With at least three candidates for mayor having been heavily involved with the Ward 4 Democratic Committee, the group had a difficult decision to make in endorsing a candidate, but last Saturday morning the Ward 4 Dems announced they had almost unanimously voted to endorse Councilor Michelle Wu for mayor.
During an event on Saturday in Library Park, the Ward 4 Dems leadership and some members made the endorsement official, with Councilor Wu attending. Wu was very involved with reviving the Ward 4 Dems with her husband many years ago when she lived in the South End. However, State Rep. and mayoral candidate Jon Santiago has more recently been very involved in the Committee, serving as vice chair before he ran for state representative. Meanwhile, Acting Mayor Kim Janey – also a candidate – has long been active in the Committee since it covers part of her Council district.
That said, the decision was not one that was easily made.
“It’s not easy to get a unanimous vote from this group,” said former member Lara Shkordoff. “I can think of one candidate that was able to get a unanimous vote. It’s hard work and it speaks to the confidence we have in Michelle.”
Said Ben Siegel, “The Acting Mayor has been active in the Committee and so has Jon Santiago, but we all agreed to support Michelle and the vote was nearly unanimous.”
The Committee indicated there had been one proxy vote submitted for another candidate, but all others voted for Wu.
“The Boston Ward 4 Democratic Committee is proud to endorse Michelle Wu for mayor for her work on climate justice, housing stability, racial equity, and so much more. She helped redefine the role of the Council and will bring a similarly proactive approach to the job of mayor,” said Jonathan Cohn, Chair of the Ward 4 Democratic Committee, during the endorsement event.
Wu said getting the endorsement was important for her campaign, but meant a lot personally, as it was where her roots in politics began.
“This is so meaningful and significant,” said Wu. “This Ward Committee gave me my first experience in Boston politics. I am honored to have been chair of the Committee when I lived in the South End…The friendship and the community here pulled around us and made sure my sister and mom were ok. We were able to live in a community that is so caring. Ward 4 also has a long history of stand up when it matters, and going against the grain when it matters.”
Most members said they really felt Wu distinguished herself by her policy record, knowing so much about the details and the bigger picture. They cited the Community Choice Electricity legislation, facial surveillance, the wetlands ordinance and most especially, the AirBNB short-term rental restrictions she shepherded through the Council a few years ago.
Former Ward 4 Chair Janet Slovin said she has been impressed with how Wu can cite off the top of her head data on any issue. For instance, she said Wu can tell one how much can be saved by residents on each bus and each line were the MBTA to offer free bus service – a key part of her mayoral platform.
“She knows that because she’s done the research and want to improve people’s lives,” she said. “Michelle’s philosophy is focused always on improving the lives of Bostonians – whether with jobs, housing or the environment. She always wants to know what can government do to help people be better in Boston.”
Vice Chair Carol Lasky said she was impressed with Wu’s ability to be so on top of politics and also have the perspective of a mother.
“When she would come to our Ward Committee meetings, she would often speak and typically had a baby on her hip,” said Lasky. “She would focus politics from the perspective of raising children in Boston. She is a sister, a wife, a daughter, but the mother aspect is very big.”
The Ward 4 Dems made their endorsement decision after holding a successful Zoom forum for the candidates last month.