Read Michelle Wu's remarks after she took the oath of office as Boston's mayor

With her family by her side, Michelle Wu takes the oath as the next mayor of Boston in the Boston City Council Chamber. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
With her family by her side, Michelle Wu takes the oath as the next mayor of Boston in the Boston City Council Chamber. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Michelle Wu, the first woman and person of color elected mayor of Boston, officially stepped into the executive role during her inauguration on Tuesday.

You could read the transcript of her remarks at City Hall, and watch a recording of her swearing-in ceremony, below.

Read the transcript:

Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, judge. Thank you Eliana, Pastor Hall, of course my mayor. And good afternoon Wu Train family. We are back together so soon. I have missed you over the last two weeks and I'm so grateful for the chance to spend time over these 14 days with so many committed public servants in our city getting updated, getting up to speed on everything happening here.

Thank you, Mayor Janey, for your beautiful remarks, and for your trailblazing leadership, and most of all for being a friend and someone I admire so much.

Thank you, Sen. Warren. Sen. Markey, Gov. Baker, to all of our elected colleagues and leaders and community members, I am so grateful you are sharing in this moment today.

Thank you especially to the Boston City Council for hosting us here. President Pro Tempore Matt O'Malley, sitting members and incoming new councilors-elect Ruthzee Louijeune, Erin Murphy, Brian Worrell, Kendra Hicks, and Tania Fernandes Anderson, thank you so much. Congratulations. And I can't wait to celebrate for real in January.

And thank you, Boston. I am so honored to stand here in this chamber that has meant so much to me as your next mayor.

The first time I set foot in Boston City Hall, I felt invisible, swallowed up by the maze of echoing concrete hallways, intimidated by the checkpoints and looming government counters, reminded of why my immigrant family tried to stay away from spaces like this. But our family's struggles brought me to an internship with Mayor Menino, and his chief of staff Mitch Weiss, and an unexpected full circle journey over the last decade.

Mayor Michelle Wu speaks after she took the oath of office on Tuesday. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Mayor Michelle Wu speaks after she took the oath of office on Tuesday. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Today, I know city hall's passageways and stairwells like my own home, but this space is the most special. I learned the ropes of city government and politics on this floor. Held the gavel on this floor. Nursed babies on this floor. Delivered paid parental leave on this floor. Language access. Food justice. Housing protections. Climate progress. And I've reveled in the growing representation and power of our communities that our Boston City Council continues to embody.

But since we're here today, I must share that the council floor wasn't always this way. When I joined the council, this space wasn't fully accessible to everyone. The floor that so many of you all are sitting on today was actually much lower, designed as a pit three steps down, part of a striking feature of what many — or I — would call a beautiful building in City Hall. I've earned the mandate to call this a beautiful building.

Three steps down prevented Bostonians in wheelchairs and with mobility challenges from coming down directly to testify and advocate for change. Three steps down were a barrier between our government and the people we are here to serve.

So we changed this space, reshaped it to be accessible for everyone, and brought the floor up three steps.

When we make City Hall more accessible, we are all raised up. When we communicate in many languages, we all understand more. And most of all, when we connect the power of city government to the force of our neighborhoods and communities, we see how much is possible for our city.

City government is special. We are the level closest to the people, so we must do the big and the small. Every street light, every pothole, every park, every classroom lays the foundation for greater change. Not only is it possible for Boston to deliver basic city services and generational change, it is absolutely necessary in this moment. We'll tackle our biggest challenges by getting the small things right, by getting City Hall out of City Hall into our neighborhoods, block by block, street by street.

After all, Boston was founded on a revolutionary promise that things don't have to be as they always were. That we can chart a new path for families now and for generations to come, grounded in justice and opportunity. And we can take steps to raise us all up to that promise together.

Several weeks ago at Roxbury Community College, I met a young leader and student in our community. Brandon lives in Mattapan and takes the 28 bus to class. He found out one day from a local business on Blue Hill Ave. that the mayor of Boston had worked to make the 28 bus free and it changed his life. What used to be a frequent headache every other day or so of asking mom for $2 or trying to to get the fares to get to class on time, opened up into justice and opportunity.

Mayor Michelle Wu speaks after she took the oath of office on Tuesday. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Mayor Michelle Wu speaks after she took the oath of office on Tuesday. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

For Brandon and for our communities, our charge is to see every person and listen. To meet people where are. To give hope and deliver on it. To find joy, in the words of the amazing Kim Janey, and spread it. Let history note just who she was in this office, but all she got done and all she will continue to do for our city.

Our charge is to fight urgently for our future. For the young people at the Burke High School who are here with us today, who hosted me earlier; For Blaze and Cass, for Ellie and Addie, for all of our kids and their kids to come.

The first time I set foot in City Hall, I felt invisible. But today I see what's possible in this building and I see all the public servants raising us up. Front line workers, first responders, teachers, bus drivers, building inspectors, city workers. I am deeply honored to work alongside you, and I ask everyone to join me in expressing our gratitude for your service.

Boston, our charge is clear. We need everyone to join us in the work of doing the big and the small, getting City Hall out of City Hall into our neighborhoods and embracing the possibility of this city. The reason to make a Boston for everyone is because we need everyone for Boston right now. We have so much work to do and it will take all of us to get it done. So let's get to work.

Watch the ceremony:



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