Maura Healey, the first woman and first open LGBTQ member community to be elected governor of Massachusetts, took office at the Statehouse on Thursday, pledging to lead «with empathy and fairness.»

Healey’s ascension to governor signals a political shift in the state’s top elected office from Republican to Democratic hands. Healey, 51, replaces former Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, 66, who opted not to seek re-election after two terms.

The ceremony also marks the first time that a women-only ticket will occupy the office. Kim Driscoll, who served as Salem mayor, was elected lieutenant governor with Healey and was also sworn in Thursday.

Healey outlined some of his goals in his 35-minute keynote speech.

she recognized the rising cost of housing in Massachusetts and promised in his first 100 days to create a new housing secretary. She said she will also work to convert state property to housing or rental property and reduce costs for renters by expanding tax breaks.

“The cost of housing is out of control because we just don’t have enough,” he said. «If we want Massachusetts to be a home for everyone, we need to build more places to live.»

Healey said she will work on changes to the tax code, including promoting a child tax credit for every child, while also working to expand access to child care.

In his first budget, Healey said he will propose to offer free community college to students 25 and older who do not have a college degree. She said he, too, will push for increased funding for the state university system to make it easier for everyone to afford a college degree.

One of the biggest challenges facing Healey is the state beleaguered public transportation system.

He said he will appoint a security chief over the next 60 days to oversee the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which oversees the Boston-area public transportation system, and will include funding in his first budget proposal to hire 1,000 new workers to get the system running at full capacity.

“We know that the MBTA is woefully understaffed, and we know that understaffing has had dire consequences,” he said.

Healey, who served eight years as Massachusetts attorney general, ran virtually unopposed in last year’s Democratic primary and easily defeated Republican candidate Geoff Diehl in the general election. She is only the second Democrat in the last three decades to be elected governor in Massachusetts.

Former Governor Charlie Baker and Governor Maura Healey participate in a ritual exchange at Government House
Former Governor Charlie Baker and Governor Maura Healey participate in a ritual exchange at the State House in Boston on Tuesday.Nancy Lane/The Boston Herald via AP

The new governor is also part of a record number of women holding the main elected state offices in Massachusetts. Of the six state offices, not counting the US Senate seats, women will now hold all but one.

During her speech, Healey also said that she is committed to removing the barriers that people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ residents have faced for generations.

He said he will start by ordering every agency in his administration to conduct a fairness audit.

“Our greatest strength is our people, but we cannot reach our potential as a state when so many are prevented from reaching their own,” he said.

Healey said he will also boost the state’s efforts to transition to a renewable energy future.

He pledged to double the state’s offshore wind and solar goals, quadruple its energy storage and put one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

Those promises fit the biggest state efforts to combat climate change. Healey said he will create the nation’s first cabinet-level climate chief to work across government and with cities and towns to meet state climate goals.

Like former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, he invested state funds to help Massachusetts a biotechnology centerHealey said he wants to make the state a center for renewable energy technology.

Healey, a former Harvard basketball player, said she has relied on teamwork as attorney general and will bring that same sense of shared mission to the governor’s office.

Healey hopes to work closely with the Democratic-controlled Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate. Democratic Senate Speaker Karen Spilka swore in Healey and Driscoll.

“No matter what challenges we face, no matter what the future holds, we will stay true to our best selves,” Healey said. “We will act with empathy and with equity. Lets work together».