Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Announces He Will Resign

Walsh was just confirmed to be the US Secretary of Labor.

Video Transcript

MARTY WALSH: The United States Senate voted to confirm my nomination as United States secretary of labor.

- Boston Mayor Marty Walsh just confirmed as labor secretary. You can watch this on CBSN Boston.

- The "CBS Evening News" is next here.

MARTY WALSH: I'm grateful for the senators' bipartisan-- know it can be done. Tomorrow I'll 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 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 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, 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 forward 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 in 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, 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 reduce 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 house 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 tackle racial justice. We change 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 this have work to-- we know there's work to be done. I'll be the first to admit there's work to be done. And we need to continue that work. We invested more resources in our neighborhoods than ever before--

- Hey, Debbie, will you do a huge favor before you leave?

MARTY WALSH: --in need new parks across our city, new libraries, new community centers--

- Will you just carry this into that other studio?

MARTY WALSH: --new firehouses, new police stations, new ambulance beds, 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 Sterritt, thank you.

For my entire time as mayor, seven years, we had a AAA bond rating the entire time. Spending 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 we 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 trone-- has truly shown its true colors.

When faced with a crisis of historic proportions, we stepped up. 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 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 for visiting a Boston Public School as the younger grades return back to the classroom. That's one of the best parts of my job, and this week in 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 it's 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 the United States labor secretary of the United States of America.