NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As a new year was ushered in, so was a tradition in New Haven – the inauguration of local elected officials and the celebration of democracy.
Mayor Toni Harp, the first female African-American mayor of New Haven, was sworn in Monday, taking the oath with family and friends by her side.
She laid out her goals for 2018 with confidence and optimism, commenting on the great pride she feels being able to serve the Elm City fpr another two years.
Mayor Harp told News 8 her agenda includes improving infrastructure, making gains in New Haven public schools and keeping the city safe.
“We’re going to continue our reduction in crime,” Mayor Harp said. “I believe we are one of the most vibrant cities in the northeast.”
Mayor Harp also touched on the economy and the opportunity for jobs growth given the prosperous New Haven environment.
“We are poised to be the place in the state that grows the economy and grows new industry,” Harp added. “This is a time for New Haven and south-central Connecticut.
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The mayor noted that on the doorstep of Yale University, the medical field will play a major role in the growth of the bio-science industry.
Her speech, however, did take on a tone of challenges that must be overcome to move forward. Mayor Harp called the current times a divisive political climate.
“Each of us sworn in today begins this new term in, what I believe, is a particularly charged point in time,” she told the crowd.
Mayor Harp vowed to lead with goals for the common good always in mind.
“It’s my hope that there will be voices like the voices we heard 50 years ago that will sound a clarion call that we all have to come together, work together,” she stated.
Mayor Harp won re-election with nearly 77-percent of the vote against Marcus Paca.
Prior to becoming mayor, Harp served as a Connecticut state senator from 1993 to 2013.