and owner of a small business (Stitch House in Dorchester). The shop sells yarns and wool and offers classes in knitting, sewing, quilting and crochet.” She sees herself as a strong advocate for small business.

NB — Essaibi George appointed an all female staff when she took office. She is chair of the Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health, and Recovery. She favors re-instating the entrance exam at Boston’s elite schools and supports the expansion of vouchers.

2021 Boston mayoral election

From the Pandemic to Systemic Racism, Here’s Where Boston’s Mayoral Candidates Stand

Here’s Who’s Running For Mayor Of Boston

Michelle Wu

Andrea Campbell

Annissa Essaibi George

Planning for a Boston Green New Deal & Just Recovery | Michelle Wu for Boston

What to know about Michelle Wu’s ‘Green New Deal & Just Recovery’ for Boston

Councilor Campbell’s Mayoral Campaign Releases Transportation Platform

Transportation — Andrea Campbell for Boston Mayor

Andrea’s Story — Andrea Campbell for Boston Mayor

Michelle for Mayor — Boston for Everyone

Boston City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu discusses her path to public service

200 Years, Countless Stories | Michelle Wu ’12

‘Turning point’: Women of color are increasingly emerging as leaders in Boston

Making Herstory: Six Women of Color Elected to the Boston City Council

Boston City Council makes history, electing six women of color

Six Women of Color Elected to Boston City Council

Here is a link to the last three years of posts organized by theme:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive


Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to political process or campaign strategy or 2020 candidate selection or anything else for that matter.

This is your chance to make some one else’s day or change their thinking. Or to consolidate in your own memory something worth remembering that might otherwise be lost. Or to clarify or deepen your own understanding of something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.