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Walsh celebrates 101 days in office with city

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh talked with Boston resident Pamela Siena at a ceremony Wednesday at the Parish Street Community Center during which he reflected upon his first 101 days in office. PHOTO BY MINA CORPUZ/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh talked with Boston resident Pamela Siena at a ceremony Wednesday at the Parish Street Community Center during which he reflected upon his first 101 days in office. PHOTO BY MINA CORPUZ/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Since Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s 100th day in office fell on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, he chose to instead celebrate the mayoral milestone on the 101st day, by hosting a press conference in East Boston Wednesday to talk about his plans for the future.

About 100 city officials, members of the press and residents attended the ceremony, which took place at the Paris Street Community Center gymnasium. At the podium, Walsh praised his administration’s hard work and emphasized working together to achieve future goals.

“I said in my inauguration that I will listen, I will learn and I will lead,” he said. “Those are more than just words. We have built an administration that is open to all voices. It is an administration that is smart, well informed and transparent. That’s the only way to make a lasting change in our city.”

Walsh said the strength of his administration comes from the collaboration of old and new city workers, combining their experiences to work toward a common goal.

“There’s no reason to change somebody or move somebody [from the Menino administration] for whatever reason the people think we should,” he said. “It’s about moving forward, taking the experience of somebody and asking that experience to stay in City Hall. Change is okay, but I want to build on the strength of this city.”

Prioritizing diversity within the command staff in the city, Walsh said he has worked closely with Boston Police Commissioner William Evans to create a diverse team to work in the Boston Police Department and connect with the community.

“Chief William Gross is the first person of color to ever be the chief in the city of Boston,” he said. “As they’re out in neighborhoods talking about violence, we have people who grew up in the neighborhoods and look like the people in the neighborhoods. It’s very important for us to send a strong message.”

Walsh also prided the City of Boston for the strength of its security, especially in the months after the Marathon bombings. He promised a continued dedication to the safety of the city’s residents, working together with all city officials to make this possible.

Recognizing the importance of arts and culture in the city, Walsh said he plans to appoint someone to head the cabinet position devoted to its advancement.

“We elevated it to a cabinet-level position and we’re currently in the process of picking that person,” he said.

The expansion of businesses, on a regional, national and global scale, was a focal point in Walsh’s speech. He said his administration has focused on bringing new businesses to Boston and creating an environment in which they can thrive.

“We’ve also been able to make a strong bridge to tell the nation that Boston is open for business, and we’re doing things a little differently,” he said. “We’re going to take the businesses in Boston, help them grow and make sure they have a conduit to City Hall.”

Several attendees said they appreciate the work Walsh has done in his first 101 days in office and look forward to seeing what he will accomplish in the future.

Pamela Sienna, 59, of East Boston, said she was happy to see Walsh interacting with constituents in a variety of neighborhoods, including her own.

“I was particularly interested [in the conference] because he’s here in East Boston,” she said. “Often even on the maps of the city, East Boston is cut off, so it’s nice that he came to our location.”

Valerie Dalton, 62, of East Boston, said Walsh has tackled a variety of difficult issues since taking office, but he still has a long way to go in several areas.

“I want to make sure he continues to get guns off of the street,” he said. “Also, he should devote more money for combating substance abuse.”

Linda Ciampa, 62, of East Boston, said the mayor has made small changes in the city that have helped her life substantially, such as allowing residents to renew dog licenses online.

“I can’t believe it’s been 101 days,” she said. “It’s going to be great [in the months to come]. Walsh has done an excellent job.”

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