© Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Boston City Council President Kim Janey
Boston has its first Black and first female mayor. Kim Janey officially took the reins as acting mayor at 9:01 p.m. Monday, a minute after Marty Walsh resigned, CBS Boston reports. She’s scheduled to have a ceremonial swearing in Wednesday.
Walsh was confirmed as U.S. labor secretary in a 68-29 Senate vote shortly after 6 p.m.
Janey, who was City Council president, said earlier in the evening, “History will be made tonight. We’re an extremely diverse city from different backgrounds and different nationalities and different skin colors. I think it’s a good thing for our city. I think it’s a great thing for our city.”
Janey grew up in Roxbury, and is a graduate of the Boston and Reading Public Schools, as well as Smith College. She was elected the first woman to represent District 7 in 2017, and was voted president of the council in 2020.
She’s worked with a number of local advocacy groups, including MassVOTE, the Boston NAACP, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus and Massachusetts Advocates for Children.
Janey will serve as acting mayor until the November election. She hasn’t said if she plans to seek a full term.
“That starts with an unrelenting focus to address the impacts of COVID-19. While there are signs of hope and we are making progress in this fight, we must do a better job of making vaccines accessible, especially to the communities hardest hit. I will partner with other federal, state, and local community leaders to support testing and vaccinations across our city.
” … Let’s be clear — the problems laid bare by the pandemic were here before COVID-19. The issues of affordable housing, public transportation, and climate change are not new. What’s different is that these problems now impact more of us.”
Janey also cited the city’s “enormous wealth gap. The median net worth for Black families is just $8. This is not an accident. It’s the product of discriminatory policies that we have all inherited. Under my leadership, we will call out this gap and implement workforce, housing, and education policies to address it.
“Unemployment rates spiked to 18.5 percent for Hispanic and Latino workers and 16.6 percent for Black workers at the start of the pandemic, compared to 12.8 percent for white workers. The same communities hardest hit by the public health crisis are experiencing the highest rates of housing and food insecurity. My administration will address these economic disparities with new urgency to reopen Boston’s economy with equity.”