Standing with her husband and two sons at the City Council chambers, Michelle Wu was sworn into Boston’s mayoral office Tuesday, as the first woman and person of color elected to the post.
Wu won the mayoral seat against City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George Nov. 2. The swearing-in marks Wu’s formal induction into the position, although a full inauguration is scheduled for January.
In his opening speech, City Council President Matt O’Malley welcomed those in attendance and acknowledged the elected officials present, which included Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley.
“This is a great day in our city’s nearly 400-year history,” O’Malley said.
Fenway High School junior Eliana Rivas then led the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by an invocation by Deliverance Temple Worship Center pastor Arlene Hall.
Former Acting Mayor Janey, who endorsed Wu during the election, gave remarks before Judge Myong Joun administered the Oath of Office.
Janey said in her speech she is proud to call Wu “Madam Mayor” and knows “Boston is in good hands.”
“As I leave office now as mayor, I feel good knowing that you [Wu] share my love and my passion for Boston,” she said. “I’m confident you will lead our city with integrity and that you will center equity in all that you do.”
Wu’s historic win was ushered in by the work of other trailblazing elected officials before her, Janey said.
“A new day was dawning when Michelle Wu became the first Asian American woman elected to the council, and the first woman of color to lead the council and now the first woman elected to lead our great city,” she said.
Sworn in just 14 days after the election, Wu said at the ceremony she is especially “grateful” for Janey who helped make the transition smooth and fast.
City Hall made her feel “invisible” when she first joined the office, Wu said, adding the “intimidat[ing]” building reminded her of the City’s inaccessibility, especially to people like her own immigrant family.
“But today, I see what’s possible in this building,” she said. “When we make City Hall accessible, we are all raised up.”
At a press conference after the ceremony, Wu outlined her initial plans and goals as mayor so that she can begin her first 100 days “hitting the ground running.” Continuing to form her cabinet is an immediate item on Wu’s agenda, she said.
“We are going to ensure that every bit of this administration, every leader in positions across the city thinks about how our interactions with residents in the day to day and in the big picture, really line up with continuing to bring people into the work of government,” Wu said.
Wu campaigned on policies such as closing the racial wealth gap, affordable housing and the creation of a Green New Deal agenda for the City of Boston to address climate change.
“We are the level closest to the people, so we must do the big and the small,” Wu said at the ceremony. “Every street light, every pothole, every park and classroom lays the foundation for greater change.”
Emphasizing the need to “meet people where they are” and listen to each other, Wu said in her speech all Bostonians are now charged with fighting urgently for the future of the city.
“We need everyone for Boston right now,” Wu said. “We have so much work to do and it will take all of us to get it done. So let’s get to work.”