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Who Is Kim Janey? Boston City Council President Would Make History As Mayor

BOSTON (CBS) -- Boston is set to have a new mayor after news broke Thursday that President-Elect Joe Biden intends to nominate Mayor Marty Walsh for Labor Secretary. If and when Walsh steps down as mayor, Boston City Council President Kim Janey would become acting mayor and make history in the process.

Janey would be the first woman and first person of color to serve as mayor of Boston. WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller said she would likely become one of at least three candidates for mayor in this year's election, joining fellow City Councilors Andrea Campbell and Michelle Wu who have already declared they are running.

Janey grew up in Roxbury, and is a graduate of the Boston and Reading Public Schools, as well as Smith College. She was elected the first woman to represent District 7 in 2017, and was voted president of the council in 2020.

kim janey boston
Boston City Council President Kim Janey (Photo credit: Boston City Council)

She has worked with a number of local advocacy groups, including MassVOTE, the Boston NAACP, the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus and Massachusetts Advocates for Children.

"As a young girl growing up in Roxbury, she experienced the racial and economic disparities in our communities through our schools," her biography on the City Council website states. "Through her family, however, Kim learned the power of community organizing, resistance, and advocacy."

In an interview with Keller upon becoming City Council president in 2020, Janey said she was focused on closing the wealth gap in Boston.

"We have to create opportunities, whether it's by supporting small business owners, whether it's helping families purchase their first home, whether it's our city contracts, whether it's construction jobs, we have to do more to ensure that there's shared prosperity," she said.

Janey, who went to Reading schools as part of the METCO program, has said education is a priority. She told Keller investments must target those who need it most, "that's our English language learners, students with disabilities, Black and brown children who may not have the same out of school experiences that some of their peers have."

The late former Boston Mayor Tom Menino rose from City Council president to acting mayor in 1993 when then-Mayor Ray Flynn was appointed to the Vatican. Menino went on to run for election to mayor and stayed in office for 20 years.

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