BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Maura Healey was inaugurated Thursday, becoming the first woman elected Governor of Massachusetts.
Healey was sworn into office using a family bible that was originally owned by her great great grandmother Henrietta Porter, who was married to Jere W. Porter that fought in the Civil War for the Union.
Lt. Governor Driscoll was sworn in using a bible from the fabled House of the Seven Gables in Salem. The bible is famous through world-renowned author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel.
Former U.S. Senator John Kerry, Senator Ed Markey, and former Governors Michael Dukakis, William Weld and Deval Patrick looked on today in support.
“This is a time in our nation of poisoned discourse and ugly politics. Governors are using people, using children, as props for their cynical political agendas. Elected officials are putting partisanship over the interests of the people they serve. But not in Massachusetts. That’s not who we are. In Massachusetts, we come together. We lift people up and we lead,” said Healey during her inauguration speech.
In her inaugural address, she pledged to make Massachusetts more affordable, drive competitiveness and lead the world on climate.
Maura Healey became the first woman elected to the Governor’s desk in Massachusetts history and the first openly lesbian Governor in the country. Healey, who served as the state’s Attorney General since 2014, secured the seat against her Republican opponent, former state representative Geoff Diehl, Healey’s victory flips the Massachusetts governor’s seat blue again after eight years of leadership under Republican Charlie Baker. She campaigned on a variety of issues that included expanding affordable housing, promoting green jobs, and improving public transportation.
After the formal ceremony, they hosted their “Moving the Ball Forward” event, a nod to Governor Maura Healey’s love for basketball. There is no better place to host such a celebration than the home of the Boston Celtics.
The program had performances by Todd Angilly, Boston Arts Academy students, the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, DJ Frenchy, Abilities Dance Company, Witch Pitch, OOMPA, and Springfield’s SciTech, and the event was emceed by Eddie Palladino, the Celtics legendary public address announcer. Grammy award-winning Artist Brandi Carlile headlined that event.
“I’m thrilled to be honoring two barrier-breaking women in Maura Healey and Kim Driscoll this week,” said Brandi Carlile in a news release from the Healey-Driscoll Inaugural Committee. “As forces across this country try to sow division and anger, it fills me with hope to see women like them lead us forward with positivity and empathy. Their victories were decades in the making, and we know there is more work ahead – but now is the time to pause and celebrate this historic moment.”
22News spoke with leaders at Girls Inc of the Valley in Holyoke about this historical moment.
They told us that it’s important for the youth in their program to see the increasing female and LGBTQ+ representation at the state house.
“I hope that they see in her leadership as a governor….that you can speak about the things you care about. You can take action about the things you care about. When you are focused on your values and doing things that are good for the community…you can lead, and you can win those elections and you can become governor,” said Suzanne Parker, Girls Ink of the Valley Executive Director told 22News.
Girls Inc organizations across the state have pitched in to send a special letter as well as a care package to welcome Healey as she takes office.