Acting Mayor Kim Janey — Boston’s first woman and first Black resident to serve in the top post — bid farewell to the office Wednesday, ticking off a series of accomplishments during her brief tenure, including helping the city navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite holding the office for less than a year, Janey marked a dramatic pivot in the city’s long history — a history she found herself thrust into as an 11-year-old when she was bused to a largely white neighborhood during the second phase of Boston’s tumultuous school desegregation era. Rocks and racial slurs were hurled at her bus.
Her rise to the mayor’s office, however brief, reflected a changing city where people of color now make up a majority of the population.
Until Janey, only white men had served as mayor.
“When I was sworn in, following former Mayor (Marty) Walsh’s confirmation as U.S. labor secretary, we were in the midst of a global pandemic and a national reckoning on racial injustice,” Janey said during the address. “It was a time of uncertainty in our country, but Boston stayed strong.”
Janey officially steps down on Tuesday, transferring power to incoming mayor-elect and fellow Democrat Michelle Wu.