Campus, News

Boston University political clubs split between Wu and Essaibi George in Boston mayoral election

As the Boston Mayoral Election gets closer, political clubs at Boston University have different preferences for the top two candidates Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George, but stopped short of endorsing one over the other.

I Voted stickers
Several “I Voted” stickers. BU student political clubs reflect on their thoughts about the upcoming Boston Mayoral election between Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George. BAILEY SHEN/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

BU College Democrats has taken an active role in the race by holding a phone bank in support of Wu Thursday night, though some of the club’s members support Essaibi George, said BUCD Vice President Alice Scollins, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I think that Boston definitely really needs progressive action taken towards climate change, so [Wu’s] Green New Deal for Boston is something that I really agree with,” Scollins said, also pointing towards Wu’s “Free the T” initiative as a reason for her support.

Scollins also said Essaibi George’s campaign reached out with a fellowship opportunity that BUCD forwarded for any members that support her.

Arsheya Maghsoud, the President of BU College Republicans and sophomore in CAS, wrote in an emailed statement that BUCR does not endorse either Wu or Essaibi George.

“Although BUCR does not endorse any candidate in the race, I believe I am justified in saying that our members and most Republicans such as I will vote for a mayor that is invested in the city and its people,” Maghsoud wrote, “who in the long term will ultimately listen to the concerns of both sides, not just the demographic that will bring a political victory.”

BU’s Young Democratic Socialists of America are also not endorsing in the Boston mayoral race, but are “prioritizing our canvassing efforts with Boston DSA-endorsed candidates for city council and state legislature,” Vivian Dai, the secretary of YDSA at BU, wrote in a statement.

“We encourage the Boston University community to keep their eyes out for candidates at all levels of government who are advancing the interests of students and the working class,” Dai wrote.

Though deciding not to endorse either of the two candidates, YDSA still declared their preference towards Michelle Wu and encouraged the BU community to vote for her.

“The BU YDSA not only recommends that members of the Boston University community vote for Michelle Wu, but also that we keep in mind the many other consequential races throughout the Greater Boston Area this cycle,” Dai wrote. 

Jonathan Stein, the president of Young Americans for Liberty at BU, wrote in an email members of the club would “choose Annissa George over Michelle Wu any day of the week,” though neither candidate aligns with the club’s views on markets, opposition to COVID restrictions and other “pro-liberty” policies.

“We aren’t entirely enthusiastic over the race as a whole,” Stein wrote. 

Stein cited Wu’s connection to Senator Elizabeth Warren as a reason for YAL’s opposition to Wu’s candidacy.

“We believe that many of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s policy proposals are dangerous, specifically her economic policies,” Stein wrote. 

The Boston Mayoral election will take place Nov. 2. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 13.

Aaliyah Duncan, the social media coordinator for YDSA and junior in CAS, said she feels the race was a chance for people on the left to see “a really great selection of candidates,” but Wu particularly stands out to her.

“Michelle Wu truly is a person that encapsulates a lot of the values that I think [are] important for a candidate,” Duncan said, “important things like housing affordability, workers’ rights, public safety, closing the racial wealth gap, [and] education equity.” 

Duncan said Wu’s focus on the working class is also very important for her support.

“Advocating for candidates that will put a lot of predominantly working-class people in this state forward is really important to me,” Duncan said.

Madhri Yehiya, the campus editor of The Daily Free Press, was a member of the BU College Democrats Event Board last semester. She was not involved in the editing of this article.

Alexia Nizhny, The Daily Free Press Board of Directors’ Grants & Awards Chair, is on the executive board of BU’s YDSA. She was not involved in the editing of this article.

Vanessa Bartlett, a previous campus associate editor of The Daily Free Press, is the President of BU’s YDSA. She was not involved in the editing of this article.

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