The City Councilor described her campaign positions at the first of monthly press conferences.
Housing, the coronavirus, and environmental justice were on the table at Boston Mayoral Candidate and City Councilor Michelle Wu’s press conference, held on November 13. Wu gave updates on initiatives her team is developing and expressed where she stands on key issues, in what was the first of a monthly series of discussions to be held with members of the press. Wu said that she is moving forward with the Green New Deal and Just Recovery plan, a food justice plan, responses to the MBTA service cuts, and steps to support LGBTQ rights.
On the topic of climate change, Wu said that she has been holding conversations with local activists and hopes to partner with other municipalities as well. She is interested in working alongside leaders in Philadelphia and Baltimore, among other cities. She said that recent MBTA service cuts places a burden on people who can only afford public transportation, which lower income communities rely upon. Addressing the lifting of the eviction moratorium, she said that this move has been strongly opposed by public health experts and non-profit organizations.
“We need to preserve the ability for people to have a safe place to quarantine, not just for their own health and safety but for all of our health and safety. We are in a phase of a second surge of this pandemic,” said Wu. “We have an opportunity and an obligation to be very creative from the public sector, in this moment of economic crisis, that is spinning off of the public health crisis.”
With regard to education, Wu said that there should be more options across the board for students to be able to access “academic rigor,” which should not only be found at exam schools. Each high school should give them the option of taking AP classes and offer strong levels of support. Regarding LGBTQ rights, Wu has developed an ordinance that she hopes to see pass this year. The legislation would codify “the City’s commitment to full inclusion, particularly for trans and gender nonconforming residents.” Papers at City offices will reflect this position, by having broader categories when people are asked to describe their gender or role in a family.
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.