Grand Rapids swears in first black city manager

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — New Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington was sworn in Tuesday evening in front of a packed city commission chamber.

"It is clear to me that this city is a gutsy city, one that has worked through challenging times and difficult situations and has always come out better on the other end," Washington said.

The same could be said about Washington. During his speech, he acknowledged the honor of being Grand Rapids' first black city manager.

"It is to recognize the significance of the moment. Not that it is inferior to other moments, but it is to say something about the realization of the progress of our democracy. That has often been advertised, but seldom fulfilled," Washington said.

He talked about his upbringing in the projects of Port Arthur, Texas. He said he was raised by a single mom who worked at McDonald's.

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