IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Boston mayor defends hosting 'Electeds of Color Holiday Party' after email controversy

After an invitation for elected officials of color was accidentally sent to the entire Boston City Council, Mayor Michelle Wu spoke to the media about carving out spaces for communities of color.
Michelle Wu during a press conference in Boston
Michelle Wu during a press conference in Boston, on April 24.Matt Stone / Boston Herald via Getty Images

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu defended a Wednesday holiday party for elected officials of color after an invitation was accidentally sent to the entire City Council, the NBC News affiliate NBC Boston reported.  

“We’ve had individual conversations with everyone, so people understand that it was truly just an honest mistake that went out in typing the email field,” she said in an interview with local news station WCVB. “I look forward to celebrating with everyone at the holiday parties we will have besides this one, as well.”

The email invite for an “Electeds of Color Holiday Party” was sent out by a city employee, asking for RSVPs and dietary restrictions from council members who planned to attend the event. It’s just one of many parties that will be held for Boston elected officials during this holiday season, Wu said, but this one was only intended to go to the six minority council members.

“I think we all have been in a position at one point where an email went out and there was a mistake in the recipients, so there was truly just an honest mistake that happened in issuing the invitation,” Wu, who is the first woman and person of color elected mayor of Boston, told the media Wednesday ahead of the event, NBC Boston reported.

Council members of color also spoke to media after Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, saying that this shouldn’t be a controversy at all, and that people of color deserve spaces to gather.

“It is not at all divisive, it is creating spaces for people and communities and identities with shared experiences to come together,” said Ruthzee Louijeune, a Boston city councilor at-large. “We are still breaking barriers and it is so important for us to carve out and create that space.”

Frank Baker, a white city council member, said he doesn’t care about not being invited. 

“I don’t get offended. You don’t want me at a party, I am not going to come to the party,” he told NBC Boston and other media. 

Ultimately, Wu told WCVB, Boston should be a place that welcomes minorities to build ties and spaces.

“It’s my intention that we can again be a city that lives our values and creates space for all kinds of communities to come together,” she said.