Kate Gallego sworn in as Phoenix’s 61st mayor, renews campaign vows
PHOENIX – Hundreds gathered Thursday to celebrate the inauguration of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.
The ceremony for the city’s first elected and female mayor in decades began with the blaring and bold sounds of an all-female mariachi band at the Orpheum Theater.
Many prominent Arizona politicians came to show their support, including her former husband, U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton, the previous mayor.
Interim Mayor Thelda Williams made the opening remarks. Williams is the second woman to have held the job, both times on a temporary basis.
Her remarks were followed by an invocation from Rabbi John Linder, the posting of the colors and the pledge of allegiance lead by 6-year-old Anaik Singh Sachdev.
Gallego was sworn in by Chief Presiding Judge B. Don Taylor III and then gave her first remarks as mayor.
Besides mentioning her love for her adopted home Phoenix and thanking supporters, Gallego began her speech on a lighter note.
“If you look at the mayors who lead the 10 largest cities, I’m very different,” she said.
“First, I’m the shortest.”
She went on to say that a person of her age, gender and background holding this position said more about Phoenix than it did about her.
Gallego then jumped straight into her goals for the job. She listed public safety, water and transportation as some of her top priorities.
“I’m also looking forward to working with our neighboring cities to modernize Maricopa’s regional transportation plan,” Gallego said.
“In America’s fastest-growing county, we must plan ahead.”
Gallego, who served on the city council for four years, also mentioned creating more jobs, working to create more affordable housing and trying to make the city more accessible for veterans and elders.
Gallego beat fellow council member Daniel Valenzuela in a special runoff election earlier this month.