Boston Mayor Michelle Wu GIGGLES when asked about fierce backlash over her no whites holiday party and claims invitation leak was ‘politically motivated’ as only SIX elected officials show up to official event for everyone
- ‘Electeds of Color’ party held last Wednesday and leaked invite sparked anger
- Official all-hands party held later and very few elected representatives went
- Mayor again played down the entire furor as being politicized by opponents
Just six elected representatives showed up to the Boston City Council holiday party after backlash against the mayor’s ‘no whites’ event.
Mayor Michelle Wu giggled in a local radio interview this week as she once again defended the ‘Electeds of Color’ party, which excluded all white officials, after being asked to address fierce criticism.
The party, held last Wednesday night, became a national issue when the invitation was mistakenly sent to all city councilors last Tuesday and leaked.
Mayor Wu then held the main holiday party for all city councilors, her cabinet members, and the city’s State House delegation on Monday afternoon.
But only three state representatives, a state senator, and two city councilors arrived of the 40 who were invited – far fewer than at the ‘Electeds of Color’ event.
The Electeds of Color: From left to right: Rep Samantha Montano, Rep Russell Holmes, his wife, fiancé of city Councilor Ricardo Arroyo and Arroyo, Suffolk DA Kevin Hayden, his wife, city Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune, Rep Ayanna Pressley’s husband Conan Harris, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, City Hall aide Juan Lopez, Enrique Pepen, Mayor Wu, Rep Brandy Fluker-Oakley, unidentified man, Rep Chris Worrell and state Senator Liz Miranda
The mayor said there were 50 people there, meaning the vast majority were her cabinet or various others brought along, according to guests, Boston Herald reported.
Her office was contacted for comment about the low turnout.
Mayor Wu again tried to play down the drama and blamed the unnamed councilor who leaked the smaller party’s invitation.
The invitation to the event at Francis Parkman House, a historic publicly owned mansion, was followed up by another email 15 minutes later clarifying it was only for members of the longstanding non-white ‘affinity group’.
Mayor Wu laughed when she was asked about the party and blamed politically motivated ‘misinformation’ that was ‘a little further from the truth’.
‘I think the email situation is maybe what got it on the national radar when it was leaked by someone who wasn’t invited because they weren’t part of this group,’ she said on Monday on WBUR Radio Boston.
‘But this is a well-established group that’s been around for a long time.
‘We did not have enough elected officials of color in previous administrations dating way back to even think about hosting something like this.
Wu, Boston’s first nonwhite mayor, was unapologetic outside the event on Wednesday night
Wu’s director of City Council relations, Denise DosSantos, invited the whole chamber to the exclusive event by accident, and apologized for any offense caused
‘This is the first time the mayor is able to host as a member of this group, because prior to me, all the elected mayors were not part of this group.’
Mayor Wu claimed the backlash was less about the event being exclusionary and more that people were ‘shocked’ there were so many minority leaders in Boston.
She said the existence of the group, and that it held its own celebrations sometimes, was well-known by councilors and the leak had a ‘political motive’.
The ‘Electeds of color’ event included Rep Ayanna Pressley’s husband Conan Harris, who served 10 years in prison for drug-trafficking.
He now works as a consultant focused on ‘diversifying the pipeline of workforce leadership and personnel.’
Also present was outgoing city councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who earlier this year was fined for violating the state’s Conflict of Interest Law by representing his brother in a lawsuit.
Incoming councilor Enrique Pepen, who was fined for violating campaign finance law, was also a guest, along with Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, fined for creating a paid position for his niece.
The Boston City Council comprises of seven white council members and six of color. Pictured (L-R) is Brian Worrell, Kendra Lara, Sharon Durkan and Julia Mejia
(L-R) Erin Murphy, Ruthzee Louijeune, Frank Baker and Gabriela Coletta
(L-R) City Council president Ed Flynn, Ricardo Arroyo, Liz Breadon, and Michael Flaherty
The group also included state senator Liz Miranda, who declined to sign a ceremonial resolution condemning the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel.
‘The IDF had had a history of going above and beyond what you see in terms of what I would actually call revenge,’ she said.
Rep Samantha Montano, Rep Russell Holmes, Suffolk DA Kevin Hayden, city councilor Ruthzee Louijeune, City Hall aide Juan Lopez, Rep Brandy Fluker-Oakley and Rep Chris Worrell were also there.
Wu posted a photo of the group around a table at the party, captioned ‘‘tis the season’.
‘Last night was my turn to host the annual holiday dinner for Boston’s elected officials of color—a special moment to appreciate that our affinity group now includes leadership across city, state, county, and federal offices,’ she wrote.
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