Michelle Wu: Democrat Boston Mayor Proudly Posts Photo from Controversial 'No Whites' Holiday Party for 'Electeds of Color' after Defending Event

The party was attended by 17 guests including Conan Harris, husband of Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who served 10 years in prison for drug trafficking.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu proudly posted a photo of the controversial "electeds of color" holiday party she hosted on Wednesday night, featuring smiling government officials from minority backgrounds at the event with a reported theme of "no whites." The photo also shows that there were no white decorations or themes.

Wu, 38, the first Asian-American mayor of the city, shared a photo on Instagram featuring 17 people smiling and seated around a dinner table at the event as she continued to downplay the controversy surrounding the segregated party. The 'Electeds of color' event included Conan Harris, husband of Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who served 10 years in prison for drug trafficking.

Controversy Continues

Michelle Wu
Michelle Wu shares this photo of the 'no white party' after defending the gathering X

However, sharing the photo Wu wrote a caption: "Last night was my turn to host the annual holiday dinner for Boston's elected officials of color—a special moment to appreciate that our affinity group now includes leadership across city, state, county, and federal offices."

The party was attended by 17 guests including Conan Harris, husband of Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who served 10 years in prison for drug trafficking.

Michelle Wu
Michelle Wu X

Harris now works as a consultant with a focus on "diversifying the pipeline of workforce leadership and personnel."

Also in attendance was outgoing City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who earlier in the year was fined for violating the state's Conflict of Interest Law by representing his brother in a lawsuit.

Incoming councilor Enrique Pepen, who has been fined for violating campaign finance law, was also a guest.

Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, fined for creating a paid position for his niece, was among those at the party. Those present at the event were first identified by veteran journalist and conservative talk show host Howie Carr.

The group also included state senator Liz Miranda, who made headlines for not signing a ceremonial resolution condemning the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel. Miranda cited concerns about the IDF's actions, saying that they had a history of going beyond what she would consider retaliation.

Michelle Wu
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu X

Other attendees were Rep. Samantha Montano, Rep. Russell Holmes, Suffolk DA Kevin Hayden, City Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune, City Hall aide Juan Lopez, Rep. Brandy Fluker-Oakley, and Rep. Chris Worrell.

Wu faced backlash earlier this week when Denise DosSantos, her Director of City Council Relations, mistakenly sent the exclusive invitation for the party to all members of the City Council instead of only to the designated "electeds of color."

Not Liked by Her Critics

Boston's City Council comprises six minority members and seven white members, who were not the intended recipients of the email.

Denise DosSantos
The invitation was mistakenly sent by Wu's director of City Council relations Denise DosSantos LinkedIn

The aide realized her mistake around 15 minutes after sending the message and subsequently sent a follow-up email to the white council members who received the invitation by mistake.

"I wanted to apologize for my previous email regarding a Holiday Party for tomorrow," DosSantos wrote in her follow-up. "I did send that to everyone by accident, and I apologize if my email may have offended or came across as so. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused."

Wu claimed that the group of "electeds of colors" has expanded since she initially entered public service, beginning with her election to the City Council in 2014.

"Not too long ago in Boston, we didn't need such a big table to fit electeds of color. But over my time as a City Councilor and now Mayor, following so many leaders who have paved the way, I've proudly watched this group grow and create space for mentorship and fellowship among many who are breaking down barriers while holding the weight of being the first or only," she said.

Hours before hosting the gathering at the city's official reception hall, the Parkman House, Wu defended her decision to host the party, saying that it had become an annual tradition over the last decade.

"I've been a part of a group that gathers, representing elected officials of color across all different levels of government in Massachusetts," Wu said, according to WCVB. "A group that has been in place for more than a decade, and the opportunity to create a space for people to celebrate and rotate who hosts."

Michelle Wu
Michelle Wu with her husband and son X

"I think we've all been in a position at one point where an email went out, and there was a mistake in the recipient," she added.

The mayor emphasized that there would be other holiday parties where city officials of all races would come together.

However, there was no apology issued for the decision to organize a racially segregated party. The apologies were solely related to the mistake in sending out the invitations to all councilors initially.