The First All Female Governing Team Hosts Untraditional TD “Garden Party”


Annika McCanne, Opinion Editor

On Thursday, January 5th, “gov at first sight” boomed over the speakers at TD Garden. Various political figures, public supporters, and influential athletes flashed across the screen while praising the new Massachusetts Governor, Maura Healey. Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll took the stage and announced her excitement for a “different kind of Garden ball.”

Healey, a former point guard for Harvard University, boasts an impressive basketball career, making TD Garden the perfect venue for her post-inauguration celebration. After tickets sold out, it became clear this would be a night to remember with prominent political figures and Massachusetts families alike pouring into the stadium to celebrate history in the making. 

I was lucky enough to attend this “Garden ball” with two AP Government classmates, SHS seniors Victor Bowker and Kelly Granatino. This was a fantastic opportunity to get first-hand experience with politics–and a breath of fresh air during a time of political turmoil. Despite a tense election and what is promising to be a hectic governorship, it was nice to celebrate progress and this new chapter for Massachusetts. 

The night featured several local groups and organizations, which highlighted the talent behind her campaign. The Salem High School acapella group Witch Pitch delivered an exhilarating performance before Springfield High School’s SciTech Band showcased their incredible talent. Another performer, Oompa, a Boston-born poet, engaged the audience and celebrated Healey’s inauguration. According to her website, Oompa is a rapper and former teacher representing the “queer, black, orphaned, hood kids n’ them.” The Boston Gay Men’s Choir showcased a stunning performance coupled with colorful scarves and a stunning inclusive dance routine performed by Abilities Dance Company.

Finally, Healey and Driscoll entered the stage, showing off their custom high-top Converse sneakers featuring basketballs. They thanked the performers, politicians, and voters who made this historic moment possible and proudly announced it was time to “move the ball forward.” Soon after, singer Brandi Carlile took the stage alongside her wife and performed some of her top songs–making the Garden ball a night to remember. 

It was clear the lineup was intentional, elevating groups that reflect the new administration’s values. As the first openly gay governor and all-female governing team, Healey and Driscoll have a unique opportunity to bring new perspectives to the Massachusetts government. If this night is any indication of the future, their dedication to diversity and commitment to building a strong, inclusive community goes far beyond the campaign trail.