Michelle Wu has been elected mayor of Boston

Wu has promised to push back against gentrification with policies tailored to help lower-income residents stay in the city, such as waiving public transportation fees, imposing some form of rent control and redistributing city contracts to companies owned by Black Bostonians.

It will not be easy for her to deliver. For example, rent control has been illegal in Massachusetts since 1994, so restoring it would require the adoption of state-wide legislation. The latest effort to roll back the ban on rent control was rejected with resounding by lawmakers last year by a vote of 23 to 136.

Her plans to restructure the city’s planning agency have worried many in the real estate and construction sector, who thrived while Mr. Walsh was mayor. And Mrs Wu will have to take control of a vast government apparatus whose powerful constituencies can slow down or block a new mayor’s agenda.

Wilnelia Rivera, a political consultant who supported Ms Wu, said she would face pushback.

“The reality around power is that it will never give up on anyone and we will see what it looks like when we cross that bridge,” she said. “She will have to recreate that power coalition. It would be nice to have a mayor who is not necessarily in the back pocket of all the power players in the city.”

Ms. Wu comes in with high expectations for change and will face pressure to move quickly. One of the city’s most popular progressive figures, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, warned she was running the risk of disappointing many who have supported her.

“What I do not want to do is allow our community to be sold a bill of materials, and when someone comes into the office, nothing happens,” she said.

Mrs Wu has repeatedly responded to such concerns throughout her campaign.

“The history and heritage of Boston as a city is one of presenting a bold vision to reshape what is possible and then fight for what our citizens need,” she said, listing challenges she took on as city ​​councilor, such as introducing a pilot program for free public transport.

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