BOSTON (CBS) – Kim Janey made history Wednesday when she was sworn in as the first woman and first Black Mayor of Boston, starting a new chapter in the city.
Janey, who grew up in Roxbury, became the city’s 55th mayor during a ceremony at City Hall.
“As a girl growing up in Boston, I was nurtured by a family who believed in me and surrounded by good neighbors who knew my name,” Janey said in her inaugural address. “It was my village. But, when I was just 11 years old, school busing rolled into my life. I was forced onto the front lines of the 1970s battle to desegregate Boston Public Schools. I had rocks and racial slurs thrown at my bus, for simply attending school while Black.”
Chief Justice Kimberly Budd, the first Black woman to lead the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, administered the oath of office.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, the first woman of color to serve on the Boston City Council, presided over the ceremony.
“What a remarkable day in the City of Boston,” Pressley said.
— Brad Tatum (@BradTatum) March 24, 2021
“I would agree with our Congresswoman [Rep. Ayanna Pressley] that it was a concrete ceiling that we have broken through today,” Janey said during her first news conference after the ceremony.
Janey will serve as acting mayor until the November election. She has not said if she will run for a full term.
“I will make a decision in the coming weeks. Right now I’m focused on being mayor, but I will make a decision and an announcement in the coming weeks,” Janey told reporters.
She’s taking over for Marty Walsh who was sworn in Tuesday as the Secretary of Labor.
Janey said she’s honored to be sworn in “on civil rights pioneer Dorothy Height’s birthday” and tweeted this quote from her shortly before Wednesday’s ceremony:
“We have to improve life, not just for those who have the most skills and those who know how to manipulate the system. But also for and with those who often have so much to give but never get the opportunity.” – Dorothy Height
— Kim Janey (@MayorKimJaney) March 24, 2021
Janey also tweeted a greeting from her personal account, writing:
“Hello, Boston! Your Mayor is a Black woman from Roxbury, who rides public transit, speaks Spanish, and makes the best sweet potato pie ever! When’s the last time you could say that?”
Watch: Kim Janey Address After Being Sworn In As Acting Mayor
Janey said she spoke to Vice President Kamala Harris Tuesday night and discussed two things they have in common – breaking barriers and a love of Converse sneakers.
“Every little girl watching today can see that Boston is a city of possibilities,” Janey recalled Harris saying during the conversation.
During her speech, Janey vowed to fight for equality and said “Today is a new day for the City of Boston.”
“I promise to bring urgency to this job, and to strive to make positive change happen in every neighborhood in our city,” she said. “In my administration, there will always be a place for those who have felt left out of power, and I will also welcome those who have held power to join us in building a better future. I will work each day so that all residents have opportunities to learn, earn and thrive.”