People of color win big in historic 2021 elections

Rush Hour

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — It was a history-making night in America on Tuesday, with two major cities electing Asian-Americans as mayor. 

“We’re ready to be a Boston that doesn’t push people out, but welcomes all who calls our city home,” said Michelle Wu, a Democrat who became the first woman and person of color as mayor in Boston. Wu ran on a progressive platform beating out another female candidate, Annissa Essaibi-George, with the support of high-profile Massachusetts liberals including Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

“That’s a big thing for Massachusetts, and for Boston,” said Michelle Ewing, a Boston resident.

Wu succeeded acting mayor Kim Janey, Boston’s first Black female mayor. 

In Cincinnati, Aftab Pureval, of Indian and Tibetan descent, defeated David Mann, who is white, to become that city’s first Asian-American mayor. Pureval left his job as an attorney in 2015 to become the city’s first Democrat in 100 years to be elected as city clerk. He now takes the top spot in the city of more than 300,000 residents. 

In Seattle, the results of the mayoral race could mean a third Asian-American win there. Bruce Harrell of Japanese and African-American descent has a commanding lead over the current City Council President M. Lorena González. It could be days before a winner is announced.

Over the past two years, Asian-American hate, fueled by the pandemic, has been on the rise. These election wins could signal political progress for a population that has struggled to dispel stereotypes that Asian-Americans don’t belong.

Meanwhile, in Dearborn, Michigan, Abdullah Hammoud was elected as the city’s first Arab-American mayor. Dearborn has more than 100,000 residents and one of the largest Arab-American populations in the nation. 

Democrat Eric Adams won the race for New York City mayor. He will be the second Black elected mayor. Adams is a former New York police captain and now leads the most populous city in the U.S. 

“It is the proof that the people of this city will love you, if you love them,” Adams said during his acceptance speech.

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