Marty Walsh has been sworn in as mayor of Boston, beginning a new political era in the city. He succeeds Tom Menino the longest-serving mayor in Boston history.
Walsh, a former labor leader and state representative, took the oath of office in front of thousands in the basketball arena of his alma mater, Boston College. His mother held the bible.
“I know my mother is not the only one surprised that I am up here,” Walsh said to laughter.
Walsh is Boston’s first new mayor in two decades. In his inaugural address, he outlined his first priority.
“I will convene a meeting to begin to address senseless violence that scars our city,” he said. “No parent should worry that a bullet will stop a daughter or son from coming home.”
Walsh also promised to restructure the Boston Redevelopment Authority, attract new businesses, and improve the schools.
“We are known the world over for our great colleges and universities.” he said. “It’s time we had a world class public school system too.”
The ceremony was well attended by local politicians but notably absent was the old mayor Tom Menino. He caught a plane, leaving for vacation, and leaving on his desk – a letter for the new mayor.
In his speech, Walsh didn’t found offended.
“As a citizen of Boston, I am grateful for the lifetime of outstanding civic leadership by my predecessor, Mayor Tom Menino,” he said. “His legacy is already legend and his vision is all around us.”
Bostonians had streamed into the athletic center through the morning’s light drizzle. Supporters were beaming. Fourteen-year-old Shannon Walsh (no relation to the mayor) sat between her mother and grandmother in color-coordinated outfits.
“I really want to see a new mayor because we had one for like, 20 years, and I think it’s really good to have someone new to take care of Boston,” she said.
After the parties are all over, Walsh must appoint a new school superintendent, a new police chief and a new fire chief – choices that will help set the tone for his administration.