Friday, December 13, 2013

Open Letter to Boston Councilor-Elect Michelle Wu

Michelle -

Since learning a few days ago of your intention to vote for Bill Linehan for City Council President I have struggled to identify just why I am so utterly and deeply disappointed in you and your decision.

Part of my disappointment is that your support of Bill gives him a key, deciding vote. This means that no matter how much you try to distance yourself from Bill's policy positions, you will provide him with a position of power and reward him for his hurtful, racist, and anti-inclusive record over the course of his career.

Part of my disappointment is that when I backed you for the city council, invited you into my home, supported your Ward 3 endorsement, and donated money to your campaign, I did so - and actively encouraged my friends to do so - because I believed that you would be a voice of inclusion and new ideas for the Council.  I relate enormously to your personal story and to the vision you outlined for what you could bring to city hall. I believe the Council needs more people like yourself with diverse backgrounds that can influence the old ways of doing things and bring in fresh, invigorating ideas and make our government work better for the entire city of Boston.

Part of my disappointment is that your vote for Bill Linehan as Council President is a clear vote against my family.  To call this simply a "procedural" vote is completely disrespectful and is a troubling indication that you do not fully appreciate the hurt and harm this Councilor has caused to countless Bostonians.

But perhaps the biggest part of my disappointment is that before you have even been sworn in you are choosing to vote against the values that I voted for you to represent at City Hall. I moved to Boston from a part of the country where I knew that the vast majority of my elected officials did not share my values. It was a terrible, infuriating, vulnerable feeling. One of the reasons I have chosen to make my home in Boston is because of the values this city has grown to embrace, and the progress we continue to make in becoming an increasingly diverse and welcoming community. Your vote represents the values I came to Boston to escape, and has brought back those terrible, infuriating, and vulnerable feelings.

You have disappointed me in a very personal way, and I urge you to reconsider before you take office and cast this vote in January.

Thank you,

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