Marty Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, has resigned as Mayor of the City of Boston after being confirmed by the US Senate to be the next US Secretary of Labor.
"I am incredibly honored and privileged to serve as the United States’ next Secretary of Labor," Walsh said in a statement on March 22 after he was confirmed in the US Senate with a bipartisan vote of 68 - 29.
"I am grateful for the bipartisan support of members of the Senate, and I want to thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for their confidence in my ability to lead the Department of Labor during such a critical time in our nation’s history.
“As the son of immigrants and a former union laborer, I share their deep commitment to building an economy that works for all. I have been a fighter for the rights of working people throughout my career, and I remain committed to ensuring that everyone – especially those in our most marginalized communities – receives and benefits from full access to economic opportunity and fair treatment in the workplace.
"I believe we must meet this historic moment and, as the nation’s Secretary of Labor, I pledge to help our economy build back better.”
After the Senate vote on Monday, Walsh shared his resignation letter on Twitter and announced that Boston City Council President Kim Janey will take over his duties as Mayor of Boston:
This evening, I officially resigned as Mayor of the City of Boston. I am deeply proud of the work we have done together to advance our city and all its people.March 23, 2021
Walsh congratulated Janey, who becomes both the first female and first Black Mayor of Boston:
Congratulations on making history, @Kim_Janey. I know you are going to continue serving our city and supporting an equitable recovery from #COVID19. I am always here for you, my friend. pic.twitter.com/rR3lrOoMBy— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) March 22, 2021
He also shared a video reflecting on his time as Mayor of Boston, a role he had held since 2014:
Boston, serving as your Mayor for seven years has been a dream come true for this child of immigrants born and raised in our city. Thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/fcKsaIk2Zd— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) March 22, 2021
Both of Walsh’s parents are from rural areas of Connemara in the west of Ireland. After heading for the US in the mid-1950s, the two met in Boston, married, and had two children.
In 2018, Mayor Walsh became the first person to receive the Freedom of Galway Award in Ireland. At the time, he told IrishCentral: "The people I represent live in the city of Boston, but I also feel I represent the people of Connemara and I am proud of that."
Joe Biden announced Marty Walsh, who he described as his "good friend and stand-up guy," as his nomination for US Secretary of Labor back in January.
Noting that Walsh is the son of Irish immigrants, Biden said, jokingly: "The only downside, they're not from Mayo, they're from Galway."
Upon his nomination, Walsh said: “The word labor means everything to me.
"As you mentioned earlier, Mr. President-elect, my mother and father came to this country as immigrants from Galway, which is in Ireland, but from a part of Galway called Connemara.
“They brought with them their willing hands, their honest hearts, and hopes for the American dream. But all they needed, because my father joined the Laborers Union in Boston, was that opportunity.
“And that’s why my parents were able to raise my brother John and myself with dignity and security in the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, working-class neighborhood of Dorchester in the city of Boston."