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The Calvary Baptist Church Choir belted out "Glory Hallelujah," and Jackie Biskupski was sworn in as Salt Lake City's 35th mayor its second female and its first openly gay chief executive.
After the ceremony on City Hall's east steps before about 500 well-wishers, Biskupski said it was a "historic moment for equality that no one should take lightly."
"We have work to do still," she said. "We must pursue equality for everyone."
In short, the new mayor made history Monday. Now, she wants to make a difference.
Biskupski said she takes office with "a spirit of optimism."
"As your new mayor," she said, "I commit to building an inclusive and welcoming city worthy of the unique history and legacy of this place we call home."
The city faces many challenges but can overcome them as a community and become better.
"We gather together as a community," she said, "to affirm our belief in the strength of our future."
Biskupski took the oath from Judge Shauna Graves-Robertson, Salt Lake County's presiding judge. Graves-Robertson also was the lead singer in the Calvary choir's rousing rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
In her inaugural speech, the mayor included themes from the campaign: economic development, air quality, homelessness, crime and investment in the west side.
"Our city has always served as the crossroads of the West," she said. "We have benefited not only from our strategic location, but from the energy and entrepreneurial spirit of the people who live here."
She pledged to take the lead working with other municipalities in the battle against smog. The present state of the Salt Lake Valley's air is, she said, "unacceptable."
Although the mayor didn't spell out details on crime fighting, Biskupski said during the campaign that the city's Police Department would work more closely with other agencies, such as her former employer, the Unified Police Department, to crack down on drug trafficking downtown.
For the past eight years, she has been a top executive in the office of Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder.
On homelessness, she pledged support for the Collective Impact Steering Committee's initiative to disperse homeless people from Rio Grande Street's services into new and smaller shelters.
For the first time, Biskupski called for a "technology corridor" to attract new and established high-tech businesses, the likes of which are now being lured to Utah County.
"In Salt Lake City, we have world-class institutions producing the brightest minds," she said, "and we have the know-how to develop an infrastructure that promotes and incubates innovation."
Biskupski briefly outlined a "cultural core," where arts in the city would be integrated into economic development.
"We will work together with our local artists, musicians, dancers, performers and county partners to create a cultural core we have long envisioned," she said. "We will integrate arts in a way we have never done before, making it a key component of our overall economic development plan."
Every officeholder gets a honeymoon. But former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson said the city's new boss should waste little time making residents aware of what she is doing and "solidify her message."
"She doesn't carry a mandate," he said of her 52 percent to 48 percent victory over two-term incumbent Ralph Becker. "So it's important the new mayor state strongly short-term goals."
Inside City Hall, Wilson said that choosing a staff is critical to the mayor's success.
"There is a tension between those who got you elected and those who have been working for the city," he said. "You can't be too anxious to replace folks with the ones who got you elected. On the other hand, it's good to have new energy in City Hall."
Biskupski already has named Patrick Leary, Salt Lake County's former executive for townships services, as her chief of staff; and David Litvack, the former county criminal justice advisory council director, is her deputy chief of staff.
Newcomer Matthew Rojas has been appointed director of communications.
The mayor retained Yolanda Francisco-Nez as the city's director of the Office of Diversity and Human Rights.
Biskupski faces an "incredibly steep learning curve," said former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. Not only must she learn the ins and outs of city government she also oversees the Redevelopment Agency and a major international airport.
There are bound to be urgencies that require immediate action as she learns the job. "People need to know we have a new mayor," Anderson said. "She's got to move efficiently on all the promises she made during the campaign."
Throughout her electoral push, Biskupski vowed to listen to residents. On Monday, she said she will seek input from city employees, too.
"You will see me in your offices, precincts, firehouses, the airport, our fleet garages and sanitation facilities," she said. "While I may not get my hands as dirty as some of you, I can assure you this is a hands-together administration."
Also taking office Monday were new council members Andrew Johnston in District 2 and Derek Kitchen in District 4. District 6 Councilman Charlie Luke was sworn in for a second term.
Kitchen, of Kitchen v. Herbert fame, was one of six plaintiffs in the landmark victory that paved the way for same-sex marriage in Utah.
After taking the oath, he turned and kissed his husband, Moudi Sbeity, as the crowd broke out in cheers and applause.