January 7, 2003 - Gannett Wisconsin Online: RPCV Governor Jim Doyle calls for a new Day in Wisconsin in Inaugural Address

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RPCV Governor Jim Doyle calls for a new Day in Wisconsin in Inaugural Address

Read and comment on this story from Gannett Wisconsin Online on Governor Jim Doyle who called for a new Day in Wisconsin in his Inaugural Address and talked about his service in the Peace Corps in Tunisia at:

Gov. Doyle: ‘It’s a new day in Wisconsin’*

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Gov. Doyle: ‘It’s a new day in Wisconsin’

MADISON — The text of the inaugural address delivered Monday by Gov. Jim Doyle:

Madam Chief Justice, former governors, Sens. Kohl and Feingold, members of the Wisconsin State Legislature, members of the Supreme Court, tribal leaders, fellow citizens, thank you and welcome to a new day in Wisconsin.

Let me make special recognition of my predecessor, Gov. Scott McCallum. Scott, we’ve been through a tough campaign, but we were friends before and I hope we will be friends long into the future. I thank you for your service to this state we both love, and I want to thank you and Laurie for all the help you have given Jessica and me during this period of transition. You have acted with grace and class, and I am most grateful to you.

And, if I could take a moment to recognize those individuals who have taken the oath of office here with me today: Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, and State Treasurer Jack Voight — and to also recognize my two good friends: Congressman Tom Barrett and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. Thank you both for being here today.

As I stand here today, I am struck by the awesome responsibility and opportunity the people of Wisconsin have given me, and all of us here who share the public trust.

I am also keenly aware of the challenges ahead of us and of the tough choices that must be made, if we are to put our state back on track financially, back on track ethically, and back on track putting the people of Wisconsin first.

But we can do it, and we will do it. Because it is a new day for Wisconsin.

So many people have done so much to bring me to this moment. My wife Jessica and I have been partners every step of the way for 36 years. My sons Gus and Gabe are great young men who have helped to carry me. All the members of the Doyle and Laird families who are here today — thank you.

Of course, I wish more than anything that my father could be here to share this moment. He was a man of extraordinary intelligence, compassion, courage and wisdom. I believe he is sharing this moment with us, and I will always be warmed and guided by his presence.

I am very lucky to have my mother Ruth Bachhuber Doyle here with me today. Believe me, she wasn’t going to miss this.

She is a remarkable woman. In 1948, as a young mother of three, she was one of the first women elected to the Wisconsin Legislature and the fourth generation of the Bachhuber family to serve in that body. She had a distinguished career in education devoting herself to opening the door of opportunity for all students.

I was very lucky growing up. I was raised by two devoted public servants — a judge and an educator.

My parents dedicated their lives to using two of our most precious public institutions — courts and schools — to make things better for people. They instilled in me the belief that public service is not only an honorable profession, but that it is a way to make a real difference in people’s lives.

And they taught me that if you are honest, and determined, and if you work really hard, you can accomplish almost anything you set out to do.

And, most importantly, they taught me that if you work together, you’re liable to get more done and when you do, everyone comes out ahead.

I plan on taking that approach to the office down the hall.

Because of my parents, I have always believed that the most meaningful personal goals I could ever pursue involved public service — from those early days with Jessie in the Peace Corps to my time on the Navajo Indian Reservation to the job I am about to undertake.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new day in Wisconsin. It’s a new day both because we want it to be, and because we need it to be.

Our challenges are so large, our responsibilities are so great and our opportunities are so endless, we really don’t have any other choice: we can no longer do business the way we have in the past.

At a time when all across the nation, states are facing massive deficits — ours is among the largest.

At a time when taxes are threatening families’ ability to afford housing — ours are among the highest.

At a time when every state is facing economic disparity between its well-off and its most disadvantaged — we are home to some of the most dramatic disparities.

At a time when many states in the region are losing young people to big cities that seem to offer greater opportunities — we are witnessing some of the greatest losses.

And at a time when too many Americans are feeling more and more disillusioned with government, their elected leaders, and public service — I am sad to say that perhaps no state has fallen farther, fallen faster than Wisconsin. If we want to restore Wisconsin’s promise, we simply must make changes — changes that are both daunting and exciting.

More than 150 years ago, my great-great-grandfather left Ireland and the hopelessness of the potato famine, and set out for America and the possibilities of the unknown.

He arrived in Boston, and in 1851 set out again, this time on foot in search of a better life for his family. He walked to Waupun, Wisconsin, where he settled on a farm to raise his family.

He knew that times demanded change and that even a circumstance borne of necessity was fundamentally fueled by optimism.

And you know what? His story wasn’t particularly special.

Thousands of people did the same thing: they left what they knew, and accepted almost unimaginable personal hardships for the promise of something better.

Some came from Ireland, others from Germany and Scandinavia. Some were fleeing the slavery of the South, others escaping political persecution in Central America, Asia, or some other corner of the globe.

They joined those who were already here in Wisconsin, and together they built the Wisconsin we know and love.

And like the Wisconsinites of today, all they ever asked for was a chance a chance to work hard, a chance to learn, a chance to succeed and maybe, just maybe, a chance for season tickets to the Packers.

OK, some things really are impossible.

You know, when I see these great kids like the Youth of the Year from the Boys & Girls Clubs, it’s clear to me we must succeed. Because ultimately, it’s about them. Please give a hand to Wisconsin’s future.

To get there, it’s going to take daring, commitment and vision.

Mostly, though, it’s going to take being true to our values:

A willingness to sacrifice now for a better future. Honesty and straight talk. An appreciation for hard truths. And the pride that comes from choosing the right path, not just the easy one.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new day in Wisconsin. And that means we need a new way of doing business.

From here on out, state government will move forward by bringing people together, not by dividing them. That means we’ll approach problem-solving not as Republicans and Democrats, not as business and labor, but as citizens of one state, headed together towards one future. In the audience today are former congressman, defense secretary and Republican Melvin Laird, my wife’s uncle, and former governor, senator and Democrat Gaylord Nelson.

They came here together today close friends for 50 years. They became friends representing different parties in the Legislature. They didn’t agree on many issues, but they respected each other and worked hard to find common ground, because above all they loved Wisconsin and understood that the priorities of the state should always come first.

This state has been a much better place over these decades because of their cooperation.

We will need that same spirit of cooperation today if we are to fulfill the people’s business, if we are to fulfill the people’s demand to “get on with it.”

From here on out, we’ll tell people the truth about our problems and what it will take to fix them.

Nearly 50 years ago, Harry Grant, the publisher of The Milwaukee Journal, said: “It takes a long time to educate a community and it can’t be done by spellbinders, moneybags, hypnotizers or magicians. Character is what matters.”

He was talking about the responsibilities of a newspaper, but the same is true of government.

And, from here on out, we’ll develop budgets that are based on real projections, not wishful thinking, and we’ll focus on our finances first because without control over our own budget, we cannot hope to control our future.

It’ll be harder this way, but we have no other choice. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new day in Wisconsin, and that means we need new innovators — people and organizations that personify Wisconsin values — people and organizations whose accomplishments can serve as an inspiration for our own efforts.

The good news is, we have no shortage of them.

People like Jamie Thomson, whose pioneering work with stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin will one day save and improve thousands of lives, and will produce unimaginable economic progress for so many Wisconsin families.

Or the leaders and employees of Harley-Davidson, who by tackling problems head-on and honoring obligations without fail, engineered one of the most successful business turnarounds in American history. They made hard decisions and took countless risks, but like us, they had no choice. And as a result, Harley-Davidson will be celebrating their 100th anniversary this August.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new day in Wisconsin. And that means we need a new way of making decisions.

From here on out, every decision facing state government will be based on the answer to one simple question: What’s best for the people of Wisconsin? Not just those from one region or from one party. Not just those who can afford lobbyists. And not just those who yell the loudest.

If a program doesn’t help people, then we can’t afford it.

From here on out, we have to set priorities.

As I’ve often said, I’m a pretty basic guy. As I assume office today, I have been handed a staggering budget deficit of 4.3 billion dollars. It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. And we’re going to fix it.

But that means we can’t do everything. And, in truth, it really means we can’t do a lot of things we should do. It breaks my heart ... but that’s what we’re faced with.

Over the long haul, my priorities are clear:

• Making sure our kids go to even better schools and universities.

• Helping create good, high-paying jobs that let people enjoy a good life.

• Not raising taxes on the hardworking people of Wisconsin who already pay their fair share.

• Helping usher in new high-tech and information-age businesses.

• Keeping our citizens safe on their streets and in their neighborhoods.

• Protecting Wisconsin’s incredible environment — our rivers, our lakes and our streams.

• Listening carefully for the quiet voices our seniors, those in desperate need of health care, our fellow citizens held back by poverty.

These are my priorities. Yes, there will be pain along the way. I’m not going to deny that. But if we do this right, if we do this together, I am totally confident that at the other end of this difficult process, we’re going to be a much stronger and a much better state.

Eleanor Roosevelt reminded us of this many years ago when she wrote: “Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.”

And, from here on out, restoring Wisconsin’s reputation for clean and honest government will be a sacred commitment, not an empty and neglected rhetorical flourish.

My friends, together, we have many changes to make, and many risks to take, and we cannot back away from either one.

Let us always remember that what brings us together as citizens of this great state is far more important than what divides us.

Over the next four years, we may sometimes voice different views. But we will always be on the same side.

We may not cast the same votes. But in the end, we’ll all be cast together.

I make one pledge above all others: That I will do everything in my power to unite the people of Wisconsin and to help shape a government that focuses on the issues that matter most in our daily lives:

• Security for our families.

• Better lives for our children.

• A comfortable and healthy retirement for our seniors.

• And a commitment to Wisconsin values.

Now let us begin.

Thank you.

— The Associated Press
More about Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Tunisia

Read more about Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Tunisia at:

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