It was an honor to join the Solomon McCown team at Boston College’s Conte Forum for the inauguration of Martin Walsh as Boston’s new mayor—the first new mayor in two decades. As a former City Council staffer, I’d worked with now former mayor Menino’s administration. They’d seemed as ingrained in Boston’s identity as Menino himself. It is surreal to know many of them departed with him.
The inaugural celebration was well-organized and struck all the right notes. The crowd rose to its feet as former mayoral candidate Mel King led a group of singers from the Renaissance Charter School in a song he’d written. Senator Elizabeth Warren cited Boston’s recent history of innovation as driving the nation forward. Governor Deval Patrick drew chuckles as he assured Walsh he wouldn’t remember much from the swearing-in, likening it to a groom’s wedding day. Suffolk County Clerk Michael Donovan nearly stole the show with his self-deprecating remarks.
I enjoyed Walsh’s speech—it was crisp and to the point, and he was comfortable delivering it. (The Boston Globe reports that Elizabeth Warren consultant and speechwriter Marla Romash teamed up with longtime Walsh supporters Joyce Linehan and David Stone to write the speech.) There were promises if not too many specifics—one of which was a “restructuring” of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which Boston’s real estate industry should watch closely.
Walsh’s inauguration was a celebration of Boston’s success, and struck a hopeful tone for its future. Now, on to the down-and-dirty work of governing New England’s largest city.