Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, a Democrat, is facing criticism for “Nixonian tactics” after her administration admitted to creating a list of her most vocal critics and providing it to local authorities.
“The list was made in response to a request from the Boston Police Department after the Mayor had been harassed and physically intimidated by individuals for several months outside her home, at city functions such as the annual neighborhood parks coffee hours, and at other public events,” Wu spokesman Ricardo Patron said in a statement to the Boston Herald.
The acknowledgment by the administration that it had compiled the document came after the list was uncovered in an email obtained through a public records request by Wu’s opponents, the outlet noted.
The tactics used by the administration raise concern over whether Wu and her administration are attempting to silence or intimidate her critics, many of whom have protested outside of her home.
“The request (from police) came after many of the individuals on the list repeatedly impeded the Dorchester Day Parade to harass Mayor Wu and her family and staff, yelling through megaphones at her and her children for nearly ninety minutes as they marched in the parade despite being asked by parade organizers to leave the parade route,” Patron said, according to the Herald.
“Following the Dorchester Day Parade on June 5, 2022, Boston Police met with City staff on June 10 to make a safety plan for the upcoming Bunker Hill Day parade on June 12, and the then-Captain of the District overseeing Charlestown asked for a list of individuals who had been involved in public disruption and harassment of the Mayor at the Dorchester Day Parade and outside her house,” Patron added. “The email was sent as a follow-up immediately after that meeting.”
The Herald reported that Wu’s actions drew comparisons from some critics to the late President Richard Nixon, who was famous for compiling lists of political opponents.
Sent via email from Wu’s former Director of Constituent Services Dave Vittorini to Boston Police Capt. Robert Ciccolo, the list, as reported by the Herald, contains the names of “Wu’s most vocal opponents, such as City Council candidate Christine Vitale, several anti-vaccine activists who have been protesting Wu’s house, and North End restaurant owners who have opposed Wu policies.”
The list included no reason as to why the names were given and also listed the “Mendoza Brothers from the North End” and “A woman with the last name of Thuy who was arrested before,” the outlet stated.
Wu aides Tiffany Chu and Brianna Millor were also cc’d on the email, which was sent after loud protests at the mayor’s home in the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston last year.
Last year, an ordinance was passed in the city prohibiting protests outside of Wu’s home during certain hours.
Wu, the first woman and the first Asian-American to hold the top political office in Boston history, was sworn into office in November 2021.