BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts lawmakers and leaders celebrated the peaceful transition of presidential power Wednesday, releasing statements of support for the new Biden Administration.
Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton said after four years of "division and chaos," dignity and empathy have been returned to the White House.
"President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will lead us out of the darkness of this moment, by bringing us together to fight the coronavirus pandemic and heal the soul of our nation," Rep. Moulton said. "In the years ahead we will make historic progress and build a safer, stronger, more equitable country. I’m looking forward to all that lies ahead for America under the Biden-Harris Administration."
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley called Biden and Harris' inauguration "a historic, critical transition from an administration defined by cruelty, corruption, and callousness to one of empathy, compassion and grace."
Rep. Pressley said she is looking forward to tackling the task ahead with the Biden Administration.
"In President Biden and Vice President Harris, we now have thoughtful leaders committed to progress and partnership," Pressley said. "I look forward to working with them to advance bold, progressive policies that meet the scale and scope of the crises we face and honor the decisive mandate from the diverse movement that made this day possible."
Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley offered prayers and best wishes for President Biden and Vice President Harris as they undertake "the important work of governing our nation."
"We ask God’s blessings on them for good health, wisdom in all their decisions and their work of building bridges of reconciliation," Cardinal O'Malley said. "We congratulate Vice President Harris on being inaugurated the first woman, first person of color and first Asian American to serve as Vice President.
"We pray that President and Vice President enact policies that provide care for the forgotten and vulnerable, heal our nation from this deadly pandemic, welcome the immigrant, provide economic justice and opportunity for all, work to end systemic racism and promote peace across our country and throughout the world," Cardinal O'Malley continued.
In a statement, Sen. Ed Markey said "President Biden has made fighting the coronavirus pandemic a day one priority for his administration."
“With a single qualified individual to help lead our global health efforts and incentives for states to implement mask mandates, we can make significant, lifesaving progress in our fight against COVID-19. Starting today, science will finally dictate our country’s response to this health crisis," Sen. Markey said.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted her congratulations to Biden and Harris Wednesday afternoon.
"Now, we’ve got a new chance to build a country that works for everyone," Sen. Warren said, "and we’ve got to seize that opportunity."
The Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, Carol Rose, said despite the challenges facing the county, Wednesday's inauguration would be a moment for change in the U.S., "if activists, advocates, and voters continue to work for it."
"With the Biden-Harris administration now in office, urgent action is needed in their first 100 days—and beyond—to protect and extend the rights and liberties enshrined in our Constitution," Rose said. "President Biden and Vice President Harris must not only prioritize undoing the many harms of the previous administration, but work toward a vision of the country that heralds justice, fairness, and equality for all of us."
Quinsigamond Community College President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja said after the transition of power, he sincerely hopes the country can begin to come together and find common ground based on mutual respect.
"Last week, despite the violent assault on our democracy, our Constitution held strong and today we witnessed a peaceful transfer of power," Dr. Pedraja said. "While the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 threatened the cradle of democracy, today is a cause for celebration and hope for our future as we watched the swearing in of our new President."
New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan said she is "ready to get to work with President Biden, Vice President Harris, and my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, to serve all Americans. Together, we can and must begin recovering from this devastating virus that has taken more than 400,000 Americans and left so many people struggling. Like President Biden, I believe that we can and will write the next great chapter in our American story: a thriving, more just America with a seat for everyone at the table."
And New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said "The last year alone has been brutal for Granite Staters and all American families, with the coronavirus taking the lives of more than 400,000 and putting millions of Americans out of work. Getting to the other side of this crisis and helping people rebuild will require a whole of government approach. It demands a leader who will put people over politics and country over party. That leader is President Joseph R. Biden Jr."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article had wrongly attributed a quote to New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan. This article has been updated to reflect her actual statement.
Written by Brit Smith
(Photo: Getty Images)