Sharon Pratt Dixon became mayor of the District of Columbia on Wednesday, a come-from-behind reformer taking command of a capital city struggling with budget and social ills.
Dixon, a 46-year-old political novice, won election last fall with a pledge to rid the nation's capital of waste and corruption.She replaces Marion Barry, a three-term mayor who faces a six-month prison sentence for cocaine possession.
"I think the people of the District of Columbia are eager for real change," Dixon said Wednesday. She said they want a restoration of "basic values."
Dixon took the oath of office only a few blocks from the White House but her concerns will be almost purely local ones, ranging from a budget deficit estimated at $300 million, a record murder rate and social problems running the gamut from drugs to homelessness and infant mortality.