BOSTON (AP) – Kim Janey, who as a child had stones thrown at her school bus during Boston’s era of desegregation, marked her historic rise as the first woman and first black person to serve as the city’s mayor with a swearing in Wednesday.
Janey replaces fellow Democrat Marty Walsh, who resigned Monday to become President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Labor. She was president of the City Council and will serve as interim mayor until the mayoral elections in the fall.
Janey hasn’t said if she’ll run. But he accepted the innovative nature of Wednesday’s transition.
“Today is a new day. I stand before you as the first black woman and mayor of Boston, the city I love,” said Janey during the City Hall event. that of the men who came before me ”.
Janey, 55, vowed to give the job urgency. He said his administration will be open to those who have felt disconnected from the city’s power structure.
Helping the city emerge from the pandemic and create a more equitable economy will be one of the main goals of his administration, according to Janey, who has pledged to push testing and access to vaccines in the neighborhoods most affected by COVID- 19.
Janey also vowed to address food, housing and public transportation insecurity and work to close the city’s wealth gap, in part by ensuring minority-owned businesses have a fairer chance of landing contracts with the city. He also vowed to work to ensure that city police treat all residents fairly.
“Over the past year, the same communities hardest hit by the public health crisis have experienced the highest rate of food and housing insecurity,” said Janey. “I will address these economic disparities with new urgency to reopen Boston’s economy with equity.”
Judge Kimberly Budd, who administered the oath, was named president of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2020, the first black woman to lead the state’s highest court.
US Representative Ayanna Pressley, who presided over the ceremony, was the first black woman to serve on the City Council and to be elected to Congress by Massachusetts.
Pressley described Janey as “a proud fourth-generation Roxbury daughter,” the heart of the city’s black community.
“She will lead with clear eyes, a full heart and a steady hand,” Pressley said. “She will make a big difference.”
The Rev. Willie Bodrick, II, Senior Pastor of Twelfth Baptist Church, delivered the invocation.
Janey’s grandfather, Daniel Benjamin Janey, was a member of Twelfth Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. worshiped while attending Boston University. His father was one of eight black students who graduated from the city’s prestigious Boston Latin School in 1964.
During the second phase of Boston’s tumultuous era of school desegregation, Janey was bussed as an 11-year-old girl to the mostly white neighborhood of Charlestown.
“Stones and racial slurs were thrown at my bus simply for attending school while I was black,” she said.
He began his career advocating for Massachusetts children’s advocates, pushing for policy changes that he said were aimed at ensuring fairness and excellence for public school students in Boston.
In 2017, she won a 13-candidate race and became the first woman to represent her district, which includes most of Roxbury and parts of the South End, Dorchester and Fenway areas of the city.
Janey is also considered to be hailing a new chapter in Boston’s political history.
Those actively seeking the position include three women of color: current city councilors Michelle Wu, Andrea Campbell and Annissa Essaibi George. John Barros, who is of Cape Verdean descent and State Representative Jon Santiago is also running. Barros served as head of economic development under Walsh.