London’s new council sworn in at first meeting

The city’s new mayor laid out his vision for the next four years at City Hall — where he and his fellow City Council colleagues were sworn in to their new positions.

Josh Morgan addressed 14 newly-elected or re-elected council members and about 450 Londoners at the panel’s first meeting on Monday night at RBC Place.

“We have a general consensus on the problems facing London, we have received march orders from voters and they are very consistent with what they have told us through the campaign,” Morgan said after the meeting. “Our job is to find solutions.”

“I don’t think we’re going to be talking about the challenges that London is facing now, I think we’re going to be talking about the approach and how we’re going to tackle those challenges,” Morgan said when asked what the new committee’s priorities would be.

Before a vote on the two actual motions, Morgan spoke before friends and family on the new committee.

Councilors unanimously named 2nd District Councilman Shawn Lewis as deputy mayor, and then voted 15-0 to appoint 12th District Councilmember Elizabeth Peloza as budget chair.

Lewis became the first public member of the LGBTQ+ community to take on the role, and that wasn’t lost on Morgan.

“It wasn’t that long ago that the mayor of London wouldn’t even issue a proclamation acknowledging the Pride parade and the Pride community, and then we had years of politicians who didn’t dare to march, years of town halls that didn’t even raise the Pride flag,” Morgan said. “For Sean to get to this level, first, he deserves it, but second, he has the ability to really show how far we’ve come as a community.”

Lewis acknowledged the historic significance of taking the role, but said he was primarily focused on the future of work.

“We all have a lot of work to do,” Lewis said. “Of course every MP will have a role to play in that.”

Both Lewis and Peloza will hold those positions until the end of their terms in 2026 — rather than the two-year time frame of Ed Holder’s previous term.

“I think it’s important to have some stability over the next four years,” Lewis said of the change. “I don’t think we need to be distracted in the middle of the semester. There are plenty of opportunities for all of us to do the work.”

The city council began its regular town hall meeting on Wednesday.

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