After two decades of serving as Boston’s mayor, Mayor Menino stepped down as mayor on Monday, January 6th. A former BC alumni replaced him, Marty Walsh, who was inaugurated into office right here on the Boston College campus at Conte Forum.
Although many of us are not permanent residents of the area, we consider Boston our home. For four years, we spend more time here amongst our peers and exploring the streets of Boston than anywhere else, so it is important to know what changes are coming to Boston.
During Walsh’s inauguration, which was infused with Celtic tradition, he described Boston as a city of big dreams, second chances and redemption. I am sure we have all felt these feelings about the abilities of Boston at least once. I will not outline his 26-minute speech, but some important promises made were to improve city schools, reduce crime and revamp the city’s development process. Most importantly though, he emphasized that we will be able to connect with him; he promised to listen, to learn and to lead.
The road to becoming mayor was no easy journey for Mr. Walsh. He faced many challenges throughout his life. At the young age of seven, he suffered from cancer and would wear a wig to school in order to hide the balding effects of chemotherapy. Later on in life, he suffered from alcoholism, and during one of his nights out drinking he took a bullet to the leg. Instead of giving up, he persevered and has been able to turn his life around. Not only did he return to get his degree in his forties after dropping out of college earlier on in life, but he also overcame his addiction to alcohol and focused on his path to recovery.
Not only for us, but also for Marty Walsh, Boston is a city of second chances. Where he came from to where he is shows a prime example of success stories in unlikely places. Not only does this make him relatable to struggling people in poorer communities, such as Mattapan and Hyde Park, but also to us in our struggle to determine what path we want to take in life.
Mayor Walsh has only been in office a few days, but he has already proven to be a relatable guy. So as we say good-bye and thank you to the legacy of Mayor Menino, we welcome Marty Walsh to the position as mayor of Boston and wish him the best of luck.