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In Lynn inauguration, Mayor Nicholson brings with him a fresh perspective

This article was published 1 year(s) and 8 month(s) ago.

Jared Nicholson takes the oath of office as he officially becomes the 59th mayor of Lynn on Monday. (Jakob Menendez )

LYNN — Surrounded by members of the City Council, School Committee, state officials, friends, family and residents, Jared Nicholson took the oath as the city’s 59th mayor on Monday night.

Addressing the crowd in both English and Spanish, Nicholson affirmed his goals for Lynn, saying, “We’re committed to working together to build an administration that leads for all of us.”

The audience in the City Hall Auditorium applauded as Nicholson was escorted by Police Chief Christopher P. Reddy, Fire Chief Stephen Archer, incoming Chief of Staff Jonathan Thibault, the Nicholson transition team, his wife, Katherine Rushfirth, and son, Henry. Attendees abided by the city’s indoor-mask mandate at the event.

Nicholson, who succeeded outgoing Mayor Thomas M. McGee, thanked him for his tenure and the School Committee and City Council members sworn in before him. Nicholson, who served for six years on the School Committee before he was elected as mayor, vowed to make Lynn a city for all, and promised more opportunities and equity under his administration.

“Even in Lynn, that path to opportunity has gotten narrower. If it closes off here, where can it possibly exist? But, if it stays open for those of us who face the stiffest challenges, it will be that much smoother for every one of us,” he said.

These opportunities that Nicholson mentioned in his speech include affordable housing, education reform, job creation and community building — all topics he focused on during his mayoral campaign against City Council President Darren Cyr, who represented Ward 3.

“Where the price of housing doesn’t practically bar huge portions of the population from living there; where there are genuine pathways to good jobs; where the schools are not just technically open to all but practically ready to educate children no matter where they start from; where people feel at peace in their community because it’s safe and because they feel accepted and embraced,” said Nicholson.

For Nicholson, this speech was not one establishing victory — rather a speech to highlight the goals he has for the city. He said Lynn can be an example for others across the commonwealth and the country to push beyond economic and racial barriers.

“And, as we do that, to tell that story, to remind the commonwealth and the country that the promise of a place that’s for all of us is meaningless without the ability to deliver. And that the ability to deliver on that promise should be the example we all aspire to in 2022. The modern version of the city on a hill, where barriers to opportunity are overcome in practice, not just on paper,” Nicholson said.

The inauguration displayed the diversity and history of Lynn. Flags from different countries were adorned across the stage as performers danced in different cultural styles.

Politicians from the North Shore were in attendance, including former Lynn mayors, McGee, Judith Flanagan Kennedy and Al DiVirgilio, state Reps. Daniel Cahill and Peter Capano of Lynn, Rep. Paul F. Tucker of Salem and Congressman Seth Moulton, whose district includes Lynn.

Moulton spoke to Nicholson, the City Council and School Committee, saying that he was proud of the incoming administration and members. He praised incoming Ward 3 City Councilor Constantino “Coco” Alinsug, and said he made history as the first Filipino-American elected, not only to City Council, but to public office in New England.  

Moulton said he expects a lot from Nicholson, and said that his administration could be the one to bring the Blue Line to Lynn and create more affordable housing. To the City Council, Moulton said simply, “Be a true partner to the mayor.”

Additionally, Nicholson was not the only change in leadership that night, as the City Council elected Jay Walsh of Ward 7 to succeed Cyr as the City Council president.  

As mayor, Nicholson will act as the chair of the Lynn School Committee, a body familiar to him as he served as a member from 2015 until his inauguration. The new School Committee members sworn in Monday night were Lennin “Lenny” Pena, Eric C. Dugan, and Tiffany Magnolia.  

Whether he is acting as the chair of the School Committee, working alongside the state legislature or meeting with constituents, Nicholson said he does not see his job as a one-man operation, but rather a job that involves the whole city.  

“So many have worked so hard to put us in this position where we have what we need to kindle the glow of our example of a city that’s true for all of us,” he said.

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