With all signs this week pointing to Mayor Martin Walsh being confirmed as the next U.S. Labor Secretary for President-elect Joe Biden, many in the Town said they would miss the mayor’s leadership and attention to Charlestown.
Walsh was not the favorite of the Town when he first ran, with his opponent John Connolly prevailing in Charlestown. However, key supporters like State Rep. Dan Ryan stuck by him and, in time, Walsh was welcomed and appreciated in most every corner of the neighborhood.
Rep. Ryan was an early supporter of Mayor Walsh in the contentious 2013 Municipal Election, and said the mayor remains a great ally of his and of the neighborhood.
“Mayor Walsh has been a long-time ally and friend,” said Rep. Ryan. “I want to congratulate him on being appointed Labor Secretary in President-elect Biden’s cabinet. We will miss him in Charlestown and Boston. He has served us well locally and will do the same on a national stage.”
State Sen. Sal DiDomenico said they will be losing a friend and a political ally in the neighborhood.
“I want to congratulate my friend, Mayor Marty Walsh, on his nomination to Labor Secretary,” said DiDomenico. “Marty has been a champion for working families throughout his lifetime and has always stayed true to his roots. He has been a great Mayor for the residents of Boston and he will be a fantastic Labor Secretary. Lifting up working families has not been a talking point for Marty, it has been his mission. Workers throughout the United States will have a fighter working on their behalf each day. I am so happy for Marty and his family and also happy for our country. He will be an integral part of President-elect Joe Biden’s team that will help our country recover after the pandemic.”
The Kennedy Center said the mayor has been a champion for their work, and pointed to his support via the Boston Resiliency Fund during the pandemic.
“Marty Walsh has been a tremendous ally in the work of assisting our vulnerable neighbors in Boston–especially during this pandemic,” said Director Thara Fuller. “The Kennedy Center will never forget how quickly he launched the Boston Resiliency Fund to get assistance out directly to those in need. This allowed us to jump into serving food to the hungry and ensuring people could get critical supplies. We are counting on him to go to Washington and push for an economic recovery where people of all backgrounds cannot just survive, but thrive.”
Most poignant was, in fact, that of Councilor Lydia Edwards – who often publicly butted heads and disagreed with the mayor during his time here.
She said she first met Mayor Walsh when he was a state representative and she was an organizer for the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. Later, he hired her to work in the newly created Office of Housing Stability. She said one of his greatest attributes is his kindness, and she said she often saw that first-hand working for him and as a Councilor too. She said many may not realize how sensitive he is to the pain of others, and that his loyalty is strong.
“What I admire most about him is his ability to humbly admit his imperfections,” she said. “He is an admitted alcoholic who turned his ‘weakness’ on its head and showed me and so many others the strength of recovery. Beyond the politics I have laughed and cried with him. Within the politics we have butted heads, fought good fights, but never questioned each other’s heart or dedication to service. I feel like we were just starting to bring the best fights, policies and service out of each other. I feel a little robbed as I had so many more jokes to say, pranks to pull, and laughs to have. I’m sure D.C. has plenty of good people. But nowhere will you find a group as strong, loyal, humorous and ferocious as Boston. DC can have him for a bit but Marty will always be ours.”