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After eight years, Massachusetts stands ready for a new governor.
For the first time since 2015, a Democrat will hold the corner office in the State House when Gov.-elect Maura Healey is sworn in to succeed outgoing Republican Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday morning.
With Kim Driscoll, the Salem mayor turned lieutenant governor-elect, the Healey-Driscoll administration marks a historic milestone, even for a commonwealth long accustomed to making history.
The incoming administration is the first all-woman state leadership team in Massachusetts and in the country, and Healey is slated to become the nation’s first openly lesbian governor.
Healey and Driscoll will be sworn in inside the House chamber of the Massachusetts State House at 11:30 a.m. Their inaugural addresses will immediately follow, according to the Inaugural Committee.
“The formal swearing-in ceremony at the State House will feature the National Anthem performed by Berklee College of Music alum and instructor, Lydia Harrell,” the committee said in a press release. “The ceremony will feature an additional musical performance by fellow Berklee alum Precious Perez, a classically trained pop/R&B and Latin vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and disability advocate.”
Later, at 5 p.m., the pair will host their “Moving the Ball Forward” inaugural celebration at TD Garden.
Celtics public address announcer Eddie Palladino will serve as emcee, while Todd Angilly, the anthem singer of the Boston Bruins, will provide the National Anthem alongside The Spirituals Ensemble from Boston Arts Academy (BAA).
Announced in December, the event — with a nod to Healey’s and Driscoll’s time as college and professional basketball players — will mark and celebrate the historic nature of the incoming administration.
“This inauguration will be a celebration of teamwork, positivity and breaking barriers — and there’s no better place to hold the event than at TD Garden,” Healey said in a statement earlier this month. “It’s about looking forward to the future and engaging directly with people about how we can deliver for them across this Commonwealth.”
Driscoll, in a statement, said the administration hopes that “anyone who attends this celebration will feel proud of Massachusetts’ history and excited about the bright future ahead.
“We’re looking forward to honoring the fearless and groundbreaking women who made this moment possible, and laying the foundation for those who will follow us,” Driscoll said.
The celebration is open to the public, although tickets are required. Tickets were sold out as of Thursday morning, according to the Inaugural Committee.
“Attendees can expect a fun, moving, and once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Healey-Driscoll Inauguration,” Inaugural Committee co-chair and event planner Bryan Rafanelli said in a statement. “This will be a celebration of these two incredible women leaders, the people of Massachusetts, and how they will deliver in the years ahead.”
According to organizers, attendees can expect guest speakers, music, and activities as part of the festivities, as well as performances from high schools across Massachusetts, including the Everett High School marching band and Witch Pitch, Salem High School’s a capella group.
Six-time Grammy Award-winning musician Brandi Carlile will headline the event, Healey announced on Tuesday.
“As forces across this country try to sow division and anger, it fills me with hope to see women like them lead us forward with positivity and empathy,” Carlile said in a statement. “Their victories were decades in the making, and we know there is more work ahead — but now is the time to pause and celebrate this historic moment.”
The committee also shared this information Thursday about other performers:
- The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, one of New England’s largest and most successful community-based choruses. Founded in 1982, the over 200-voice ensemble is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming, groundbreaking community outreach and an innovative educational program.
- Lynn native DJ Frenchy, recent recipient of the “Advancing Equity Award” from Mass Now and a Board member of Trans Resistance MA.
- Abilities Dance Boston, a dance company dedicated to using dance as a tool for intersectional disability rights in the greater Boston area and beyond. The company focuses on engaging with the community to further promote their mission, organizing intersectional disability rights lectures and movement workshops for all ages.
- OOMPA is a nationally-acclaimed, Boston-born, hip hop artist. She was named one of NPR’s 2020 Slingshot Artists to Watch and her engaging, interactive performing style has earned her 3 Boston Music Awards, including a recent victory for Best Live Act in 2022, amongst an unprecedented 14 nominations.
- SciTech Band, the award-winning Springfield High School of Science and Technology Band Program and subject of a national documentary about the transformative power of student ownership in the classroom. Known to city residents as “The Pride of Springfield,” the SciTech Band Program is committed to empowering student leaders. Band students received the Massachusetts Commonwealth Award, the state’s highest honor given for achievement in the arts. Following their motto “Seek to Serve,” band leaders actively mentor younger students through Springfield’s Mentoring Through Music Program.
While the transition process is not over yet, the Healey-Driscoll administration has steadily announced a few of its picks for key positions in the executive branch.
Among the appointments are Kate Cook, who will be chief of staff; Matthew Gorzkowicz, who will serve as secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance; and Gabrielle Viator, who will serve as senior adviser.
Patrick Tutwiler, senior program officer for education at the Barr Foundation, will serve as secretary of the Executive Office of Education, and Melissa Hoffer, principal deputy counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency, will serve as the state’s first climate chief.
The administration has also announced it will tap Gina Fiandaca, the assistant city manager of Austin, as secretary of the Department of Transportation, and Monica Tibbits-Nutt, executive director of the 128 Business Council, as the undersecretary of transportation.
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