BOSTON (AP) – One political era ended and a new one began Monday as Martin Walsh was sworn in as the city’s mayor, succeeding Thomas Menino, Boston’s longest-serving chief executive, who retired after more than two decades in office.
“I will listen. I will learn. I will lead,” Walsh said in his inaugural address at Boston College, his alma mater.
The former Democratic state representative and onetime labor leader called Boston a city of courage, of champions and of big dreams, noting that he was once just a kid from the city’s Dorchester neighborhood and joking that even his mother was surprised at how far he had come.
Walsh, 46, outlined a series of broad policy goals, including improving public safety and ending “senseless gun violence.” While noting that the 40 homicides in Boston last year were fewer than the year before, Walsh said the number was still too high.
“No parent should worry that a bullet will stop a daughter or son from coming home,” he said. “No woman should be scared on our streets. No senior should be afraid in their home. And no child should be forced to live with trauma and the indelible scars of violence.”
Walsh also said he would work to strengthen the economy and create jobs, improve the city’s schools and increase transparency at City Hall, including new conflict-of-interest and personal financial disclosure rules for city officials. He also said he would work to streamline licensing and permitting processes and restructure the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city’s lead economic agency.
Among his first challenges in offices will be choosing a new permanent school superintendent and police commissioner.
Walsh thanked Menino, who first took office in 1993, saying his “legacy is already legend and his vision is all around us.”
Menino left City Hall for the last time as mayor Monday morning to applause from staffers and city workers. Later, he tweeted: “Thank you Boston. It has been the honor and thrill of a lifetime to be your Mayor. Be as good to each other as you have been to me.”
Menino, 71, who has battled health problems in recent years, opted against seeking an unprecedented sixth full term as mayor of New England’s largest city. He plans, among other things, to teach at Boston University in the coming year.
Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren were among those who spoke at the inauguration, with Patrick cautioning the new mayor about the pressures that lay ahead in the high-profile job.
“You won’t remember precisely the day your jokes became so funny, when you became so photogenic, and when you were expected to have an opinion on absolutely everything,” Patrick said.
Walsh, who overcame childhood cancer and struggled with alcoholism as a young adult, emerged from an initial field of 12 contenders to succeed Menino.
An inaugural celebration featuring the Boston Pops, several bands and local comedians was held Monday evening at the Hynes Convention Center.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development