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Governor Andrew Cuomo Inaugural Address Transcript

Governor Andrew Cuomo Inaugural Address Transcript

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Published by Elizabeth Benjamin

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Published by: Elizabeth Benjamin on Jan 01, 2011
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Well thank you and good afternoon to all of you.First let me begin by thanking the people of theState of New York for this tremendous honor, I am humbled to be their public servant and I willhonor their trust and their confidence every day. Thank you.Let¶s all thank Chief Judge Lippman for a great job, thank you very much Chief Judge. Thanksto Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy, he¶s going to be the second best Lieutenant Governor in thehistory of the State of New York. Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy and his family, Barbara.To allof my colleagues, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.Congratulations Tom DiNapoli, on a great job.Our new Attorney General, EricSchniederman, congratulations. Bill Clinton once said theAttorney General¶s job was the best job he ever had, and he had a number of jobs.Congratulations Eric Schneiderman.To Senator Dean Skelos, thank you very much for being with us today. Senator Skelos, thank you. Let¶s give him a round of applause. Senator Sampson, thank you for being with us, John.Majority Leader Canestrari, thank you very much for being here.Regards to Speaker Silver, whocouldn¶t be with us today because of a religious observance. And to Minority Leader BrianKolb, thank you very much for being with us. Thank you. Special thank you to Jerry Jennings,didn¶t he do a great job as a master of ceremonies.A really great mayor, Jerry Jennings.To a man who governed this state, at what will go down as one of the most difficult periods of time in the history of this state, I believe that.He became captain of the ship just when the shipwas heading into a storm. And he warned us about the storm, and he brought us through thestorm. He¶s done twenty-five years of public service,he¶s a personal friend of mineand to many people in this room, let¶s give a big round of applause to Governor David Paterson.Thank youGovernor David Paterson. Stand up Governor David Paterson.He has been introduced, but I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge and point out and thank the 52nd Governor of the State of New York, one of the greatest governors in the history of thisstate, a man who has taught us all very much in this room and who has taught me everything Iknow, Governor Mario Cuomo and First Lady Matilda Cuomo.To all of my family, I have so many family members here today if I start to point them out I¶llmiss someone and there¶ll be a whole family disturbance come the next holiday time. But toSandy and my three girls -- One quick story about the three girls that I was reminded of thismorning. Election day, we were going to go down to the election night headquarters, and itlooks good, and it looks like we may win, and I want them to feel like they¶re part of this victory.So I said to them, you know, I don¶t think I could have done this without you. And Cara andMariah, the older two, said that¶s nice Dad« but it¶s not true. You did it on your own. Werespect you for saying that, but it¶s not true, but it¶s nice. The little one, Michaela, says, well holdon a second. First, I did a lot more events with Dad because the other two were at school. And Idid all those introductions. And I really think that I went a long way to soften his image. I¶m notthat soft.So to the co-Governor, thank you.
And thank all of you. Thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for being here, for helpingme be here. For all the work people, the people that worked in the Attorney General¶s Office, I believe the best talent and staff ever assembled in the Attorney General¶s Office. You didmagnificent work for the public.Thank you all. This is an austere setting. And it should be, in my opinion. No grandcelebrations. There is a lot of disappointment vis-à-vis the government. A lot of suffering fromthe economy.And I don¶t think a grand ceremony or a lavish ceremony would be appropriate.In my administration, this is going to be the way it works. When we actually do something and perform and help the people of the State of New York and we make government function, thenwe are going to have a big party and celebrate, and not before.I also -- During this campaign, Bob and I had the opportunity visit all 62 counties once again.And doing it in a relatively compressed period of time, it¶s just a beautiful reminder of the assetsthat we have in this state.From the falls of Niagara to the powerful waves of Montauk, we have itall and everything inbetween. We really have every asset that man or God could be expected togive to a place.That is the State of New York, and I saw that up close and personal. I also saw up close and personal the suffering that our people are facing and the devastating toll that this economy hastaken. And it cannot be underestimated.Young people all across upstate New York who are leaving because they believe there is noeconomic future left.The taxpayers on Long Island who are imprisoned in their homes becausethey can¶t afford to pay the property taxes anymore, but the value of the home has dropped solow that they can¶t afford to sell the house because they can¶t pay off the mortgage.The laid-off construction workers Brooklyn who can¶t find a job and is fretting about what he¶s going to do tofeed his family when the unemployment insurance runs out.This, my friends, cannot be underestimated. And to make it actually worse, people then feel betrayed by their government. That they have problems, they have needs, they look to thegovernment and they assume the government was going to be there to help them because that¶swhat government is supposed to be all about. And they look to the government and instead theyfind a government that¶s part of the problem rather than part of the solution.People all across the state, when you mention state government they are literally shaking their heads. Worse than no confidence, what they¶re saying is, is no trust. The words ³government inAlbany´ have become a national punch line. And the joke is on us. Too often governmentresponds to the whispers of the lobbyists before the cries of the people. Our people feelabandoned by government, betrayed and isolated, and they are right. New York faces a deficit. A deficit that we talk about all day long, the budget deficit, the budgetdeficit.But it¶s actually worse. The state faces a budget deficit and a competence deficit and anintegrity deficit and a trust deficit.And those are the obstacles we really face.
And the state is at a crossroads. I believe the decisions that we make, the decisions mycolleagues make, this year will define the trajectory of this state for years to come. The decisionswe make today, will shape the state we leave our children tomorrow.As governor, I¶m going to tell you what I¶m going to do, because I told you what I¶m going todo. I told the people all across this state. This was a different kind of campaign. Bob and I puttogether a very specific agenda. And we said we wanted to win not with the personal mandate --This was not about electing Andrew Cuomo and Bob Duffy, this was electing a mandate for change that the people of this state endorsed overwhelmingly all across this state.We have a very specific mandate for change that the people want. And our expectations is thatthe politicians and the elected officials of people are now going to do what the people voted for and what the people need.It starts with jobs, jobs, jobs, getting the economy running once again. Getting the economyrunning all across this great state. Number two is going to be cleaning up Albany and restoring trust because Bob is right, you havenothing without trust. Any relationship is only as good as the level of trust, and we have lost thetrust. And we are not going to get it back until we clean up Albany and there¶s real transparencyand real disclosure and real accountability and real ethics enforcement. That¶s what the peoplehave voted for and that¶s what the people deserve.We have to pass a property tax cap in the State of New York because working families can¶tafford to pay the ever-increasing tax burden. Nothing is going up in their lives. Their incomeisn¶t going up, their baking account isn¶t going up, their savings aren¶t going up. They can¶tafford the never-ending tax increases in the State of New York and this state has no future if it isgoing to be the tax capital of the nation. We have to send that signal this session by passing a property tax cap.And my friends, we must rightsize the state government for today. The state government hasgrown too large, we can¶t afford it, the number of local governments has grown too large, andthat we¶re going to have to reduce and consolidate.We know what needs to be done. We have known, in truth, what needs to be done for many,many years. What we have to do this time is we actually have to do it, we actually have todeliver for the people of the State of New York.In a few days in the State of the State, I will be providing and presenting an emergency financialreinvention plan, which will lay out all the specifics, a blueprint for change, a blueprint for action. Now, don¶t get me wrong, I am not underestimating the severity or difficulty of the task that weare about to undertake. My gray hairs are multiplying just thinking about what we have to do.

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