CLEVELAND — A new era has begun in Cleveland, as Justin Bibb was sworn in as the city's 58th mayor just after midnight on Monday.
Bibb officially took the oath of office at the Cleveland Public Library's East 131st Street branch, located in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood where he grew up. Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Michael Nelson administered the oath of office, which Bibb repeated as he laid his left hand on a bible being held by his mother, Charlene.
We streamed the moment Mayor Bibb was sworn in shortly after midnight Monday, which you can watch in the player below:
"The mayor's seat does not belong to one man or one woman; it belongs to the people of Cleveland," the new mayor said in a short speech, echoing words from his campaign launch almost a year ago. "As I just took that oath, we the people, we take that oath together."
A former non-profit executive, the 34-year-old Bibb topped a crowded primary field before besting City Council President Kevin Kelley by 26 points in the general election. He has promised to bring change to a city that has seen rising crime and poverty coupled with a dwindling population, with one of his first duties being the search for a new police chief following the resignation of Calvin D. Williams (Bibb had pledged not to retain him).
"Change is not coming from Washington any time soon," Bibb told those in attendance at the library. "It's going to come from cities like Cleveland, Boston, Tulsa, and New York, and as your mayor, I'm sure we are going to lead the way."
Bibb has already named several members of his cabinet, and his first official act as mayor on this early morning was to swear in Mark D. Griffin as law director. Among those being sworn in later Monday will be new chief government affairs officer Ryan Puente, who ran Bibb's successful campaign.
"These unprecedented times demanded a new brand of political leadership, and together, we wrote a new playbook for Cleveland's politics," Puente said before introducing Wilson for the oath. "We've just finished the first chapter."
Bibb replaces Frank G. Jackson, whose 16-year tenure was the longest by any mayor in Cleveland history. Jackson did not seek a fifth term and was not at Monday's ceremony, but could attend this weekend's public swearing in downtown.
Cleveland's charter mandates a mayoral term to begin on the first Monday in January after an election, but Bibb's ceremonial inauguration will not take place until Saturday, when Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart will administer the oath of office before a virtual audience at Public Auditorium.