Reporter's Notebook: Wu’s at-large bid kickoff draws impressive crowd

Michelle Wu’s kick-off of her City Council At-Large bid drew a who’s who of Boston politicos to the South End on Tuesday night. She was introduced by her former law professor, US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who called Wu a “young woman who is the future.”

As operatives and elected officials traded information about the latest rumor and news in Boston politics, Wu formally launched her bid for one of the four at-large seats. “In this room we have parents, activists, business owners, artists, entrepreneurs, students—residents from Hyde Park to Charlestown, and every neighborhood in between,” she said. “This is what Boston looks like. Tonight we are here to officially launch a campaign built on community, driven by hard work, and fueled by ideas.”

Several mayoral candidates worked the room, including City Councillor At-Large John Connolly and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley. Potential contenders who shook hands and chatted with activists: State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Jamaica Plain, and Councillors Tito Jackson of Dorchester and Michael Ross of Mission Hill.

Both District 2 candidates were also in the room, including incumbent Bill Linehan and Suzanne Lee, the challenger aiming for a rematch. Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, who worked closely with Wu on Warren’s Senate campaign last year, also attended.

Wu sprinkled bits of her biography in her speech: The oldest of four children of Taiwanese immigrants, she grew up speaking Mandarin and English. “My dad learned his English from his chemistry books and my mom from watching Oprah,” she said. “For years I served as translator and guide for my parents, at school, at the doctor, at the grocery store. And I’ve seen even as they became more comfortable speaking English, they would always feel like outsiders in a society that didn’t recognize or appreciate multicultural values.”

Wu lives in the South End with her husband Conor and two sisters. “And although at 16 and 21, one of my sisters is old enough to drive and the other can get into bars, I say that while they live under my roof, there will be none of that – just studying, and canvassing and phone-banking,” Wu said while pledging to build a “coalition that is inclusive, innovative, and invests in our neighborhoods.”

Candidates for at-large must gather 1,500 registered voters’ signatures. April 17 is the first day candidates can apply for nomination papers, and the last day to turn them in is May 21. The election is Nov. 5, with a possible preliminary on Sept. 24, depending on the number of candidates.

Political action committee aims to copy Black Political Task Force

A new political action committee is hoping to replicate the Black Political Task Force, an organization of community activists that once was a force in city and state politics.

Leonard Lee, a former state director at the Department of Public Health, is on the group’s board. The organization’s name is Communities United Political Action Committee.

Lee said he and others have been working on the PAC over the last six months. Former Boston Police superintendent William Celester is chairing the group, which endorsed state Rep. Nick Collins (D-South Boston) in the race to replace former state Sen. Jack Hart.

Lee said the group’s endorsement did not mean all of the group’s members personally endorsed a candidate. Kathy Gabriel, a board member, said last week that she wasn’t at the meeting where the board endorsed in the First Suffolk Senate race. She also didn’t attend the press conference in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood highlighting the endorsements.

State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester), Maureen Dahill (D-South Boston) and Joseph Ureneck (R-Dorchester) are also running for the seat. Rep. Forry is married to Reporter editor Bill Forry.

Lee said last week that the group will also be looking to make an endorsement in the US Senate race, and they were planning to have Democratic Congressmen Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston) and Ed Markey (D-Malden) in for meetings.

April Fool e-mail: Dahill for mayor?

For a few milliseconds on Monday – the time it takes for a person to see a subject line and click on an e-mail – South Boston’s Dahill was a candidate for mayor. “No, I’m not really running for mayor - that’s an April Fool - but now I have your attention, I want you to know that I need your help right away!” Dahill wrote in an e-mail, headlined “I’m Running for Mayor,” to frequent voters in the First Suffolk Senate District. “This election for State Senate is no joke – the issues we all care about are at stake.”

Noting the election is less than a month away away, the e-mail asked for help in fundraising and volunteering.

The Democratic primary is set for April 30 and the special election is scheduled for May 28.

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