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Public Statements

Inaugural Address Second Term

Location: Phoenix, AZ


Justice O'Connor, Chief Justice McGregor, Secretary Brewer, Attorney General Goddard, Treasurer Martin, Superintendent Horne, former governors, legislative leaders, honored guests and my fellow Arizonans:

Today marks another milestone in the journey we began, together, four years ago. Our journey has had its turbulence: forest fires, drought, a broken pipeline, budget deficits. And it has had its tragedies: many young Arizonans went overseas to fight for our country, and many did not return. For them, and their families, I ask that we now observe a moment of silence.

Yet, in spite of our trials, we have moved Arizona forward. We've invested in our schools, expanded our economy, built everything from roads to laboratories, and forged our future.

We have today what is, in every sense, a New Arizona: one in which innovation, pride and strength have allowed us to address many of the challenges that faced us four years ago, and to build on what we have begun.

That is the theme of this inaugural day: reflecting on our past, building for our future.

One Arizona.

It is that 'One Arizona' that I dream of. 'One Arizona' in which the quality of the education of our children is so good, they compete with pride with the best graduates from every corner of the world.

'One Arizona' that, because of that education foundation, is a place where science and research flourish, where cures are found, and technology is advanced.
'One Arizona' - a place where families are confident and secure in the knowledge that we are constantly moving forward, together.

There was a small news item, just before the holidays that may have caught your interest - it certainly did mine. Arizona is now, officially, the fastest growing state in the nation. Nevada, step aside.

I doubt you were surprised by that news; neither was I. But it confirms two things: first, that Arizona is truly a place people want to be. We have a way of living others want, and we have reason to be proud of it.
Second, our rate of growth will challenge us to think differently about everything: how we build our roads and schools; how we plan for new homes that are within reach, both financially and geographically; how we grow new businesses, and in turn, launch an even stronger Arizona economy.
In short: our challenge is to innovate.

Indeed, as we reflect on Arizona's past, we quickly see that Arizonans have been innovators throughout our history. Take, for example, the Hohokam people who took desert land, added to it a canal system that we use to this day, and made the land flourish.
In more modern Arizona, we developed the hard hat; we were the first in the world to make an artificial heart work as a bridge to transplant; and we've placed cutting-edge tools for discovery on Mars.

Yet, as we reflect on the innovations of the past, we must also stay in close touch with the harder realities of our history. Only four years ago, this state was mired in deficit. We had neglected the most vulnerable among us - our children and the elderly.
When I stood here four years ago, I said these words: "generations to come will not remember us for how we balanced the budget… Instead, they will remember how we educated our children, how we protected our seniors, how we built a new economy, and how we made this wonderful state an even better place to live."
I still believe that today.

So, as we reflect on our past and see it clearly, we also must think about how we are building for our future.

On Monday, I will deliver my State of the State address, and on Friday, my budget proposal. In them, you will hear about our continued efforts to improve education and produce 21st century ready students. You will hear how we will continue to support all Arizona families; and how we will foster smart, cooperative growth planning so we know that there will be enough water, enough schools, enough teachers, enough jobs, enough open land - so that we know for a fact that we're building thriving and sustainable communities.

You see, I believe, and I think together we have shown, that Arizona remains an innovator. Other states look to us to find out how to 'do it right.' We have proven that we can institute new education systems - take, for example, voluntary full-day kindergarten - while balancing the budget and providing real tax relief.
What we will prove - as we move forward and build this 'One Arizona,' - is that we can continue to work on education, continue to invest in teachers, especially those who teach subjects like math and science, continue to create high-wage jobs, and continue to be a leader in 21st century technologies.

That's the 'One Arizona' I believe in; that is the Arizona we are building.
Over the past four years, I spent time with thousands of Arizonans. You told me about how hard you work; how much you believe in your future; that you don't need to be told
how to live or what to think. You made clear that you simply want to be confident in Arizona, in the direction we are heading for our future.

I deeply value your confidence, and I pledge to work as hard as you do, to ensure we reach - and continue to treasure - the 'One Arizona' we are building together.
Alberto Rios put it beautifully a moment ago: let's build One Arizona such that - a generation from now - we will be able to turn, and look back together at the ripple that has happened in our wake and agree that yes, it is very good. Very good, indeed.
Thank you.

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