Kim Janey, the first woman and first Black mayor of Boston, said farewell to the city Wednesday as she passes the torch to another trailblazer.
The Roxbury native was met by a standing ovation as she was introduced to the crowd at Hibernian Hall in the neighborhood. Among those cheering were Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Mayor-elect Michelle Wu.
Both women have made their mark in Boston’s long political history of exclusively electing white men as mayor.
Janey listed achievements like the city's high vaccination rate, new rental relief protections for home owners and support for small businesses and frontline workers.
"Addressing the challenges of our city takes courage and commitment because these issues can only be solved when we all work together to create systemic change. From managing a public health crisis to confronting institutional racism, we have achieved historic milestones together," she said.
Janey, the first woman and first Black person to be mayor of Boston, took on the role in March, when Marty Walsh left to be U.S. Secretary of Labor, serving in an acting capacity until a new mayor could be elected.
Mayor-elect Wu, a city councilor, became the first Asian American and first woman to be elected when she won the vote last week. Wu will take office on Tuesday with a far shorter transition than is commonly allotted for incoming mayors. She named co-chairs and advisors of her transition team on Tuesday, including outgoing Janey, who will serve as the honorary chair of the transition.
The outgoing and incoming mayors have been speaking regularly, they've said, and Janey said Wednesday, "Michelle, I am proud to pass the baton to you."
She teared up her appreciation for her Cabinet, the rest of her team and the city's 18,000 city workers.
More on the Boston Mayoral Transition
Last week, Janey said that she speaks with her counterpart daily as she looked back at the work she's done addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Boston.
Janey finished fourth in Boston's preliminary election in September, ending her hopes for serving a full term as mayor. Shortly after that, Janey endorsed Wu as a candidate.
After leaving office, Janey will return to her previous post on the City Council. She'll serve in that role until the newly elected City Council is sworn in in January.