Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has shown she’s great at winning elections, but her track record on delivering results is much more mixed.
All four of Wu’s endorsed candidates won their City Council races last week, but then this week Wu dropped a bomb by admitting she’s abandoning her promise to join a program to ban developers from including fossil fuels in new buildings.
Wu’s decision to not participate in a state pilot program to rid buildings of fossil fuels – one of the cornerstones of her “Green New Deal” plan – drew criticism from environmental activists.
The Democratic mayor put out word of the fossil fuel ban retreat in an interview with the Boston Globe to try to soften the blow, saying it “breaks my heart” to do it. She blamed the retreat on the state, saying she got “clear indications that Boston would not be chosen” for the pilot program.
But some climate advocates blamed the real estate industry for pressuring the city to drop out of the program.
Wu had said in July that the city had the “willpower” to pursue the pilot program, and gave no indication that the program was actually in trouble.
The interview where Wu admitted the city was dropping out of the pilot program was actually last week but it’s unclear whether it was embargoed or held for other reasons.
Wu also suffered a policy defeat last week when rent control advocates dropped a bid to put the issue to voters in a referendum. The mayor is pushing for a version of rent control in Boston, but now will need legislative leaders to pass a bill to get that done.
Rent control advocates acknowledged they could not get the signatures necessary to get it on the ballot, an indication that it lacks grass roots support.
And Wu’s ordinance to clean up the drug-ravaged Mass and Cass zone – which she got the City Council to pass – is also drawing mixed reaction.
When Boston Medical Center’s top executive reported that many Mass and Cass inhabitants kicked out of their encampments were now overcrowding the hospital’s emergency room – causing the hospital to hire extra security – Wu directly contradicted the executive.
“What I’m hearing is that it’s not any different than the situation has been in the past,” Wu told reporters Thursday. “There’s not been a spike or a change in that situation.” The hospital did not respond to Wu’s statement.
Wu’s attempt to deflect any criticism of her Mass and Cass plan is typical of the mayor, who often tries to downplay any disputes of her policies and silence her critics.