Walsh was just confirmed to be the US Secretary of Labor.
MARTY WALSH: The United States Senate voted to confirm my nomination as United States Secretary of Labor.
[CROWD CHEERING AND APPLAUDING]
- Boston Mayor Marty Walsh just confirmed as the Labor Secretary. You can watch this on CBSN Boston.
- The CBS Evening news is next here.
MARTY WALSH: The senators' bipartisan. Know it can be done. Tomorrow I'm going to be traveling to Washington DC to be sworn in as Secretary of Labor. And as I said, I'm deeply grateful to President Biden, Vice President Harris, in their confidence in me and for this opportunity to serve our country in this time of need. I share their commitment to building an economy that works for every single American. I've spent my entire career fighting for working people, and I'm eager to continue that fight in Washington.
This evening, I will convey my letter of resignation to the city clerk. Council President Janey will become acting mayor, per city charter. I just want to say a word about that process. Together, the council president, and myself, and our teams have worked diligently to ensure a smooth transition for the entirety of city government. I said "our teams." We are no longer "our teams," we are one team moving forward.
For the past two months, I've had regular meetings and conversations with the council president. We've held extensive planning sessions. Every department has been engaged in this process, and has taken proactive steps to ensure the continuity of services and operations in the city of Boston. We have briefed and engaged our external partners, including members of the business community, colleges, university, nonprofits, community groups in the neighborhoods. And I am confident-- more than confident-- that city government will move forwards very smoothly. From the daily services that our residents rely on, to our COVID response, to public safety, to the many long-term capital improvements that we have launched across all of our different neighborhoods here in the city of Boston.
I want to thank everyone who made this process possible and a success. I particularly want to call out two chiefs of staff. One, my Chief of Staff, Kathryn Burton, and Council President Janey's Chief of Staff, Chris Osgood, for their leadership in this tireless effort to our city.
I just want to reflect for a moment on what being mayor of Boston has meant to me. For a kid who grew up on Taft Street in Dorchester from a family whose parents came to this country-- immigrated to this country-- being elected mayor of Boston was a dream for me. Quite honestly, being elected State Representative was a dream for me. I spent almost every single day outside of my office in the neighborhoods of the city of Boston before COVID. We all worked collectively together to build a better city. There is no other elected or appointed position where you are so closely in touch with the people you serve. It's truly where democracy lies.
I am proud of what we've been able to do together over the last seven years in moving our city forward. We've created nearly 140,000 new jobs. We are number one in the nation for building affordable housing. Number one in the nation. We cut major crime every year and reduced arrests every year, as well, in our city. We increased the graduate rate in the Boston public schools by nine points. We set a new record this year. Thank you, Dr. Cassellius, for your incredible leadership in our schools. We created the nation's first municipal Office of Recovery Services, that has done some amazing work, in particular, this last year. The work that they've done this year alone, during a pandemic. We've created a new system to end homelessness and housed over 2,300. People that were homeless on the day that I became mayor that now live in a house. Thank you, Sheila Dillon. We tackled racial justice. We changed Boston's reputation. We still have work to do. We began building new systems to achieve equity in all of us and throughout our city.
- Yeah, it was good, right?
MARTY WALSH: We know there's have work-- we know there's work to be done. I'll be the first to admit it-- there's work to be done-- and we need to continue that work. We invested more resources in our neighborhoods than ever before-- in new parks across our city, new libraries, new community centers, new firehouses, new police stations, new ambulance bays, and so much more. Streets, and sidewalks, and bike lanes. All of those things are important to the people and the residents of our city. We did all of this while managing our city finances responsibly to ensure a strong recovery and a strong future for our city. I don't know if they're here. Emme Handy, thank you. Justin Sterrett, thank you. For my entire time as mayor, seven years, we had a triple-A bond rating. The entire time.
Spanning this last year, we've been battling a global pandemic. It's not what any of us expected-- the press, or anybody in this room, or in this city expected. But in some ways, it was a blessing. I've talked about how it brought our best out in our city-- our belief in science, our compassion for the most vulnerable, our ability to work together. It's also been proven beyond a doubt that everything I believe in about government, public service, and democracy has surely shown its true colors. When faced with a crisis of historic proportions, we stepped out. We were there for the people that we serve, especially the most vulnerable. My colleagues, my co-workers, threw themselves into this work, around the clock, seven days a week, with courage and devotion. Many of them are in this room. Most of them aren't in this room today, who'd love this city.
I want to thank each and every city employee. I love all of you. You do amazing work. We might not always hear about the work you do, but I certainly know the work you do every single day, keeping our city great. These folks work in every single department, from the front lines, to the cabinet. As brothers and sisters in service, we share a bond that can't be and never will be broken. As I told the team this morning, the journey doesn't stop. The work of the city keeps going. Tomorrow morning, when there'll be a new mayor in City Hall, the work needs to continue to move forward. The work will continue to be hard, but I'm confident that our public servants, our business community, and our residents will continue to rise up to the occasion. Boston, Massachusetts is the greatest city in the world, with the greatest people in the world living in our city.
For the last three weeks, I've started almost every single day, during the weekday, except for Wednesdays, visiting a Boston public school as our younger grades returned back to the classroom. That's one of the best parts of my job. And this week, and the last three weeks, has meant the world to me. To see the smiles on our kids, or as Dr. C says, our kiddos' faces. To see their eyes light up with curiosity, and to see their teachers and staff just diving into the work and taking care of them. We've been through a lot as a city, but our schools, and children that fill them, need to continue to be supported. We need to continue to support all of our kids and all of our schools in the city of Boston, and quite honestly, across the Commonwealth and across this country. But in Boston, our kids are the future of our city, and their potential is limitless. I carry with me their hopes and dreams as I take on this new role.
In my last meeting-- actually, not my last meeting. I was texting with Council President Janey last night. I texted, think about this for a minute-- a little girl from Roxbury is about to be mayor of Boston. And her response was, think about this for a minute-- a little boy from Dorchester is about to become a United States Labor Secretary of the United States of America.
[CROWD CHEERING AND APPLAUDING]