By Tashanea Whitlow

BOSTON (CBS) — Julia Mejia shed tears of joy Monday while she was sworn in as Boston’s first Latina Councilor.

“There were a lot of people who had never voted before, who never had anything to believe in. So, I kept seeing the people who I met along the way, thinking about them, and thinking about the responsibility that I now have made me feel really emotional,” she told WBZ-TV.

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Mejia won the Boston City Council seat by just one vote. The single mother of a nine-year-old daughter told WBZ she has always felt like an underdog.

“I cleaned offices with my mom and here I am, representing a city with a big responsibility. And many ways, still living the realities that I campaigned on,” said Mejia. Issues like violence, housing and creating opportunities.

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“Coming in as a freshman City Councilor who is all about the voices of the people, I’m really looking forward to figuring out how do I bring a sense of community voice into the housing space, so that we’re co-designing and building housing that is created with people and not as an afterthought.”

Julia Mejia (center) is sworn into the Boston City Council Monday (WBZ-TV)

The 49-year-old Dorchester resident aims to get people who she feels are unrepresented more involved in the political process.

“If we’re not at the table, we’re on the menu and every day we’re being eaten alive here in the city of Boston. So we have to be intentional about creating opportunities for those who have been left behind to participate,” Mejia said.

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She wants to do that by offering child care and dinner at public hearings.