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When it comes to climate action in politics, Michelle Wu offers a way forward

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Michelle Wu raises her hand as she is sworn-in as Boston Mayor during a ceremony at Boston City Hall, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Boston.

As Michelle Wu takes office as Boston’s next mayor, she breaks through a lot of history: She’s the first woman and first person of color to be elected to the position. She’s also the first person to run on a Green New Deal platform and win an election for any executive office. Over the summer, Wu released a report titled “Planning for a Boston Green New Deal and Just Recovery” that outlined her plan for dealing with climate change and the various other social issues with which it intersects, including affordable housing, economic opportunity, transportation, and racial justice.

Wu’s plan—which was sometimes distilled among supporters to the rallying cry, “Free the T”—was nevertheless “the most detailed and specific of all the different Green New Deal policies that have been proposed at different levels of government, including regional, national, and state-level,” says Jennie Stephens, dean’s professor of sustainability science and policy. Wu is already making good on her campaign promises. On Monday, she signed a measure intended to divest city funds from the fossil fuel industry.  

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