Kim Janey Becomes First Black Person And First Woman To Become Boston Mayor

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 23 Mar 2021 14:14
Kim Janey Becomes First Black Person And First Woman To Become Boston MayorKim Janey/Facebook

Kim Janey has made history by becoming the first Black person and the first woman to become mayor of Boston.

Janey officially stepped into the role last night, March 22, and described the achievement as ‘surreal’.


The 55-year-old became acting mayor of Boston in the wake of former mayor Marty Walsh having submitted his letter of resignation. Walsh has recently been confirmed to be the US’s secretary of labor.

Kim Janey/Facebook

Under the city charter, the sitting council president – a position Janey took in early 2020 – serves as acting mayor should a sitting mayor resign mid-term, Boston.com reports.

The former education advocate was in her second term on the City Council before stepping into the role of acting mayor. She was first elected for City Council in 2017.


Speaking about her new position, she told the Boston Globe, ‘It is surreal. Particularly when I think of my own background growing up. Just seeing how far our city has come. It’s amazing.’

While she has made history becoming the first female and first Black acting mayor of Boston, Janey can only perform a certain amount of duties. According to Boston.com, these consist of only urgent duties or those ‘not admitting of delay’.

Kim Janey/Facebook

Despite these limitations, she can still pass or veto ordinances approved by the City Council as well as performing other executive tasks, such as dealing with city contracts, grants and payroll.


Walsh has since tweeted his congratulations to Janey. He wrote yesterday, ‘Congratulations on making history, @Kim_Janey. I know you are going to continue serving our city and supporting an equitable recovery from #COVID19. I am always here for you, my friend.’

Prior to his departure from office, Walsh also assured Boston’s residents that his team had worked closely with Janey’s to ensure a smooth transition.

He said, ‘We’ve held extensive planning sessions. Every department has been engaged in this process and is taking proactive steps to ensure the continuity of services and operations in the city of Boston.’


Walsh continued:

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 and public safety (and) the many long term capital improvements that we have launched across all of our different neighbourhoods.

In light of his new role, Walsh will be relocating to Washington DC.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Boston, history, mayor, Now, US News


Boston.com and 1 other
  1. Boston.com

    Kim Janey becomes Boston’s acting mayor, makes history as first Black person, woman to hold the office

  2. Boston Globe

    ‘It is surreal’: Kim Janey, nearing mayoral history, reflects on her life in Boston