A farewell event for Acting Mayor Kim Janey was held at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury on November 10, where she delivered a farewell address and reflected on her service to the City of Boston as its first woman and first Black mayor.
WCVB’s Karen Ward Holmes hosted, and performances were given by singers Nia Ashleigh, Danny Rivera, and Dana Whiteside, who sang the National Anthem. Rev. Willie Bodrick delivered the invocation.
In her address, Janey spoke about how the city worked together during the pandemic and rolled out vaccines in every community, as well as enacted mask mandates and ensured homeowners, renters, and business owners were provided with resources.
“To protect the most vulnerable of our residents, particularly people within the immigrant community, we supported asylum-seekers and invested in work-readiness opportunities for Dreamers,” Janey said in her prepared remarks.
She also spoke of the JOY Agenda, which she said was created “as a strategy to heal from trauma” and brought things like public art and dace parties to neighborhoods.
She talked about Boston’s observance of Juneteenth as a holiday for the first time, as well as declaring Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the city.
“While ensuring stability in a time of crisis was a top priority, I also led Boston towards the more equitable and just city we all deserve,” Janey said.
The Boston Home Center’s first-time homebuyer program was expanded, as was down payment assistance.
“Crime is down and at its lowest in five years,” Janey said, and “we must continue to address trauma, which is often the root cause of violence.”
Janey also spoke of green jobs and equitable transportation, notably her pilot for free bus service on the route 28 bus which travels through Mattapan, Dorchester, and Roxbury. The Supplier Diversity Program also now includes LGBTQ+ owned businesses.
“We also approached the dual opioid and homelessness crises with a public health lens,” she said. “In our first week, we connected close to 70 people to housing, shelter, and residential treatment, and no arrests were made as part of this work.”
Janey thanked her team and other city employees for their work during her time as the City’s Acting Mayor. She also thanked Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Stephen Lynch, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Markey, Gov. Charlie Baker, and state legislators.
“I also want to thank the legislative arm of the City,” Janey said, adding that the Building Emissions and Reduction Disclosure Ordinance, the Black Men and Boys Commission, and the Surveillance Oversight and Information Sharing Ordinance we all created in partnership with the City Council.
“I want to thank the Boston City Council, I am proud to have served with you,” she said, also thanking new City Councilors-elect Erin Murphy, Ruthzee Louijeune, Brian Worrell, Kendra Hicks, and Tania Anderson.
Janey also expressed her pride in knowing that Michelle Wu will be the next person to lead the City.
“I know she will lift up those who have been left out of power,” Janey said. “She will build upon my equity and justice work and she won’t be afraid to tackle long standing problems. I am proud to pass the baton to you.”
Lastly, Janey noted Boston’s “museums, green spaces and beaches, and world-renowned hospitals and universities, and, of course, our iconic championship-winning sports teams. But what I love most about Boston is her people, from the small business owners to the seniors from our veterans to our teachers; from our restaurant workers to our public servants; to ordinary people who do extraordinary things every single day that often go unrecognized. Our city is better because of you.”
She thanked her family as well, and closed with “It has been my greatest honor serving my city as its 55th Mayor. Thank you, Boston. You will forever be in my heart.”
The program also included a pre-recorded video of Janey’s accomplishments as Acting Mayor in education, transportation, public health and equitable vaccine administration, housing stability, equitable pandemic recovery, green jobs, public safety and police reform, and more.
The full video recording of the event is available on the Boston City TV YouTube page.