Michelle Wu (@WuTrain) via Twitter
Boston will get its first official challenger for an at-large seat on the Boston City Council, when 27-year-old South End resident Michelle Wu opens a campaign account tomorrow.
Wu, who worked for the Elizabeth Warren campaign, says she's running regardless of the intentions of the four incumbent at-large councilors. "I'm jumping in now, because I'm serious about wanting to serve," she says.
Launching her first campaign caps off a remarkably busy year for Wu. She graduated from Harvard Law School this spring, got married in September, and passed the bar last month.
Although an unknown name to voters, Wu begins with a network of political contacts, and candidate training from both Emerge Massachusetts and the Women in Public Policy program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Wu, born and raised in Chicago, also has a bachelor's degree from Harvard. She worked for a stint for Mayor Tom Menino, and spent some time running a small business in Chicago after finishing her undergraduate studies.
She says she is running in hopes of improving economic development in all parts of the city. The pieces are in place for Boston to take a significant step forward, she contends.
Wu is the legal guardian of her youngest sister, who is in 10th grade at Boston Latin. That gives her a personal perspective on, and stake in, the public education debate that will almost certainly play a major role in next year's city elections.
Part of her appeal will certainly come from her gender; at-large councilor Ayanna Pressley (coincidentally also from Chicago) is currently the only woman on the 13-seat council.
"The Boston City Council should be reflective of the city," Wu says. "Having one woman on the city council is very disappointing."
Regardless, the campaign figures to be an uphill climb if Pressley, Felix Arroyo, John Connolly, and Stephen Murphy all run for re-election. And if one or more of them don't run, other better-known challengers are likely to jump into the race.
Either way, getting an early start figures to be helpful -- especially with fundraising, which is one of her first orders of business. Her success with that will be the first sign of how much of an impact Wu is likely to make on the race.