Highlights from Governor Jay Inslee's inaugural address

by: melvin

Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 18:19:26 PM EST

(highlights from my point of view - it was a fairly lengthy address)

. . . This is a very special day for my family. And this is a very special time in history for many other families.

People all across Washington stood up for fairness and family in approving marriage equality last November. We should all be proud. The vote on Referendum 74 represents the best of who we are as a state. It should be an inspiration for the progress we can make toward equality, fairness and justice across all of Washington.

Inslee resigned his seat in congress to campaign for governor, yet found the time to actively campaign for Ref 74 in the midst of his own campaign. He has long supported marriage equality.

melvin :: Highlights from Governor Jay Inslee's inaugural address
Washington women need the freedom and privacy to make the health care decisions that are best for themselves and their families. That's why I look forward to the Legislature sending the Reproductive Parity Act to my desk, which I will sign.

I am not terribly up to speed on the RPA. As I understand it, it would require that any insurance plan that provides maternal care at all must also provide for a full range of reproductive services. And it would forestall any bizarro interpretations of the Affordable Care Act that tried to ban abortion, etc.

. . . but before we continue, I want to take a moment to honor the courage and heroism of public school teachers, educators and all our public employees. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut showed us all that our nation's educators put the welfare of their students above everything, even their own lives. You may have heard the story about the parent who was in the principal's office when the sounds of gunshots began. That parent said she ran to get under the nearest desk, as most people would have done, but the educators in the room ran another way. They ran toward the sound of the gunfire. They did not return.  

It is my fervent hope that the country sees the sacrifices made at this one school, in this one state, as entirely consistent with what teachers and educators do every day, in every school, protect the children in their care.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook was unimaginable, but not unfamiliar. We have lost too many loved ones in Washington state: in a Seattle café, in Lakewood, at the Seattle Jewish Federation, in a house in Carnation, all victims of a lethal combination of untreated mental illness, evil intent and easy access to deadly weapons. Any failure to address the issue of violence in our communities and our schools will be intolerable, and in the coming weeks I will work with the Legislature to address this crisis responsibly.

I suppose this is required boilerplate this month, but Inslee's delivery was forceful. His own father was a biology teacher. It is worth highlighting a little history here. Before representing the 1st District, he represented the 4th (mine) for one term. He was run out on a rail after, wait for it, voting for the assault weapons ban in 1994. This is not speculation. The NRA went ballistic, and dumped a fortune in distorted tv ads into offing him and installing the odious, not to mention laughably ineffective, "Doc" Hastings, with whom we are still saddled. If one senses a little hesitation, it is because Inslee knows quite well what they are capable of.

There is no challenge greater for Washington, with more opportunity for job growth and more suited to our particular brand of genius and ingenuity, than leading the world's clean energy economy. It is clear to me that we are the right state, at the right time, with the right people. It's also clear to me that we face grave and immediate danger if we fail to act. Nine of 10 of the hottest years on record happened in the past decade. We've had epic flooding, searing drought and devastating wildfires, including last summer's fires in Central Washington and the rising tides along our coast.

Our Pacific Northwest waters, especially in Puget Sound, are becoming too acidic, forcing parts of our shellfish industry to move last year. In Eastern Washington, our long tradition in agriculture could be threatened if snowpack declines. Water stored as snow is money in the bank for Washington's rural economies, but the bank could fail if we don't act. As a parent and a grandparent, I cannot consciously accept the dangers of climate change for my family or yours. As a Governor I can't afford to look the other way or point fingers or deny these realities, and I cannot allow our state to miss the moment we are destined for. All of us in Washington will have to square up to both our responsibility and our opportunity on climate change, and when we do, I'd like us to remember what Dr. Martin Luther King once said: "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." On climate change, we have settled the scientific controversy. What remains is how we respond to the challenge.

Now I know Washington can't solve this global problem alone, but we must embrace our role as first responders as our children's health is in clear and immediate danger. We must also embrace our role as entrepreneurs and pioneers, ensuring that economic solutions to climate change begin here.

. . .

We don't deny science in Washington; we embrace it.

This is what I was waiting for. And more or less what you might expect from the man who published Apollo's Fire in 2007. I really believe the main reason for his seeking the governorship was this feeling that Washington should be neck and neck with California in this field, and the never hidden frustration with Congress' inability to do anything on the environmental front.

This was the one contest I was extremely concerned about in WA. Inslee was not well known outside his district, while his opponent was famous - or notorious - as the only Republican statewide elected official. He was one of the AG's that joined the suit against Obamacare, which put his name in the media every day for a while as governor Gregoire and other others denounced him and filed their complaints.

And in the end, he only won with 51.5% of the vote. I believe he won because of the "progressive turnout trifecta" of Obama, Ref 74, and Inslee. All the same voters, so to speak.  

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Thanks Melvin...I missed his speech today (2.00 / 6)
Like you I worried about the election, and now I'm worried about the Wa State Senate. I hope the "coup" won't hamper his ability to govern.

The coup is complete.

Twenty-three Republican and two Democrat senators formally took control of Washington's Senate on Monday with the remaining Democrats kicking and screaming, to the degree such things can happen within the dignified decorum of the chamber. Twenty-five is a Senate majority.

The coup threatens Senate road blocks for a reproductive parity bill as well as proposals to keep beer and hospital beds tax and a 0.3 business and occupation surcharge from expiring. Taken together, those measures raise $650-$912 million a year. The new Senate majority may also thwart a Democratic proposal to tackle assault weapons

"So far, we're not off to a great start," said Sen. James Hargrove, D-Hoquiam.


Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

A truly revolting development. (2.00 / 6)

[ Parent ]
Bravo. (2.00 / 2)
It is my fervent hope that the country sees the sacrifices made at this one school, in this one state, as entirely consistent with what teachers and educators do every day, in every school, protect the children in their care.

imagine that, a newly elected Governor praising teachers and educators. good on him for saying it so eloquently too.

thanks for this, melvin.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


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