Wu will be Boston’s first millennial mayor, part of a growing wave nationally

Boston Mayor-Elect Michelle Wu departs after visiting The Underground Cafe and Lounge in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, MA on November 03, 2021. (Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston Mayor-elect Michelle Wu is making history on several fronts. She is the first woman and first person of color elected to lead the city. But at 36, she is also about to become Boston’s first millennial mayor.

Wu’s relative youth comes with opportunities and challenges.

“There’s always a few people that say the wrong thing or say something kind of insensitive or call you ‘Blondie’ or, you know, call you ‘Sweetie,’ ” said Mattie Parker, who was elected mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, in June at 37.

When Wu assumes office Tuesday, she’ll take from Parker the distinction of youngest mayor among America’s 25 largest cities.

Parker says occasional patronizing comments are outweighed by the mostly respectful reception she’s gotten from her city’s power brokers, many of whom are two or three decades her senior.

She adds skeptics — from Fort Worth to Boston and beyond — will just have to get used to the idea of being governed by a new generation.

“I was the first millennial mayor elected of a big city, and I love that in the last three or four months, you’ve seen additional representation of our generation pop up,” Parker said. “The proverbial torch has been passed in some of these major American cities, which is very exciting.”

For the full story, including audio, visit wbur.org.