Sharon Weston Broome sworn in as Baton Rouge's mayor-president
As she was sworn into office Monday as East Baton Rouge Parish mayor-president, Sharon Weston Broome dove right into the the topic of race, calling it Baton Rouge's Achilles' heel and pledging to try to heal long-simmering divisions in the Capital City.
A crowd of about 1,000 showered Broome with applause as she took the oath of office in the Theatre for the Performing Arts at the Raising Cane's River Center. Her first full day as leader of the city-parish is Tuesday, though she has been working on her transition since she won the election in the Dec. 10 runoff.
"Please hear me when I say to you that my statements about unifying the parish were not just campaign rhetoric," Broome said, standing on a stage adorned with white and purple flowers and with American, Louisiana and Baton Rouge flags. "I want to be clear that I will be an active opponent to any and all efforts, actions, agendas that serve to divide us, by race, socioeconomic status or geography."
She said she will require members of her administration to participate in Dialogue on Race sessions to open their eyes to the experiences of those who are different from themselves. Broome also pledged to work to eliminate the "ignorant and limiting perspective of our past."