Boston mayor in hot water over segregated event — RT World News

Boston mayor in hot water over segregated event — RT World News

An administration official accidentally sent invitations for an “Electeds of Color Holiday Party” to all city councilors

A holiday party exclusively for nonwhite elected officials roiled Boston City Council after a staffer for Mayor Michelle Wu accidentally sent invitations to the entire membership on Tuesday.

Director of City Council relations Denise DosSantos invited all 13 members to an “Electeds of Color Holiday Party” to be held Wednesday night at the city-owned Parkman House, only to realize her mistake 15 minutes later. A subsequent email apologized “if my email may have offended or came across as so,” explaining “I did send that to everyone by accident.

Wu, a second-generation Taiwanese-American, defended the decision to host the segregated gathering in the hours before it began, telling reporters gathered outside Parkman House, “There are several holiday parties that the entire city council and all of our elected colleagues have been invited to.

I think we’ve all been in a position at one point where an email went out and there were mistaken recipients so there was truly just an honest mistake,” she said.

Councilor-at-Large Ruthzee Louijeune, one of the council’s six nonwhite members, insisted the event was “not at all divisive.

It’s creating spaces for people and communities and identities where shared spaces come together,” she said.

Elected Officials of Color has existed for over a decade, black city council member Brian Worrell told reporters, delivering a similar statement about making “space and spaces for all kinds of specific groups in the city and city government.” 

Some of the council’s seven white members disagreed. “I find it unfortunate that, with the temperature the way it is, that we would further that division,” council member Frank Baker told the Boston Herald on Tuesday.  However, he insisted he had not been offended by being left out of the race-specific festivities.

Massachusetts Public Accommodations law prohibits racial discrimination in public venues including restaurants, hotels, sports arenas, and facilities like Parkman House.

Allegations of discriminating against white people have dogged Wu’s administration since she became Boston’s first nonwhite and first female elected mayor in November 2021.

The owners of five restaurants in Boston’s historically Italian North End neighborhood sued her last year and again in March, claiming they had been required to secure expensive outdoor dining licenses not required of restaurants elsewhere in the city only to be forbidden from offering outdoor dining at all the following year. Their restaurants were also omitted from the city’s All Inclusive Boston Campaign, a tourism promotion, the plaintiffs said.

The North End is nearly twice as white as the rest of the city, according to research by the Boston Planning and Development Agency – 88% versus 45% for the wider Boston area.

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