Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, was sworn into office on Jan. 16 at the Emerson Colonial Theatre by U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel.
Healey will begin her second term as attorney general following her re-election in November 2018.
“I am so grateful and psyched to be able to serve as your attorney general for the next four years,” Healey said during her inaugural address. “It was just four years ago that I said the attorney general’s job is to be ‘the people’s lawyer.’ That’s what we have tried to be.”
In a white dress, Healey noted her efforts to respond to the opioid crisis, defend gun laws, and protect civil rights.
“In our own time, people across our state—many in this room—organized and advocated and made us the first state to declare that healthcare is a right, not a privilege and that you can marry the person you love,” Healey, who is the state’s first openly gay attorney general, said, “This is Massachusetts.”
Between 1,200 and 1,400 people attended the event, according to an email Emerson College Police Department Chief Robert Smith sent to the Emerson community on Jan. 16.
“Our biggest concern for an event like this is the foot traffic when the event gets out, so we have a couple extra officers to keep everything clear and orderly. Other than that I think it should go smoothly,” Smith said in an interview with the Beacon.
Healey said her priority for her second term is to continue responding to the opioid crisis by expanding prevention education in Massachusetts schools, supporting her fentanyl trafficking enforcement, and protecting the Affordable Care Act.
Massachusetts was one of a few states that did not see a rise in opioid deaths last year, Healey said. She praised her team’s rigidity against the makers of OxyContin—Purdue Pharma.
“Last year, we were the first state to sue not just Purdue Pharma, but its executives and owners. We’ll do whatever it takes to hold this company accountable and get the justice our families deserve,” Healey said.
Beyond the opioid crisis, Healey plans to continue her ventures in preventing gun violence.
This year the attorney general’s office will work with Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization founded and led by several individuals whose family members were killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.
“We’ll work with … Sandy Hook Promise to train 140,000 young people [on] how to stay safe and ask for help before it’s too late,” Healey said. “No more students having to interrupt math class for active shooter drills. No more parents worried about whether their child is safe going to play on the playground or walk home from school.”
Healey also detailed what she called a “bold new goal,” stating her plans to meet at least 50 percent of the state’s electrical power needs with renewable energy by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. She hopes to achieve these goals with a statewide effort to make electric vehicles more available.