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Michelle Wu Joins with Small Business and Restaurant Owners, Workers to Urge City Leadership through the Pandemic

Released on: August 11, 2021

Boston, MA— Michelle Wu joined today with small business and restaurant owners as well as workers to urge City Hall to act now to protect workers and the public. Standing outside the Fort Hill Bar & Grill in Roxbury with Jody Adams of Saloniki, Irene Li of Mei Mei and Haris Hardaway of Fort Hill Bar & Grill, Wu called for City Hall to lead and end this pandemic, taking every possible step for public health leadership so the burden does not fall on small businesses to protect workers and the public. Wu’s call included urging requirements for proof of vaccination in certain public places such as restaurants and theaters. 

As the Delta Variant surges, young people ages 20-29 in Massachusetts make up the largest number of cases -- yet only 60% of young people ages 20-29 in Massachusetts have received their covid vaccinations, compared to 90 percent above 65. 

“We need leadership in this moment to bring the pandemic to an end. City Hall needs to take every possible step to ensure Bostonians are protected and that we are following the science -- from mandating city workers to get vaccinated to ensuring proof of vaccination in high-risk indoor spaces. Instead of putting the burden on small businesses and workers, we need City Hall to step up with decisive leadership now,” said Michelle Wu

“We closed Mei Mei during the pandemic, and though there were many reasons for that decision, the most important was this: I know now that I can't trust the government or the public at large to do the right thing to protect public health. I felt let down the first time COVID spiked, and in the absence of real leadership on vaccinations, I feel let down again. It's absurd to me that business owners are bearing the burden of making decisions that impact public health. Small businesses, especially independent restaurants, have been through so much in the last 18 months, and the longer it takes, the more small businesses will suffer,” said Irene Li, founder of Mei Mei.

“Honestly, if we aren’t going to require masks to stop the spread of the virus, I would rather have people show proof of vaccination, so that I can protect my employees and their families,” said Phillip Sanz, founder of Santias Bakery.