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January 7, 2014

Walsh takes the reins as Boston's new mayor

CHESTNUT HILL — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh highlighted violence prevention in his first mayoral address at a packed Conte Forum on Monday morning.

“No parent should worry that a bullet will stop a daughter or son from coming home. No woman should be scared on our streets. No senior should be afraid in their home. And no child should be forced to live with trauma and the indelible scars of violence,” Walsh told the crowd at the Boston College hockey and basketball arena.

Walsh said the city would “redouble” its efforts to improve safety and said, “Imagine if these kids, these parents had people to help them in times of trauma. Health care professionals, community members serving as volunteers, answering the call whenever a life — and with it, a family and a neighborhood — is torn by violent crime.”

At 11:07 a.m. Walsh completed the oath of office and officially took over the mayoralty from Tom Menino, who held the office since the summer of 1993 when his position as City Council president made him the acting mayor when Ray Flynn was named U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

The child of Irish immigrants, Walsh himself was grazed by a stray bullet in 1990, and he has battled cancer as a child and alcoholism as a young adult.

On the campaign trail, the issue of violence took a backseat to other concerns, such as labor negotiations, redevelopment policy and education — the focal point of Walsh’s challenger in November, John Connolly.

“It’s about the fundamental difference between how he views the office and how Menino did it,” Walsh advisor Michael Goldman told the News Service.

Walsh announced that on Tuesday he will launch a nationwide search for the next superintendent of Boston Public Schools, and said he would work to commission an audit of the school department.

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