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In A Day Of Firsts, Framingham Becomes A City And Yvonne Spicer Becomes Mayor

Yvonne Spicer took the oath of office on a bible held by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Katherine Clark.
Mark Herz/WGBH News

With Monday's historic inauguration of Yvonne Spicer, Framingham is now the newest city in Massachusetts.

And the inauguration is historic for two reasons — Spicer is now the first mayor of Framingham in its 317-year history, and she's the first African-American woman to be popularly elected as mayor in Massachusetts history.

Spicer took her oath of office on a bible held by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Katherine Clark.

Spicer will be leading one of the state's most diverse communities, something she underscored in her inaugural speech.

"My family looks like Framingham,” said Spicer. “We are African-American, Caucasian, Latino, Asian, Native American, Christian, Muslim, millennials, and older adults."

While Framingham boasts large, well-known corporations like Bose, economic development was a major issue in the campaign, which Spicer addressed in her inaugural speech.

"I will tell you as mayor I'm putting out a shingle,” Spicer said. “We are open for business. Framingham is open for new business."

Framingham has four under-performing schools — Spicer says she will enlist help from the business community to meet her goal of educational excellence for all of the city's students.

“In partnership with strong business development, we know that strong schools build strong communities from preschool to higher education,” Spicer said.

The city has a socio-economic split between a wealthier north side and a lower-income south side. Spicer alluded to that in her inaugural speech as well.

It should not matter what part of the city you live in or what school you attend,” Spicer said. “Excellence is expected throughout our community.”

Spicer said in her first month she plans to set goals for this year, and to get out in her city and be visible to the public on a regular basis as she promised in her campaign. 

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