Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Video: A Strong Progressive Streak in Mayors' Inauguration Speeches

New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh and Seattle all welcomed new mayors in the last seven days.

de-blasio
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio celebrates on stage with his son dante, left, daughter Chiara and wife Chirlane McCray after he was elected the first Democratic mayor of New York City in 20 years in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. De Blasio, who beat out Republican Joe Lhota by a large margin, follows the three-term reign of Republican-turned-independent billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and Republican Rudy Giuliani, who led the city in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP
Regional accents aside, it was hard to tell a handful of new big mayors apart during their respective inauguration day addresses.  All delivered the requisite amounts of civic pride and personal gratitude for having reached the mayor's office.  But the incoming mayors all struck similar themes around income equality, social justice, reforms of city government, education and health care.

PLUS: Meet 2014's New Mayors

We have produced video digests of the innauguration addresses in New York, Boston, Pittsburgh and Seattle.  Trust us, they are all really grateful for their respective family's love and support.  The digest focus on new mayos' policy objectives and expectations for their cities.  We'll start on the east coast and make our way to the pacific northwest.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Former President Bill Clinton administered the oath of office to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who declared a progressive agenda as the city moves into the post-Bloomberg era.  He pledged to reconcile what he sees as two cities - one for the rich, the other for the struggling middle class and poor - into a shared place where they can all build a future.



 

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Martin Walsh, son of Irish immigrants, made much of his personal biography and the city's revolutionary history as he promised to listen closely to the people of Boston's diverse neighborhoods as he was sworn into the mayor's office, which had been held by long serving Thomas Menino for two decades.

In his inauguration speech, Walsh pledged to improve schools, reduce crime and reform the city's slow and onerous development process.  Promising a term characterized by progress and collaboration, Walsh made three essential promises - "I will listen, I will learn, I will lead."



 

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto

Bill Peduto said his administration "will be the first progressive administration for a rust-belt city in America."  The new mayor believes Pittsburgh is turning around after decades of economic decline, made worse by political corruption and mismanagement in city government.  In his inaugural address, he focused on a series of reforms intended to earn back public trust by public institutions tainted by scandal.



 

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Ed Murray - a veteran of almost two decades in the Washington state legislature - stressed Seattle's global reputation for entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation in his inaugural remarks, saying that city's economic success is not at odds with his administration's commitment to redressing wage disparity, housing affordability and public transportation.  He advocated a pragmatic path for both seizing opportunities for continued growth and for fully embracing federally-mandated reforms to the Seattle Police Department.  Seattle's first openly gay mayor, Murray credited his success to the city's tradition of progressive politics.



 

Still in Seattle...

The innaugural was a standing-room only affair in Seattle even after being moved from the city council chambers to the main lobby of city hall, which accomodated 1,200 cheering friends and supporters of Murray and the city councilors being sworn in that day.

The kind of pragmatic, progressive politics practiced by Murray and many Democratic Party activists came in for a blistering attack by socialist Counicilmember Kshama Sawant, who was also sworn in at the same ceremony.  Sawant, a former college economics professor, saved her harshest criticism for international capitalism.



 

Daniel Luzer is GOVERNING's news editor.
Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
The 2021 Ideas Challenge recognizes innovative public policy that positively impacts local communities and the NewDEAL leaders who championed them.
Sponsored
Drug coverage affordability really does exist in the individual Medicare marketplace!
Sponsored
Understand the differences between group Medicare and individual Medicare plans and which plans are best for retirees.
Sponsored
For a while, concerns about credit card fees and legacy processing infrastructure might have slowed government’s embrace of digital payment options.
Sponsored
How expanded financial assistance, a streamlined application process and creative legislation can help Black and brown-owned businesses revive communities hit hardest by the pandemic.
Sponsored
In recent years, local governments have been forced to adapt to a wildly changing world, especially as it pertains to sending bills and collecting payments.
Sponsored
Workplace safety is in the spotlight as government leaders adapt to a prolonged pandemic.
Sponsored
While government employees, students and the general public had to wait in line for hours in the beginning of the pandemic, at-home test kits make it easy to diagnose for the novel coronavirus in less than 30 minutes.
Sponsored
Governments around the nation are working to design the best vaccine policies that keep both their employees and their residents safe. Although the latest data shows a variety of polarizing perspectives, there are clear emerging best practices that leading governments are following to put trust first: creating policies that are flexible and provide a range of options, and being in tune with the needs and sentiments of their employees so that they are able to be dynamic and accommodate the rapidly changing situation.