Michelle Wu

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Michelle Wu
Michelle Wu, Boston City Council Member.jpg
Michelle Wu in February 2019
City Councilor At-Large of the Boston City Council
Assumed office
January 2014
Preceded byJohn R. Connolly and Felix G. Arroyo
President of the Boston City Council
In office
Vice PresidentFrank Baker
Preceded byBill Linehan
Succeeded byAndrea Campbell
Personal details
Michelle Wu

(1985-01-14) January 14, 1985 (age 34)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceRoslindale, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma materHarvard University (B.A. 2007)
Harvard Law School (J.D. 2012)
Michelle Wu
Hanyu PinyinWú Mǐ

Michelle Wu (born 1985) is an American lawyer and politician who is a member of the Boston City Council. She is the first Taiwanese American and first Asian American woman to serve on the council, as well as the youngest current member. From January 2016 to January 2018, she served as President of the council and was its first woman of color president.[1]

Family and education[edit]

Wu was born on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois to parents who had immigrated to the United States from Taiwan[2] and is the oldest of four children. She graduated from Barrington High School in 2003, where she was valedictorian. In 2003, she was selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholar from the state of Illinois.[3] During the 2002-2003 school year, Wu was also the President of the National Junior Classical League.[4] Wu moved to the Boston area to attend college at Harvard University, where she would later also graduate from Harvard Law School in 2012.[5]


In 2010, Wu worked in Boston City Hall for Mayor Thomas M. Menino in the Office of Administration and Finance, and later as a Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy under Menino's Chief of Staff Mitch Weiss.[6] As a fellow, Wu created the Restaurant Roadmap guide to opening a restaurant in Boston,[7] as well as spearheaded the Boston Food Truck Challenge which resulted in three foodtrucks opening on City Hall Plaza.[8] In 2010, Wu also graduated from Emerge Massachusetts, an intensive training program for women who aspire to seek elected office.[9] The following year, Wu worked at the Boston Medical Center-based Medical Legal Partnership, providing legal services to low-income patients.[6]

In 2012, Wu, a former student of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren at Harvard Law School, worked as the Constituency Director for Warren's 2012 campaign against Scott Brown. In this role, Wu coordinated outreach to all constituency groups, including communities of color, the LGBT community, veterans, and women.[10] She would announce her candidacy for Boston City Councilor At-Large a little more than a month after Warren's election.[11]

She was first elected to the Boston City Council in November 2013. As a City Councillor, Wu has focused on reforming the city's antiquated permitting system [12] and passed paid parental leave for Boston municipal employees.

Airbnb regulations[edit]

In April 2018, Wu was targeted by Airbnb for her stance over short-term rental regulations in the city of Boston. Wu has pushed for increased restrictions, including the elimination of investor units. The short-term lodging platform accused Wu of being "aligned with big hotel interests against the interests of regular Bostonians".[13][14][15]


In March 2018, Wu was among six finalists to be honored as a “Rising Star” by EMILY's List, an influential and well-funded national group that supports female Democratic candidates.[16]

In April 2018, Wu was listed at #31 on Boston Magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People in Boston" list.[17]

Election Results[edit]

Wu was first elected to a Boston City Council at-large seat in November 2013. She finished in second place to incumbent Ayanna Pressley;[18] the top four finishers are elected to the council. She was re-elected in November 2015, again coming in second place to Pressley.[19] She was re-elected to a third term on the council in November 2017, garnering the most votes among all at-large candidates.[20] Her November 2017 tally of over 65,000 votes was the most since Michael J. McCormack in November 1983.


  1. ^ Encarnacao, Jack (2016-01-05). "Michelle Wu takes reins as Boston City Council president". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  2. ^ "Women Top Boston At-Large City Councilor Race". WBUR. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  3. ^ "2003 Presidential Scholars Program" (PDF). U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  4. ^ Wu, Michelle. "Wu Welcomes You to Trinity" (PDF). National Junior Classical League. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Michelle Wu shows promise for city's future". Boston Globe. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Rappaport Briefing, July 2011" (PDF). The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Restaurant Roadmap" (PDF). City of Boston. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  8. ^ "THE BOSTON FOOD TRUCK CHALLENGE". edibleBOSTON. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Michelle Wu". Emerge America. Emerge America. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  10. ^ "City Council Candidate Chat: Michelle Wu". The Dorchester Reporter. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Reporter's Notebook: Warren campaign aide Wu casts eyes on an at-large seat". The Dorchester Reporter. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  12. ^ Meghan E., Irons (26 February 2014). "New look urged for Boston's silly old rules". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  13. ^ Logan, Tim (2018-04-18). "Airbnb has targeted Michelle Wu. She and her supporters are not having it". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  14. ^ Logan, Tim; Valencia, Milton (2018-04-24). "The war over Airbnb regulations in Boston keeps escalating". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  15. ^ Buell, Spencer (2018-04-18). "Airbnb Came After Michelle Wu and Whiffed, Hard". Boston Magazine. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  16. ^ Pindell, James (2018-03-01). "Michelle Wu a finalist for award from abortion rights group EMILY's List". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  17. ^ "The 100 Most Influential People in Boston". Boston Magazine. 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  18. ^ "CITY OF BOSTONMUNICIPAL ELECTION - NOVEMBER 5, 2013 CITY COUNCILLOR AT LARGE" (PDF). cityofboston.gov. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  19. ^ "CITY OF BOSTON MUNICIPAL ELECTION - NOVEMBER 3, 2015 CITY COUNCILLOR AT LARGE" (PDF). cityofboston.gov. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  20. ^ "CITY OF BOSTON MUNICIPAL ELECTION - NOVEMBER 7, 2017 CITY COUNCILLOR AT LARGE" (PDF). cityofboston.gov. Retrieved February 16, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bill Linehan
President of the Boston City Council
Succeeded by
Andrea Campbell