Governor Ned Lamont 2019 Inaugural Address
William A. O’Neill State Armory
January 9, 2019
Thank you so much for joining me here today. First, thank you to my family — Annie, Emily, Lindsay, Teddy. As family, we always know we are in this together, and that is how I feel about all of you and the people of Connecticut — like an extended family.
This includes our freshly minted constitutional officers, and our Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz.
Thank you to our legislative leaders and our former chief justice Chase Rogers, who has been such a wise and close friend for many, many years.
I am thankful that former governors Jodi Rell and Lowell Weicker are here: they have been in the arena, and to paraphrase my favorite President Teddy Roosevelt, the credit belongs not to the critic on the sidelines, but to the men and women in the arena.
And to Dan Malloy who is retiring after decades of service to our state, and who has been so helpful in making the transition smooth and effective. Of course, my thanks to Nancy Wyman – we’ll be staying in close touch, I know.
Lastly, I also want to thank the men and women of the Connecticut National Guard for their assistance coordinating today’s festivities and hosting us here in the State Armory. They are always there when the people of our state need them, and we thank them for their service.
I asked Rabbi Goldman, Pastor Steel, Reverend Ahlberg, and Saud Anwar, all friends from different faiths to say a few words, reminding us that whatever our differences, we have so much more that holds us together than tears us apart.
Many years ago, Reverend Ahlberg welcomed Annie and me and another couple to the non-denominational Round Hill Community Church in very Republican Greenwich. He introduced Alan, a Lutheran, Carrie, a Greek Orthodox, Annie, an Episcopalian, and Ned, a Democrat.
Now that’s diversity.
From here, we march to the Capitol with the Foot Guard, who have been hosting the inauguration for 250 years, accompanied by Bridgeport’s Harding High School Marching Band. I was a volunteer teacher there many years ago, but I remember those kids like yesterday.
As your governor, I will work tirelessly to ensure that all of our kids have the greatest opportunities to thrive, succeed, and create a life of their own, right here in Connecticut.
Susan and I recently joined a couple thousand high school students for a performance of Hamilton at the Bushnell. I talked to the kids about the meaning of the song “My Shot,” where Alexander Hamilton sings about himself as a scrappy immigrant kid with great opportunities, just like his new nation.
That’s what I love about America; every generation we get a chance to reinvent ourselves, and every election gives us a fresh start. This is our chance to reinvent Connecticut – to think big, act boldly.
On Election Day, thousands of voters waited for hours in the pouring rain. They believed that their vote would make a difference, and they were not going to throw away their shot – and neither are we.
For generations, Connecticut was the most entrepreneurial, inventive, and fast-growing state loaded with amazing opportunities. And we still can be.
I will not allow the next four years to be defined by a fiscal crisis. Together we will craft an honestly balanced budget which does not borrow from the future, but invests in the future.
We owe all of our kids, our extended family, nothing less.
In an hour, I speak to the legislature, in the room where it happens.
I will remind all of us that there is no room for the critic on the sidelines. It is easy to vote no.
Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt and work like heck to get to yes – and make sure that all of our kids get their shot.
Thank you for the faith you have instilled in me. I will not let you down. Now let’s get down to business.
God bless the great State of Connecticut.
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