Mayoral transition of power set for Nov. 16

City Councillors At-Large Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu met with Acting Mayor Kim Janey at the Parkman House on Thursday. (Photo courtesy Janey's office)

The transition of mayoral power is set for Tuesday, Nov. 16, a date which Acting Mayor Kim Janey and the two mayoral candidates agreed upon after a meeting on Beacon Hill Thursday.

City Councillors At-Large Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu are on the Nov. 2 ballot after clearing a preliminary that also included Janey, City Councillor Andrea Campbell and former city official John Barros.

Janey, the City Council president and District 7 councillor, took over as acting mayor March 24, after Marty Walsh left to become President Biden’s labor secretary. She is the first woman and Black person to serve as the city's chief executive.

The winner of the Nov. 2 election will become the first woman and person of color elected to lead the city. Wu is the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants; Essaibi George is the daughter of Arab Muslim and Polish immigrants.

The transition will occur weeks after the November election, instead of January, due to the way the city charter lays out the process under an acting mayor.

At Thursday’s meeting, inside the city-owned Parkman House and over salad and sandwiches from Sam LaGrassa’s, Janey, Wu and Essaibi George also discussed who would be leading their respective transition teams.

Wu has tapped Dr. Mariel Novas, an education advocate and community organizer, as her transition leader. Essaibi George picked Jessica Rodriguez, the chief of staff of her City Council office.

“It was wonderful to get a few minutes to sit with Mayor Janey and Councillor Essaibi George, and appreciate this moment in Boston’s history, and to realize this conversation is happening between three women who have served the city, moms, people who are committed to fighting for a future for all of our kids and their kids,” Wu told the Reporter.

She added: “It is a very quick turnaround and so there are many concurrent pieces happening all at the same time.”

Essaibi George said she is focused on the campaign trail, but “we also need to keep our eye very closely on what’s going to be a quick couple of weeks and a rapid transition. We want to have all the pieces in place so that government can continue to function and that we’re able to do the work that our city residents expect every single day.”

Janey’s office said in mid-October, Wu and Essaibi George are set to receive summaries covering the general structure and operation of city departments, with more detailed briefings to follow in early November, when one of them is mayor-elect.

“Starting these conversations with Councilors Wu and Essaibi George now helps ensure the new mayor will be ready to do her job and address the concerns of Boston’s residents on day one,” Janey said in a statement.

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