I had a pretty good seat for yesterday’s swearing-in ceremonies for the newly-elected and re-elected in Seattle city government. This was definitely the best attended and most “pomp and circumstance” of the inaugurations I’ve seen.
After Councilmember O’Brien was sworn in by his sons (Elliott and Wyatt), Councilmember Licata by his wife (Andrea Okomski), and Councilmember Bagshaw by her husband (Brad), Councilmember Sawant took the stage to applause, hoots and chants to be sworn in by Nicole Grant of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. You’ve probably read a bit about Councilmember Sawant’s speech already. It didn’t disappoint.
Former Washington State Governor and Ambassador to China Gary Locke swore in Mayor Ed Murray with Mayor Murray’s husband Michael Shiosaki holding the 18th century Gaelic bible for the Mayor’s left hand. The Mayor also had with him rosary beads brought from Ireland by his grandmother when she emigrated. A proudly unreconstructed Democratic progressive, the Mayor’s speech also disappoint with good quotes from FDR and JFK.
Before the Mayor made his remarks, the Washington State Poet Laureate, Kathleen Flenniken, read a poem she built for the day. It does a wonderful job of name-checking scads of Seattle people, places and icons, but more than that it conveys both a yearning to do better and a love of place.
Pulling off yesterday’s event took a lot of work over the holidays by the City Clerk and her staff and the City’s Facilities staff. Nice work all around. And thanks to all of you who attended.
Now, onto the work of 2014.