Yadira Ramos-Herbert inaugurated as New Rochelle's first Afro-Latina woman mayor
History was made Monday in New Rochelle as Yadira Ramos-Herbert was sworn in as the first new mayor in nearly two decades.
She is also the first Afro-Latina woman to lead New Rochelle.
"For the first time in history, the Queen City of the Sound will be led by a queen in Yadira Ramos-Herbert," said Paul Présendieu, the emcee, to a wave of applause.
Ramos-Herbert's husband administered her oath of office alongside their two children.
At the end, she stood, the emotion clear on her face, as she received a standing ovation from the standing room only crowd.
More than a dozen public servants from all levels of government attended the inauguration, which also included six council members.
There were also many parents with children.
"It means a lot, especially going into 2024 to show [my daughter] anything is possible," Victor Bowman said.
A former Columbia University dean and city council member since 2020, Ramos-Herbert is the first person of color and the first woman to lead the state's seventh-largest city, home to 80,000 people.
"I know my grandparents are in heaven screaming 'there goes my granddaughter,'" Ramos-Herbert said in both English and Spanish.
Her inauguration speech emphasized uniting to do the big and the small for residents, everything from filling potholes to completing the city's downtown revitalization, for example.
"I believe in the collective power of we and not just any we, but the we of New Ro strong," she said.
Her top priorities include ensuring housing affordability, addressing climate change, and improving communication.
She says she'll begin with a listening tour so the policies she and council members create best represent all of New Rochelle.
"In a twist to what our VP said, I may be the first, but we will make sure I'm not the last," she told the crowd.
Ramos-Herbert takes over for fellow Democrat Noam Bramson who decided not to run again after about 17 years in office.