The following are the complete inaugrual remarks of Mayor Brian Arrigo at the City of Revere’s Inaugural ceremony on Monday, Jan. 6:
Good evening everyone.
To the members of the City Council and school committee; to our invited guests – thank you for joining us tonight.
I want to begin by thanking my family for all their support- my mother Paula, my wife Daveen, my two boys Joseph and Jack, thank you for all of your love and support.
I also want to express my particular gratitude to Senator Markey, to Governor Baker, and to Speaker DeLeo for being here tonight.
They are not only colleagues; they are individuals who – in their own ways — have influenced and supported my career
• Senator Markey – Years ago I worked as an intern in your office in DC and I learned so much about the political process
• Governor Baker – I have enjoyed a close working relationship with you and I was honored when you endorsed my candidacy last year.
• Mr. Speaker – I know I will always be a Senate guy in your eyes…I know, I could of been a contender if I worked in the House…but seriously, it has been an honor and privilege to work with you, all the way back to those ways and means days to today…you have always been a great friend to the City of Revere.
The presence of three of the state’s most important leaders is a unique distinction for our City.
Their interest in and support for Revere speaks to the moment that Revere is experiencing right now.
We are establishing ourselves as a leader in the Commonwealth.
Tonight, we come together as elected officials, residents, and neighbors, to focus on Revere’s future – a future that will be built on the solid foundation laid over the last four years.
Look around at what’s happening in Revere today.
At long last, we see progress throughout our city.
We see progress in an innovative city government that until recently, trailed neighboring communities in providing online services that make it simpler and more convenient to interact with city hall.
Now, Revere is winning awards for our use of technology.
We see this progress in a public works department and a water and sewer department that finally have the resources they need to maintain reliable infrastructure, and provide cleaner, safer streets, sidewalks, and parks for all of our residents.
We see this progress in highly-skilled and dedicated public safety departments: police officers, firefighters and first responders supplied with the training and equipment they need to protect and serve the public.
We see this progress in a school department that continues to set the standard for urban public education in the Commonwealth.
We see this progress as new restaurants and hotels open, continuing the revitalization of our historic beach.
And we see this progress as prominent businesses show their confidence in Revere’s leadership by investing here, creating jobs here, and building an economy — here.
Not long ago, this kind of progress, and this level of optimism about Revere’s future, was mostly wishful thinking.
For decades, we watched other communities thrive, while we fell behind.
We were content to maintain the status quo.
Our historic beach, once a popular seaside resort, declined into a collection of dive bars and dreary vacant lots.
Revere became just a pass-through for people on their way to the airport, or a place for someone to park while they took public transportation into Boston.
For far too long, our city languished.
This never made sense.
Revere is blessed with a natural crescent beachfront located barely six miles from Boston.
Revere is home to an industrious population, never afraid of a hard day’s work.
Revere boasts public transportation access to Logan Airport and downtown Boston.
But despite these assets — despite Revere’s tremendous potential — we suffered from a poor reputation.
That reputation stunted our progress.
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of everyone in this room, we can all celebrate the fact that those days are gone.
When the voters of Revere went to the polls in November, they sent a message not just to me, but to each and every one of us in elected office.
Their collective voice declared that Revere’s time has come.
We will not turn back the clock, and we welcome the future.
We will shape that future together.
In City Hall, we will continue to foster a culture that embraces technology and transparency.
We will continue to respect and welcome every resident – no matter their age, nationality, or how long they’ve lived in Revere – and ensure that everyone can easily interact with their city government.
We will continue to attract businesses into our city that will produce a sustainable economy right here at home.
Future development at Suffolk Downs and Wonderland will come to symbolize the new Revere, replacing the shuttered race tracks that once symbolized the old Revere.
New hotels and restaurants will continue to open.
So will the small businesses that are the lifeblood of any community.
A new Revere High School is on the horizon – a building that will not only epitomize our commitment to state-of-the-art public education, but also will function as a central location of community activity and engagement.
We will build a long-awaited new DPW facility, and supply our workers with the equipment and resources they need to provide tangible results when our residents ask to get a pothole filled, a sidewalk repaired, a storm drain cleared, or a water main fixed.
A new Alden Mills Fire Station will enhance public safety in the Point of Pines, Riverside and along the beachfront.
We will continue the work we did over the last four years to reduce water and sewer rates, expand tax exemptions for vulnerable populations, and pursue every opportunity to help keep our hard-working residents in their homes.
We will elevate our commitment to recreation, and public health so we can improve the quality of life for all residents.
Over the next year, we will secure a partner to work with us to renovate the old McKinley School.
That building will be transformed into a multi-use space that will serve seniors and veterans with healthcare services and recreation opportunities.
We will create a healthier, safer city by enacting our Open Space plan.
Under this plan, we will work with partners to create more recreational opportunities for residents of all ages and all abilities; protect and preserve our natural resources; develop facilities and programs that promote health and fitness, and improve the stewardship and maintenance of our parks.
Our partnership with HYM at Suffolk Downs will lead to the creation of 40 acres of publicly-accessible open and recreational space.
Additionally, we are partnering with an organization called The Guild to design and activate a connected network of indoor and open air sites across our city.
These spaces will be protected from redevelopment and preserved for the enjoyment of residents.
This spring, we will launch a pilot program in partnership with the Guild called Activity Across Revere.
This initiative will enliven these spaces with programming designed to make our community healthier and more vibrant.
Through this partnership, we will see more community gardens, yoga and group fitness classes, and cultural and social events.
We will establish the Revere Youth Leadership Council, to ensure that the next generation has a voice in their future, and a Revere Arts Council to promote high-quality, community-based arts programming across the city.
Additionally, we will establish a faith-based advisory group.
Our city is home to a vibrant, diverse array of religious organizations, representing many backgrounds and beliefs.
We will bring these groups together, so we can more effectively communicate with our residents and address their needs.
Along this journey into our future, Revere will retain its unique character and identity.
• We will remain a city that welcomes everyone, celebrating our history and our diversity.
• We will continue to be an engine of upward mobility – where hardworking residents can provide for their family while being offered pathways to an even better life.
• And we will be a city where we support one another, no matter our differences, because– above all– we take fierce pride in what it means to be from Revere.
Make no mistake: growth does not come without challenges.
These growing pains, if left unaddressed or poorly managed, can cause serious problems.
Winston Churchill is often credited with saying
“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”
In Revere, we see opportunity.
Over the next four years, we will seize our opportunities, while working together to minimize the challenges that accompany growth.
As substantial investment arrives in Revere, it is our responsibility to make sure that our residents are well-positioned to benefit from the booming local economy.
To that end,
• We will invest in workforce development and training for our residents, and expand support for locally-owned businesses.
• We will partner with employers like Amazon to host job fairs and training programs.
• We will shape the Innovation Center at Suffolk Downs, which will serve as an incubator for business ideas and employment opportunities for Revere residents.
• We will conduct a citywide business survey to identify the primary needs of small, family-owned businesses, and develop technical assistance programs to help address those needs.
• We will expand the city’s storefront improvement program, which has already helped beautify and revitalize the Broadway and Shirley Ave districts.
• As emerging industries like biotech and life sciences take root in Revere and throughout our region, we will make sure that the new Revere High School is equipped to train our students to study and pursue careers in these fields.
• And we will work to stimulate opportunities for food vendors, artists, and unique entrepreneurs who see Revere as a viable place to originate and to flourish.
Every step we take will bolster Revere’s reputation as a place where people want to live and work.
Growth will also provide the impetus and the revenue to address traffic challenges.
As an example, the Suffolk Downs project includes nearly $50 million dollars in off-site traffic improvements that will yield direct benefit to congestion points along Route 1A, Route 16, and Route 1.
Thanks to Speaker DeLeo and Governor Baker – we received funding to improve signalization on Broadway.
And we will work with our partners in state government to extend that technology to other trouble spots throughout the city.
Amazon’s arrival, and future development at Wonderland, will strengthen our case for a commuter rail stop that can relieve some of the traffic from the North Shore that clogs our streets every morning.
On a regional level, I have aligned with the Chief Executives of cities along the North Shore as we promote innovative transit solutions to tackle our regional congestion issues.
We will band together to advocate for more frequent and reliable commuter rail service; a connection between the blue and red lines on the T; and expanded bus rapid transit.
Later this year, I will also be forming the Revere Airport Hazard Committee to drive our community’s advocacy for mitigation from Massport.
Together, we will fight for the relief our residents demand and deserve to offset the increased traffic, noise and pollution from the continuing expansion of Logan Airport.
We will also push our state delegation to enact effective regulations on ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft.
The popularity of these apps has contributed substantially to traffic and congestion in our city.
Last year alone, nearly one million rides originated in Revere, many of them from people who park in Revere then hail a ride to Logan or to the T.
We will fight to mitigate the impact these services have on our neighborhoods.
As Revere becomes a more desirable place to live and work, we are seeing an impact on the cost of living for homeowners and renters alike.
To help address this, we will seek to create an Office of Housing Stability, which will provide resources and support to Revere’s first-time homebuyers, working-class homeowners, and renters across the city.
We will continue to encourage investments that support veterans and senior citizens, such as new housing on Shirley Ave that has provided a welcoming and supportive community for those who have sacrificed so much to protect us.
As we have done for the past four years, we will demand that any future development provides community benefits for existing residents, including investments to tackle issues like traffic congestion and affordability in Revere.
Additionally, we will work to expand tax break programs for vulnerable residents, such as the senior tax exemption passed by the voters and the city council in 2017.
As we acknowledge, progress presents challenges.
But let’s be clear: the challenges caused by progress and prosperity are significantly better than the challenges caused by continued stagnation.
If we resist progress, we relegate ourselves to a struggling local economy, weakened public services, and urban decay.
We’ve seen that in our past.
We will not repeat it in our future.
We will tackle the challenges of progress and growth – as well as new challenges that are forthcoming, such as climate change and sea level rise – with determination, foresight, and thoughtful planning.
Later this year, we will unveil our city’s first Master Plan in over 45 years.
The idea behind the master planning process was a simple but powerful one:
We wanted to take the time to listen to residents of all ages and all backgrounds, and give them a voice in our city’s future.
We wanted to think beyond just the next election or the next few years.
We wanted to explore and shape what Revere might look like for the next 10, 20, or 50 years.
“Next Stop Revere” garnered feedback from residents across the city, and will provide guidance for City leaders to address the broad range of issues that will arise in the years to come.
The strategies laid out in the master plan will help us manage transportation, housing, open space, energy and climate, public health, economic development, and public facilities – virtually every element that will shape Revere’s future.
When the voters of Revere went to the polls in November, every one of them did so because they care about our City.
Yes, campaigns and elections expose differences of opinion.
But regardless of our political beliefs, backgrounds or perspectives, I know this for certain: everyone who voted wants the best for Revere.
We can and will seek common ground to tackle the challenges facing our community.
Of course, different opinions will cause us to disagree.
And that’s okay.
The most effective leaders disagree without being disagreeable.
We best serve our community by listening to each other, respecting each other’s opinion, and finding solutions together.
That level of cooperation is what the people of Revere deserve.
I promise each and every resident of our city: my door is always open to your feedback, your ideas, and your participation in making Revere a better place.
I am confident that Revere is moving in the right direction.
It is up to us to keep it that way.
Fellow residents of Revere, this is our team.
This is your team.
Some of us have years of experience, and some of us are brand new to City government.
The voters of Revere entrusted all of us to work together and deliver on Revere’s enormous potential.
As we set out tonight on a new decade, let us dare to make this the decade that our city rises to become a symbol of excellence and opportunity – a city that promises a brilliant future for our children, our grandchildren, and generations to come.
Thank you, and best wishes to all of you for a happy and healthy 2020!