By Seth Daniel
If Monday’s inauguration is any indicator, don’t expect new East Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards to be all that distracted by the pomp and circumstance of City Hall.
A veteran of department-level work in the Hall for a few years, Edwards stepped up on Monday, Jan. 1, to be inaugurated with the Council and Mayor Martin Walsh in a grand ceremony at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in downtown Boston New Year’s Day morning.
“I am honored and excited to serve with humility and compassion,” she said following the ceremony. “We have the best opportunity to lead the city in how to get big things done while not forgetting our history or character of our neighborhoods. “
In attendance was former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, State Speaker Bob DeLeo, Gov. Charlie Baker and Congressmen Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch – to name but a few.
It was a star studded, packed house, and all eyes were on the stage where Edwards stood.
However, she said later, it was right before the first Council meeting at City Hall on Monday at noon where it all came into focus.
“It’s still very surreal,” she said following the Council meeting at noon, which followed the inauguration on Monday. “It was amazing how it all happened and it’s so easy to get caught up in the pomp and circumstance. However, afterward, when we were here at City Hall before the meeting, I met a woman who was serving coffee in the Green Room. She said hello to me and told me that she had voted for me. It turns out she is a Latina woman from East Boston and she was at work on New Year’s Day. It made me see that here was a hard-working woman who came out to work on a cold day, on New Year’s Day, when most aren’t working. It said something about hard-working people who show up on a day like this. I’m here to work for them.”
Edwards said she has already started plans for a listening tour throughout the district, and will have dates shortly for her district, which includes Eastie, Charlestown and the North End. Already, at her post-inauguration party at Kelley’s Square Pub in Eastie, the feeling was that it was a “working” party.
“At the party, we planned on having stations on housing and stations on transportation so we can start learning about the issues in the district,” she said.
She said she has plans to also make her City Hall office inviting to the public – unveiling the idea that they will have a mural painted in the office that is voted upon by the people of District 1.
“I want people in the district to feel my office in City Hall is the place to be for things that are happening in District 1,” she said. “We’re going to launch a effort to decorate my office and a contest to paint a mural there.”
She also said she needed to thank former Councilor Sal LaMattina – whom she said took her under her wing right after the election.
“I have to thank him over and over again,” she said. “He really took me under his wing. A lot of people don’t get that from their predecessor.”
Finally, she said no matter who anyone supported in the election, now she represents all of them.
“Whether you were with me on Nov. 7 or someone else, we’re all here together on Jan. 1, and we have a whole lot to get done,” she said.
The Boston City Council, including new District 1 Councilor Lydia Edwards (second from right), take the Oath of Office from Mayor Martin Walsh during the City Inauguration ceremony Monday, Jan. 1, at the Cutler Majestic Theatre.
Photo by Seth Daniel
New Councilor Lydia Edwards takes a family photo at her desk in the City Council Chambers at City Hall on Monday, right after the first meeting of the year. Edwards is pictured (L-R) with her mother Bridgett Edwards, her husband Roger Mauriz and her twin sister, Erika Edwards.