The Democratic Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu, has reportedly now been accused of racial discrimination by a group of white restaurant owners who claim they were singled out for city taxes in part owing to the fact that they are of an ethnic background different from the majority of Boston residents.
The proprietors of the restaurant claim that Wu and the city singled them out by charging them an outdoor eating tax of $7,500, despite the fact that this cost was only applicable to businesses located in their immediate area.
The plaintiffs are asking for compensatory damages in the amount of $500,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000.
Those who are bringing the lawsuit against Wu include restaurant owners Jorge Mendoza-Iturralde, Carla Gomes, Jason and Kim Silvestri, and Patrick Mendoza.
All of these people operate their businesses in the North End district of Boston.
In October, a judge rejected a similar petition brought forth by the organization, in which they said that the costs they were had to pay violated their fundamental rights.
Wu asserted that the taxes were required to alleviate traffic congestion and improve rubbish disposal in the historic district, which was the only location in the city to be handed the additional levies.
In response to the feedback he received, Wu modified the rules to make them slightly less stringent and provided a process via which certain businesses might seek to be excused from them.
One of the parties involved in the lawsuit, Jorge Mendoza-Iturralde, attempted to run for a seat on the city council in the previous year in response to Wu’s restaurant fees.
He ran on a platform that advocated for the support of law enforcement, the growth of small businesses, and the preservation of the city’s historic monuments.
However, he was not successful in his bid.
Wu has been criticized in the past for racist jokes she had made, including one in which she joked about having to deal with “white problems.”