Martin J. Walsh vowed a new era of progress and collaboration at City Hall as he was sworn in today as Boston’s mayor.
In remarks at his inauguration ceremony, Walsh described Boston as a city of big dreams, second chances, and redemption. He traced the city’s history, noting its people have fought tyranny, stood up to slavery, opened doors to immigrants, and led the nation in recognizing same-sex marriage.
He noted that a broad coalition had propelled him into the mayor’s office, and he vowed to represent the city as a whole.
“Today, we are sworn in together,” Walsh said. “Together, we are committing to do all we can for the city we love. Together, we can move our great city forward.”
Walsh said his first order of business would be to convene a meeting to begin to address urban violence. There were fewer than 40 murders last year in Boston, Walsh said, which is low but not low enough. He said it was time Boston had a world-class public school system to match its renowned colleges and universities.
He pledged to restructure the Boston Redevelopment Authority and create a city Ethics Committee and to set “tough new ethics standards” for his staff, which will include more detailed annual personal financial disclosures.
But mostly, Walsh promised to listen.
Since Election Day, Walsh has held forums and town hall meetings, where thousands of people have shared ideas for the new administration. Other suggestions came through letters, e-mails, and phone calls.
“You are making your voices heard,” Walsh said. “I am listening — and I always will. I will listen. I will learn. I will lead.”
The ceremony at Boston College’s Conte Forum included music by cellist Yo Yo Ma, a prayer by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, and speeches by Governor Deval Patrick and US Senator Elizabeth Warren. The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland of the Supreme Judicial Court.
After Walsh took the oath, Boston’s 13 city councilors were sworn in to office. They went to City Hall afterwards to elect their president. Bill Linehan won, with 8 of the 13 votes.
Most of the focus has been on Walsh, who is Boston’s first new mayor in two decades.
“We are a city of big dreams, and we have what it takes to make dreams come true,” Walsh said in his remarks. “And if you doubt any of that, look at this kid from Taft Street in Dorchester who’s now your Mayor. I know my mother’s not the only one surprised.”