Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer's Inaugural Speech
The Promising Future of Framingham
I am deeply honored that so many distinguished guests could join us this for our very first inauguration in the city of Framingham!! Here today are Representatives from the federal, state, and local government, and of course, the people of the City of Framingham. Thank you all for being here for this historic event.
To the municipal leadership team, I thank you for your countless hours of hard work during this transition. You have also designed this inaugural celebration befitting of our wonderful community. I look forward to working with all of you in the coming weeks and months.
A very special thank you to my family, who have supported me throughout my life’s journey. My family looks like Framingham - African American, Caucasian, Latino, Asian and Native American - Christian and Muslim — millennials to older adults. That is my family and I am grateful that they can be here today to share in this occasion. I know our ancestors are smiling upon me today!
As an African American woman, I came to Framingham with the promise of a job, and the hope of building a life. Framingham opened her arms to me and I graciously accepted the invitation. I started my career here. I bought a home here. I established roots here. I raised my niece here. And now, I will serve here, as the People’s Mayor of the City of Framingham.
Framingham began when Thomas Danforth accumulated over 15,000 acres west of Boston. Between 1693 and 1699 at least five attempts were made to incorporate Framingham as a town. One thing to note, as a community we are relentless when we want something to happen! Framingham succeeded in becoming a town in 1700. We have enjoyed being a town for 317 years, but just as the people spoke in 1700, they spoke in 2017.
In November, the people voted for change to support the growth of our community, the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and the prosperity of our future. As your Mayor, I humbly accept the challenge to lead our community, to fulfill our incredible potential, as we take this bold step to become a city.
And I will not do this alone. As stated in the Framingham Charter, “we are a better, more vibrant Framingham when we work collaboratively.” As your Mayor, I am looking forward to working with our City Councilors and School Committee. And we are all counting on you, the people of Framingham, to participate in our community, hold us accountable, and assist us in solving the challenges that will arise as we adjust to being a city. As a community, we can agree to disagree, but we also know that compromise brings cooperation. The goal is to build one - cohesive - city!
So where do we start?
As the People’s Mayor, my vision is that residents have an opportunity to live, work and play in Framingham. From the quiet open spaces of our farms to the vibrant energy of downtown, we are a multifaceted community. We are the home of influential businesses in finance, retail, high tech, and biotechnologies. We are the home of gems, like Framingham Baking Company and Ken’s Steak House as well as new businesses such as Jack’s Abby and Sofa Cafe. We have a vibrant cultural arts community that is committed to making Framingham a destination. So how do we keep the momentum going and attract new businesses to our city? I am putting out the shingle, “Framingham is open for business!”
In partnership with strong business development, we know that strong schools build strong communities. From pre-school to higher education, we are doing a lot of things well, and there is room to grow. Every student that attends Framingham Public Schools deserves an opportunity to learn in a supportive environment. It should not matter what part of the city you live in or what school you attend - excellence is expected throughout our community. I look forward to working together with our school committee, administration, teachers and families to provide a stellar education for all students in Framingham.
One of the strengths of Framingham is that we are a caring community. The voices of our veterans and the wisdom of our older adults will be heard and respected. I will continue to reach out and insure that their needs are taken into consideration, on housing, healthcare and social engagement.
The cornerstone of Framingham is it’s people - diverse culturally, ethnically and socio-economically. In 1994, President Bill Clinton visited Framingham. He candidly remarked that the excellence of OUR community is that it looks like America! From our first English settlers to the waves of Italian, Irish, Eastern European, Portuguese, Latino and now, our Brazilian community, the fabric of Framingham has been strongly woven with the thread of diversity. Our neighborhoods are shaped by the rich cultural influences of our people. The ultimate goal of any newcomer is to build a better life for their family, and contribute to the community. As your Mayor, I will look towards supporting these goals. I will continue to celebrate our rich diversity while expanding my knowledge and experience of cultural practices and languages. I encourage us all to reach out to each other and discover how we are woven with a similar thread.
Today here in Framingham we are making history as we celebrate becoming a city. Today, we take the next step in building our legacy. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much!”
My vision for Framingham involves all of you. What happens from this day forward is something we will shape together. Every resident and business of Framingham has a seat at our City’s table. I am honored to sit at the head of that table and lead us forward.
Today, as we celebrate becoming a city, I promise that I will always be guided by what’s best for our city. I will keep our vision and our promise in front of me. I am ready to get to work as the first Mayor, the people’s Mayor of the City of Framingham!!