Mayor Walsh gave his final state-of-the-city address tonight, which you can watch above (or read the text of). He spent a fair amount of time addressing the challenges of the past year (Covid-19 and racial inequality), but he also said goodbye to the city he's led for seven years now as he gets ready to become Joe Biden's Secretary of Labor.
Speaking from the newly rebuilt Roxbury branch library, he said:
The truth is, I’m not going to Washington alone. I’m bringing Boston with me. This city is not just my hometown, it’s my heart. It’s my mother and father at the kitchen table on Taft Street in Dorchester, talking about helping people. It’s the teachers, nuns, priests, and clergy who guided me. It’s every kid I coached in Little League or CYO, or at the Little House; everyone who shared recovery with me or reached out for help; my union and labor family; my mentors and colleagues at the State House; and all the elected officials I serve with in Boston.
It’s the staff at City Hall, and every employee of the City of Boston. ...
In the end, I carry with me the people of Boston, from every neighborhood: every child who shared a dream with me; every senior who shared a memory; every business owner who welcomed me in; every nonprofit or community leader I worked with; and everyone watching right now who cares about their family and the future of this city.
Walsh said he's already started talking to City Council President Kim Janey about the transition to her impending turn as acting mayor.
He said better days are ahead for Boston, partly because the new administration in Washington will be a friend to cities, but mainly because of the character of Bostonians:
We may be hurting, but the state of our city is resilient; the state of our city is united; the state of our city is hopeful; and the state of our city is deep-down Boston strong.
We must keep drawing on our strength - and on each other. Recovery won’t be easy. The virus will be with us for much of the year. The economic impacts will continue as well. There will be more hard decisions to make.
Whatever happens, I know one thing: Boston will stay true to its values. We believe in keeping each other safe. We believe in caring for those who are vulnerable. We believe justice and opportunity are for everyone.