Bruce Harrell began his term today, January 1, as Seattle’s first elected Asian American mayor.
Harrell declined the pomp and circumstance of a formal ceremony due to omicron, and instead accepted the oath of office in his home last week, reported the Seattle Times.
“With rising COVID numbers, the mayor-elect has decided to forgo a large public event, and instead hold a ceremonial inauguration event with press and a few members of his team …,” Jamie Housen, communications director for Harrell, said Thursday.
A smaller event will be held Tuesday, January 4.
Harrell is of Japanese American and Black descent announced seven new members of his leadership team on Wednesday, according to My Northwest.
Kendee Yamaguchi will take over as deputy mayor of external affair.s
Harrell hired Matt Chan as special adviser for public engagement.
“Over the past several months, I have heard – in transition meetings and on the street, with city leaders and with everyday neighbors – calls for a representative and responsive City government. My executive team and cabinet are being built with that priority front of mind,” Harrell said in a statement. “I’m excited by the team of leaders we’ve convened to effectively move Seattle forward. In my administration, you’ll see our staff truly engage with the community – visible and accessible to all, empowered to take action, and committed to seeking the solutions that drive positive change.”
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