Photo courtesy of the Office of Michelle Wu
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Michelle Wu never thought about running for office.
Her parents, Taiwanese immigrants, stressed the value of stable, high-paying jobs. Adults in her mostly-white community suggested she take up figure skating, based on the success of Michelle Kwan.
“People told me all the time that I should think about one day becoming a figure skater when I grew up, because Michelle Kwan was so famous then,” Wu, the 31-year-old president of the Boston City Council, told NBC News, laughing. “She was the only sort of example of mainstream success as an Asian American.”
While public service was not Wu’s first plan, her career has flourished since she jumped into the Massachusetts political arena in 2012.
In January, just two years after being elected to the council, Wu’s peers selected her as president, making her the first Asian American and first woman of color to hold the seat.
A former student and campaign aide of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Wu has political insiders raving about her potential. Many call her a unifying force between those with an “old-school” mentality and those representing a progressive “New Boston.”
Wu’s main goal in office is making government more accessible for all Bostonians, particularly those in need, a mission informed by her family’s own struggles.
Read the full story at NBC Asian America.