Hundreds attend Legislative Hall Ceremony and Public Greeting
Dover, Del. – Governor John Carney took the oath of office to become Delaware’s 74th Governor on Tuesday, pledging to lead Delaware’s economy through a period of transition, address the state’s long-term budget challenges, confront crime in Wilmington and strengthen Delaware’s education system.
Surrounded by family and friends, Governor Carney delivered an Inaugural Address to hundreds of Delawareans gathered on the east side of Legislative Hall in Dover.
“To the people of Delaware, thank you for your trust,” said Governor Carney. “It is a great privilege. It is a great responsibility. And we will not let you down.”
Among the guests at Tuesday’s Inauguration Ceremony were former Governor Jack Markell, U.S. Senator Thomas Carper, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and former Governor Ruth Ann Minner. Delaware Chief Justice Leo Strine administered the oath of office to Governor Carney.
Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long also took the oath of office as Delaware’s 26th Lieutenant Governor during Tuesday’s ceremony. Delaware Supreme Court Justice James Vaughn administered Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long’s oath.
During his address, Governor Carney spoke about the values of hard work and working together. He promised to work across party lines, with the business community and with Delawareans across the state to confront many of Delaware’s challenges.
“The American Dream is not about winning the lottery, not about a few people getting lucky. It’s about working hard,” said Governor Carney. “The Delaware Way is not about a few powerful people behind closed doors. It’s about working together. Those things are timeless.”
ON THE ISSUES – Excerpts from Governor Carney’s Inaugural Address
“Our administration will work to lead our state through a transition to an innovation economy, where we’re not only the First State when it comes to incorporating a company but also the First State when it comes to growing a company and deepening its roots here in Delaware.”
“The hardest truth may be that we can’t do anything else unless we get our state’s finances under control. We have a revenue problem; but we also have a spending problem. In the coming months, we’ll put forth a plan for addressing our budget crisis not just for one year, but for years to come.”
“Working hard and working together, with our new mayor and new county executive, we must break the poverty to prison pipeline. In the short-term, we will get serious about our crime problem. We’ll target resources to the most crime-ridden neighborhoods. And we will better prepare ex-offenders to come back to the community. Wilmington residents and the tens of thousands who commute into the city deserve to feel safe and feel proud of where they live and work. Businesses should feel confident investing there. We all have a stake, and a compelling responsibility, to make Wilmington healthy again.”
“Every Delaware child deserves a world-class education. Many of our schools have made great strides in recent years, and we have a lot to be proud of. But the truth is, we need to do better, especially for poor and minority students. Our Department of Education will be an agency that offers support to teachers. We will hold schools accountable, yes. But above all, we will partner with teachers and parents in serving the best interests of our students.
INAUGURAL ADDRESS – GOVERNOR CARNEY
*As prepared for delivery
On Saturday night, some of you here today braved the freezing rain and came out to the Clear Space Theater in Rehoboth for our first Inaugural event – a Celebration of the Arts.
In addition to a jazz band from Cape Henlopen High School and a traditional dance by members of the Nanticoke tribe, we heard from Polytech High School Senior Hannah Sturgis. Hannah’s a teenage poet, but she has a wise old soul.
She recited for us a poem she wrote called “Vision.” It struck a chord with me, and I think it sets the tone I’d like to set here today. I won’t do Hannah’s delivery justice, but I’d like to read a few excerpts now:
When I look up at the sky I see my dreams bouncing by
Like clouds of promise that keep me honest
Where they can go I don’t know but the road I walk might be long
I get vision when I know that life is changing and my goals are rearranging
I have vision because life is not a hopeless dream
Life is what we make it seem
And when we were young we were told to be like the sun and beam
So I keep on with that vision
As I made a list of thank yous for today, I realized that I could stand up here and do nothing but thank the people on this platform and in this audience. And that would be appropriate.
Lt. Governor Hall-Long, thank you for being part of my team, I look forward to our journey together;
President Pro Temp McBride, Speaker Schwartzkopf, Members of the General Assembly;
Governor Markell, Senator and former Governor Carper, Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, and Governor Minner.
Chief Justice Strine, Justice Vaughn, and Justice Seitz.
Thank you for your service to our state and for your presence here today.
Members of the State Police and National Guard, Staff Sergeant Scott and representatives from Dover Air Force Base, thank you for your service to our state and our country.
Dr. Williams, thank you to you and to our host, the City of Dover; Reverend Davis, Rabbi Beals, Monsignor Hopkins, and other members of the clergy, thank you for minding our spirits today and always.
Tracey, Sam, Jimmy, Mom, and all my brothers and sisters, and our whole family. Thank you for being a witness to this event and for being my foundation.
We’ve heard a lot recently about change –
• That our economy is changing. That we’re competing with the rest of the world, and that technology challenges us to keep our sights on human progress;
• That our kids need to be prepared for a future unlike our past, and unlike even our present;
• That our safety and security are challenged in new ways, and require new solutions and working together.
Change is the new normal for our world, our country, and our state.
But we should also remember that some things haven’t changed. And they should never change – the American Dream. The Delaware Way in its most valuable and valued expression.
The American Dream is not about winning the lottery, not about a few people getting lucky. It’s about working hard. The Delaware Way is not about a few powerful people behind closed doors. It’s about working together. Those things are timeless.
Yes, we need to become more agile. More creative. More determined.
Not to keep up. But to shape our own future.
Do we have challenges?
Will they be difficult to overcome?
Can we meet those challenges by working hard and working together?
And that is what we owe to the people of Delaware:
The family in Wilmington that deserves to live in a safe neighborhood, where they can go to work and their children can go to school without the fear of violence.
The workers in Newport and Seaford coping with a new economic reality.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs who have good ideas and need a government that supports their vision and then gets out of the way.
It’s about our collective future, and how we’ll create opportunities for all Delawareans to succeed.
And, as President Obama reminded us so eloquently last week, our collective future is our collective responsibility. It is my privilege, starting today as your governor, to work hard to live up to the trust of leadership in meeting that responsibility.
What does that mean?
It means that over the next four years, you will see me working every day:
In Legislative Hall.
In our schools.
In our prisons.
In board rooms.
With our business leaders, our workers, our farmers;
With Democrats and with Republicans.
We are going to work together, and think in new ways about our future.
We can no longer expect any single industry or company to be responsible for Delaware’s economic stability, let alone our future.
Our administration will work to lead our state through a transition to an innovation economy, where we’re not only the First State when it comes to incorporating a company but also the First State when it comes to growing a company and deepening its roots here in Delaware.
We will work with private investors to retool our industrial sites and put Delawareans to work.
We’ll also rethink our economic development efforts.
We will support small businesses and entrepreneurs and teach our students the skills necessary to succeed in the jobs of the future.
Working hard, working together to bring jobs to our state, and to keep them here — that’s what will get my team and me up in the morning, and what will keep us working into the night.
We will work in partnership with business and labor. We will reach across the aisle. We will reach across state lines and national borders to grow the Delaware economy.
We will also reach into the neighborhoods of our largest city, because I truly believe that our state cannot succeed if Wilmington does not succeed.
Working hard and working together, with our new mayor and new county executive, we must break the poverty to prison pipeline. In the short-term, we will get serious about our crime problem. We’ll target resources to the most crime-ridden neighborhoods. And we will better prepare ex-offenders to come back to the community.
Wilmington residents and the tens of thousands who commute into the city deserve to feel safe and feel proud of where they live and work. Businesses should feel confident investing there. We all have a stake, and a compelling responsibility, to make Wilmington healthy again.
Part of the solution is in our schools. Every Delaware child deserves a world-class education. Many of our schools have made great strides in recent years, and we have a lot to be proud of. But the truth is, we need to do better, especially for poor and minority students.
Our Department of Education will be an agency that offers support to teachers. We will hold schools accountable, yes. But above all, we will partner with teachers and parents in serving the best interests of our students. And we will partner with struggling communities to improve education for our most disadvantaged kids.
The hardest truth may be that we can’t do anything else unless we get our state’s finances under control. We have a revenue problem; but we also have a spending problem. In the coming months, we’ll put forth a plan for addressing our budget crisis not just for one year, but for years to come.
We are at the end of the road on this one. There’s nowhere else to kick the can. Working hard and working together with leaders on both sides of the aisle in the General Assembly, we will begin to address our long-term financial issues without delay.
My cabinet nominees—a group of dedicated, talented people who are ready to serve our state, will be key leaders. They, too, will undertake their work in accordance with our state and our nation’s timeless principles, and our recognition of what the future demands of us.
Four years from now, when it’s time for the people of Delaware to render a judgment on this administration, I want them to say this:
That the economy is stronger because middle and working class Delawareans are better off;
That there are better-paying jobs that Delawareans value and where they feel valued;
That they feel safer in their neighborhoods and in our towns and cities;
That more of their kids are graduating ready for what comes next, with a sense of promise about the future;
That our state’s finances are strong and in order;
That Delaware had a governor who listened. And worked hard. For them.
We all know that it won’t be easy, that there will be tough decisions, that there will be times when we disagree.
But working hard and working together, we will find a path forward, and we will be better than we were before.
To the people of Delaware, thank you for your trust. It is a great privilege; it is a great responsibility. And we will not let you down.
God bless you and God bless the State of Delaware and God bless our great United States of America.
INAUGURAL ADDRESS – LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR HALL-LONG
*As prepared for delivery
To all elected officials and honored guests, Governor Markell, members of the military, my colleagues of the General Assembly, members of the judiciary, friends and family…
Thank you all so much. What an honor this is. To my husband, Dana, and our son, Brock. Thank you both for your endless support along our public service journey…which began with you, Dana, and your military service, which took us from Sussex County around the Country to the Pentagon. To all of you, to all Delawareans, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me the privilege to continue to serve you. It is an incredible responsibility, and I am truly humbled.
Delaware could not have chosen a better, more prepared, steady leader with a vision for our state, than John Carney… and I look forward to serving with you, Governor Carney. Am I the first person to call you that officially?
I’ve had the chance to know John Carney since I was first elected in 2002. I’ve worked alongside John and with him. There is no better person to lead our state in this next chapter and no better champion for all Delawareans… Governor, your heart, your commitment and your dedication to our state is unmatched, and I can’t wait to get started.
I believe Delaware is unlike any other state in our union… Despite our state’s small geographic size, its coastline location ,varied industries that call it home, from farms and manufacturing plants – to banks and beaches make it unique… but Delaware is only as unique and diverse as its most precious resource…our people, our citizens.
We, like so many other states, are facing an unknown road ahead. As I travel the state from Brandywine to Blades, I hear the many opportunities and challenges for our great state. We know the path that lies before us may not always be an easy one. These same challenges touch nearly every family in Delaware… the mothers and fathers struggling to make ends meet and provide the very best for their children. Whether it is the military veteran struggling in Western Sussex who skips taking their medications in order to pay the electric bill….or the young family of 4 in Dover living out of their car …our friends, our neighbors, our veterans…those who struggle with their mental health and those who are battling addiction…the countless number of people who just feel like they can’t get a fair shake from their government. We are undoubtedly at a crossroads in our state’s future… the good news, is that Delaware is filled with many talented and dedicated people to help us tackle.. and solve, those challenges.
Just yesterday, we celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr…It was he in fact, who reminded us all that “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Dr. King’s message was simple… We share a commitment to one another, that we as a society are only “as strong as our weakest link”…that if our fellow man is downtrodden, then we share in that duty to help lift him or her up and ease their struggle. Our state’s pathway to prosperity is rooted in the belief that no matter your zip code, equal opportunity must reign supreme, and that these things… health care, an excellent education, a job that pays a livable wage…these are paramount for our success
As most of you have heard me say many times throughout this long election season…the seeds of public service were planted in me from a very early age. My parents Carolyn and David Hall instilled in my brothers, Don & Dean and me, that we have an obligation to the community of which we are a part…To help in making the lives of others better, stronger and healthier. My father was a man of deep faith and conviction
And he firmly believed that “to whom much is given, much is expected”…that a society is judged by how it treats the least among us. It’s a phrase you’ve heard often, and one that I refer to frequently, but it rings true. It is the reason I became a candy striper at Beebe Hospital in Lewes at 13 years old… Even at that age, I knew I wanted to care for others. I have been fortunate, as a member of the nursing faculty at the University of Delaware and a public health nurse, to witness firsthand the dedication and care of the nurses and doctors in our state to those who were sick and at their most vulnerable point in life. It was incredible and compassionate… and I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of.
That care and compassion is what led me here today. My own grandmother, Nellie Mae, had to quit school in the 8th grade in order to go to work the family farm. The sacrifices she made enabled me to pursue higher education and stand here today. And like my grandmother’s generation, our state’s future and success will require sacrifice on all of our parts as well. As you have heard Governor Carney and I discuss this past year, We are dealing with an ever-changing economy that looks vastly different from the one we knew years ago. To meet the demands of this modern global economy, we must continue to invest in our businesses and our most valuable resource….our people. Delaware has the best and brightest workforce in the nation. We are home to some of the greatest innovators of our world… from the DuPont Company in New Castle to our higher education institutes working with entrepreneurs on science technology (STEM) across the state. We have shown time and again that Delawareans always rise to the challenges of our times. And that’s why now – more than ever – as Governor Carney and I have said so many times over the last year, we need to make sure our teachers have the tools they need to prepare our children for this new economy (their future), that our businesses have the environment and workforce that will make them successful, and that the working class gets a fair and even shot at the American dream.
Delaware is facing challenges and new opportunities alike, but we are fortunate that we are a state with great people who will help us meet those challenges, head on. There is too much at stake for us not to. It is true, we often find ourselves at odds, politically, with our friends and our neighbors…sometimes even in our own homes, as this past election has proven. But in my 14 years as a legislator working in this building, I’ve been witness to many wonderful, amazing statesmen… The story that does not often get told, or get attention, is how often we work together, republicans and democrats, union and non- union members, shoulder to shoulder and across the aisle, to advance an agenda that works for Delawareans.
I want to thank you again for the trust you have shown in me by electing me your Lieutenant Governor. I want to thank the family of countless volunteers and organizations who have helped shape me as a public servant…to help improve the lives of our citizens today, and also to protect what we pass on to future generations. I will work every day for the next four years to show you that I deserve the faith you, and all Delawareans have placed in me. As I stand here before you today, I promise you that I am ready, and I will do what I have done every day as a mother, nurse, teacher and public servant – I will work as hard as I can with Governor Carney to make Delaware stronger and healthier.
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