Inaugural speech of Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll

Below are the remarks by Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll as prepared for her inauguration, January 5, 2023:

Madam President, Mr. Speaker, and members of the Legislature.

Governor Healey, Madame Chief Justice, members of our Judiciary, and members of  the Governor’s Council.

Our incoming and outgoing Constitutional Officers and Cabinet Secretaries. Distinguished guests, family and friends.

It is the honor of a lifetime for this Navy brat, public higher ed grad, and Gateway City  Mayor to be standing here as your Lieutenant Governor.

Thank you all for being here to mark this historic moment.

I’m so grateful to have members of my family here to share in this special day. My 89  year old Navy veteran father, Fred, flew in for this occasion along with my sister  Chrystal, my niece, Aunts, uncles and cousins who are here from near and far. Thank  you for being here.

And I owe a special debt of appreciation and thanks to my husband Nick and our kids  Delaney, Ailish, and Nicky. You have always been there for me. Thank you for your  patience, sacrifices, and all your help. I wouldn’t be here without your love and support.  I’m grateful and I love you.

Thank you to the talented individuals and groups who have honored us with their  presence and performances today.

I also want to recognize members of the military, our Gold Star and bereaved military  families, including members of the Ayube family who came here today from Salem.

To Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Murphy –

To Governor Jane Swift –

To Senate President Terry Murray –

To the dozens of women who I have not named but who have created a pathway in  your fearlessness. You have my immense gratitude and great respect. Maura and I are  honored to walk in the path you blazed. Thank you.

As we embark on the start of a new Administration, we begin on strong footing thanks to  the work of Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito.

At a time when our national politics are moving in the other direction, they chose a  bipartisan, people-centered approach and governed with a wide lens, a big heart and an  open mind.

I know both Governor Healey and I want to extend our gratitude for their support,  encouragement and collaboration throughout the transition.

Please join me in thanking them for their years of dedicated service to our  Commonwealth.

Madam President and Mister Speaker, the steady hands of this Legislature have helped  to ensure that Massachusetts is not just surviving, but thriving in the face of today’s  global challenges. With your leadership, our state has provided safe haven and secured  record resources to invest back into improving the quality of life in all our communities.

Thank you, the members of this Legislature from throughout our amazing  Commonwealth, for the work you do every day. We are so grateful to join you in service  to this place we are all fortunate enough to call home.

And to my partner and teammate … Madam Governor! I really like the sound of that.

It is my great honor to make history with you, my friend. The voters have entrusted us  with a tremendous responsibility and an awesome opportunity. Like so many residents  of our Commonwealth, I’ve been inspired by your work as the People’s Lawyer and I am  thrilled to be by your side as you serve as the People’s Governor.

Many of you know me as the Mayor of Salem and having served as a local leader from  the ‘get stuff done’ branch of government for the last 17 years, I know firsthand that

what happens in this building impacts the quality of life of the people who live within our  351 cities and towns.

Mayors and local officials are on the front lines doing some of the most important work  residents rely on – educating our kids; keeping our neighborhoods safe; investing in the  places where we make memories and supporting healthy and vibrant communities.

Good cities and good towns, they don’t happen by accident. It takes intentional and  thoughtful leadership and a whole lot of hard work and collaboration – among state and  federal governments, private and public sector partners, and institutions of all sizes and  magnitude.

Those of us in this room elected to represent people throughout Massachusetts know  that it’s possible to meet our collective needs in housing, in education, in transportation  and climate. After all, we’re a state with a rich history of firsts – from sparking a  revolution at home to sharing life-saving vaccines around the world.

Now, more than ever in our state’s history, we must lean into our roots and embrace the  opportunities to grow, change, innovate – to bring people together in advancement of  our shared vision.

That is the promise of Governor Healey and that is what we are committed to delivering  with you every day – these next four years.

It can’t be overstated that Massachusetts is at an important inflection point as we turn  the corner on the pandemic. Our ability to support thriving communities – and, as a  result, have a thriving Commonwealth – will require a new commitment to embracing  necessary change as we transition into a new America – one where you don’t have to  live in the same place you work, where long, congested commutes, expensive housing  and childcare shouldn’t dictate where you grow your roots, start your business, age or  retire.

Simply stated, we can’t be a thriving state if we’re not meeting our housing and  transportation needs; if we’re not addressing education and childcare inequities; or  leading the nation and frankly the world when it comes to clean energy, life sciences  and advanced manufacturing.

The next 4 years are critical. A robust Massachusetts economy is not automatic and  despite strong fiscal balances, we’re still leaving too many folks behind.

The upshot is we have the tools right here to make a meaningful impact on our most  pressing challenges and we’re ready to get stuff done.

I am grateful that the people of Salem put their faith in me 17 years ago – an underdog  candidate in a city that had never voted to put a woman in charge, let alone someone  who hadn’t grown up there. My dad, sitting proudly up there, he was a chef in the Navy.  My mom was from Trinidad. I was born in Hawaii and, as a military family, we moved  quite a bit.

But it wasn’t until I came to Salem and got the chance to attend public college at Salem  State that I finally felt like I had a home town. Like many of you, I could have called  anywhere home after graduating but I fell in love with this place.

This amazing tapestry of people and places called Massachusetts.

Rich with history and natural beauty, a restlessness that comes when there’s an  abundance of energy and ideas filling a place…a unique cultural vibrancy that runs  through our great sports teams and our classical musical halls. And most importantly,  the people – their values, compassion, intelligence, creativity – always striving to do  better – that’s what made me want to call this place home.

And it’s why I care about making our collective communities, our state, a better place for  people to live and work, to go to school, to start a business, to raise a family and to  grow old with dignity.

Governor Healey and I stand before you today with hope and gratitude.

We are excited to get to work with our new cabinet, and with all of you to build on our  current success; to bring people together toward an aligned vision for a Commonwealth  that works for and welcomes all.

It’s truly an honor.

Now, let’s get to work.

Thank you.

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