A Cambridge city councilor on Monday became the first Muslim mayor in Massachusetts.
Sumbul Siddiqui was elected to the role by her fellow city councilors. A long-time Cambridge resident, Siddiqui has served on the council since 2018.
Born in Pakistan, her family moved to the U.S. when she was 2 years old, according to her biography on the city of Cambridge website.
"To me, [my parents'] effort is heroic, and there are countless stories like it here in Cambridge," Siddiqui said, according to the Cambridge Chronicle. "I saw the same resiliency and struggle everyday at the Rindge and Roosevelt Towers [in the city] where I grew up."
Siddiqui takes over from outgoing Mayor Marc McGovern. Cambridge employs a "weak mayor" system, with the mayor serving as chairperson of the city council and school committee. City Manager Louis DePasquale manages city departments and services.
Siddiqui told WBUR that affordable housing was a top priority for her as she settles into the mayor's office.
"How do we create more affordable housing, because we live in a city that everyone wants to live in, and it's very difficult," Siddiqui said.
She also pointed toward education equity, including a continued push to hire more teachers of color and universal pre-K, as a focus area.