May 5, 2014|
Mitch Landrieu's inaugural address as he begins his second term as mayor of New Orleans.
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Thank you both being here. I'd like to begin. -- service of the people of New Orleans with a prayer. -- thank you for waking us up this morning. Thank you for the gifts that you have so generously -- Got us fight your wisdom correct us with your justice confidence. With your mercy. Enlighten us. With your understanding they should make -- patient. In suffering. The give -- process and help us to resist temptation. In the future. T just to be generous support to serve you as you deserve to give. And not count the cost. To fight. And not to -- the wounds. Just soaked toil and not to seat for rest to labor and not ask for award except that a knowing. That we are doing you will. And man. I want to thank all. The people of New Orleans. Of course all the elected officials and dignitaries that are here with dobbs. Today. All the elected officials that was sworn in today who will. Continue to be great partners for the people of the city -- the people of the United States of America tomorrow momma did Allman Brothers and sisters and of course. To my wonderful wife Sharon and all of my beautiful children think feel so much for being here. When -- a little boy. And my -- wake me up in the morning. He would say it had signed up. Today. Is the first day. Of the rest of your life. He was trying to teach me to. Look forward. And so today as we look forward. Towards the future. My heart. Is full of hope. Because look. You the people who points. As a city and as a people we -- 300 years of history 300 years of boom. Boston. Oppression. Revolution. Freedom war disaster. Betsy and Katrina the BP oil spill. Resurrection. And yes. Redemption. Uniquely New Orleans holding tight to our culture and our way of life. We're not like other places where the calendar is simply that the body between. Winter spring summer and fall on and on up here in New Orleans the seasons -- cramped. Crawfish. Oyster and shrimp. We love our sites so this pre season regular season post season and offseason to. My favorite season as a -- right here in New Orleans coming back. We -- city of culture. And celebration so we roll from ought to draw season suggests Fastenal what did you ask -- it was. Spring means super Sunday some means assets with Paul -- festival in between and a little little Louis Armstrong at the end. And somewhere in between we -- get up and go to work. And raise off balance. It's pretty simple. There's no other place like New Orleans in the entire world and it is our precious home. -- nine years ago when the levees broke we all know how close we came to losing her. But while everything seemed to be falling apart we did something amazing but we came together. Because we had to we needed each other to survive to thrive and out of tragedy we created trying to. We freed ourselves from -- rare. But ladies and gentlemen freedom is not free. It requires hard worker it require sacrifice and be assured the fight is not over. For the battle of the future of New Orleans which goes on every day. Now we must focus our efforts as we look forward. To -- 300 anniversary in the year 2018 on mission is to create a city of peace where everyone can thrive and no one. No one gets left behind. Ford thank you. Four years from now may seem a long time away the time flies those 14160. Days. We'll fly -- in a second. And what we have accomplished in our short time together. What we have -- to open up the circle opportunity and prosperity for all. Four years ago we came together and we declared that the world deserve a better New Orleans. On that day in your -- was struggling. And we were all challenged all of us to shift -- thinking. Instead of rebuilding this city that we -- we committed ourselves to rebuilding the city that we always wanted to beat. And it all again for years ago with one single step on that road towards a better future. Not half an -- stretches for many many many miles and we have made tracks. Ladies and gentlemen the road ahead is long. And it is Steve. So what are we to make of our current state of affairs should we be happy. Or sad. Should we be joyful and boss are hopeful all -- uplifted. All of beaten down. Should we acknowledge and succumb to our limitations did you stop. Or should we recognize them confront them and she used to overcome all yes we singing we shall overcome. But do we say it anguish. Do we sing it with confidence and certainty that no matter hollow the -- No matter how -- rip off how dark the night how dangerous the pat. We will find it right time -- got to place -- -- -- like to -- your -- and treat each of our children. We are at a crossroads ladies and gentlemen. Four short years ago at another fork in the road we made a choice to put my shoulders against the wheel and to push it. For too long -- young people had to leave New Orleans to find opportunity. For years ago we decided that we had to change. Now new opportunities are right here. Cutting edge biomedical jobs at the New Orleans hospitals in the east and downtown thousands of construction jobs -- the new airport. A billion dollars being invested at the Port of New Orleans and New Orleans has become a vibrant hop onto the -- -- major calling -- end. For the next four years is to keep creating new jobs and to make sure that everybody in this city can share in that prosperity. For too long New Orleans public schools were considered some of the worst in the country. But we made a choice to change. Now graduation rate to drop test scores Iraq drop outraged a -- I kids are learning. With us today we have seventy college now public high school students from across the city. The east and to be recognized. Those young men and women. Are represented 2500. The New Orleans graduates in the class of 2014. Many of whom will attend some of our nation's best universities together. They have one listen to me 53. Million dollars in scholarships so you don't believe. That we have changed for the better. And we on the right path. Go look at their faces thank you all very much. They have proven to -- what is possible. And this is good. This is very good with too many of my kids. Are still struggling. In failing schools so when the next four years. Let's make a commitment that you want to become the first urban school system in America with not one failing school we can make that happen. Let us continue down the path I have to get a great education and have a great future because every one of them every one of them deserves it. He's four short years we went from having the worst -- problem in America and interrogate out of fixing up like faster than anywhere in the country this is good. But none of this matters if you have a White House next to do you. So the next four years we need to keep going to make sure that no one lives in the shadow of light. In four short years we went from being a city on the financial -- 100 million dollars in the -- spending five dollars to every four that we were taken it now we have a balanced budget. This is. This is good. But make no mistake about huge huge challenges remain. In the next four years we've got to keep making tough decisions that we not only can survive but so we can thrive again and control our own destiny. We have to find a way to pay for looming liabilities from the firefighters pension fund and federal consent decrees and build a police department was 16100 offices so we can make our city safe. And as we grapple with these big cost and these priorities we can't stop moving falling on all fronts we need to keep the recovery going. Indeed in just the last four years we've gotten back on track with a over a billion dollars hitting the ground. For evidence of progress. Look no further. Then this spectacular theater 53 million dollar renovation -- nicest. Theater in America along with the new streets new playgrounds police stations fire stations parks libraries we have now anchoring. All. About neighborhoods. These investments plus another billion dollars. To replace the big four housing development means that a housing safer neighborhoods strong families and a stronger New Orleans. Take Iraq. Go see the development go to Columbia part harmony notes forward we'll see her comments he's all real life examples. Of the notion that we didn't go back as we work rebuilt as we always shoot me. And most importantly this gentleman throughout the last four years we. Have changed. Instead of running away from problems now we want to the fire. We take on the toughest issues and we refuse. We refuse. To kick the can down the road. And there is no tougher issue for Ross then the issue of violence. In 2010. New Orleans was America's murder capital. But not anymore. Murder in New Orleans -- is that a historic thirty year low. This is good lives have been saved but hear me. Still too many lives of being lost on the streets of New Orleans indeed on this very issue. We face a very stark contradiction that we have to confront. From the rich oil of New Orleans comes -- great -- I close knit neighborhoods are second lines are cooked and I'm usually unloved and lost -- families -- -- -- -- lobbying job hardly hear. But from the same fertile ground. From this shame remarkable place grossed an ominous fruit planted from the scenes of violence that have taken root. The death the destruction will only end if we can't route that noxious weed by the root. We much each. We must -- joined the growing course who have said enough. We have to stop the shooting we have to stop the violence we have to stop the madness. New Orleans ten and will become a city of peace. But this challenge. Like so many that we face -- generations in the making and will not be fixed overnight but we are on the right path. But again we are now at a crucial moment where the -- road divergent from what has bit. To what can be. In this season of change we must make a choice to keep -- forward. To turn back. After years of trial by fire we as a people have changed your -- as we have found a new way. The old way of divide and conquer is gone replaced by -- unity of purpose the old mistrust between business. And government gives way to mutual benefits of cooperation. The wounds of yesterday are starting to heal differences of faith race neighborhood give way to -- common ground. It to a shared humanity. This is the new way New Orleans we have changed this is why we are winning we are united like never before and there is a simple premise. That unites us we all want the same thing. A bright future for our kids economic opportunity and now safe neighborhoods and now we realized. That only about working together can we truly make this happen. We cannot move forward unless we. All move forward together. And in -- long history. When ever we have been united as one. We win. If it was not clear are ready let me say here now. To all who listen we in New Orleans have made a choice we have gotten used to winning we have changed we are pressing on and we will not look back. We have become a city that has chosen to light a candle rather then to curse the darkness. In -- dropped 300 anniversary. We can create a New Orleans that we had always dreamed -- dream that she should be. A city where everyone can thrive. And no -- can be left behind. We must keep moving forward and continue to turn this dream into reality because something else is happening in New Orleans this day. A baby shop was born. For the first time this new mother and -- up. Help their baby clothes at this moment a family is made and they precious seed is planted in you room. Takes hole. In this moment anything feels possible in this moment. Dreams a launched and the journey begins from a joyous -- to what the bright visions of what tomorrow may bring. This one child holds with our hopes and dreams not just of -- family but of the city of New Orleans she's depending on us. And we -- depending. On her. And many years from now that we pass -- the -- we will know that we ran. I'll leg of the race and we did everything that we could -- that -- against not behind. But by the pact with a real shot at winning. Because the bravery and has sacrificed in the vision of those that came before us. This shop already enters -- world that looks so different than the one from a generation before just make up. The only thing -- your child knows is the saints who was Super Bowl champions. The president the United States is African American in New Orleans is on the rocks. We are deeply grateful to those who fought the battles of yesterday so that we could be here today. We should also think conferences sadly not here today because they were taken before the time by violence. Let us also always remember those who never emerge from the tree and -- waters those chased out by the storms. And those who have not yet. Return. The best on that positive legacy is to fight for that child that is born today. Ladies and gentlemen we have the power to make a difference we can determine our path and out destiny and we should you show. This world will be what we make of it. It is a world of tragedy and triumph of peace and war of pain and beauty it is an imperfect world. But one where we can make a choice to find a way to rid ourselves of bigotry hatred and inequality there is hope. There is a way a new way. Today's latest -- a New Orleans is strong. Resting on the court bedrock of like unique culture diversity and above all -- uncompromising optimism and belief in god. And the future. Today I ask all of you -- and let us keep pressing on and recommit ourselves to creating a city where no one. No one gets left behind. Every generation comes to this point every generation is given moment to be added that our official tree. And 300 years from now historians look back they will remember how we the people of New Orleans in this moment. In this time came together to do what was hard. For the sake of doing what was right and gave life. And freedom goodness and light to those generations we do not yet know this is our mission. It is our responsibility it is out over. But it is a sweet bird. And I am thankful. As we all should be. That we have been given the chance the opportunity to -- the burden for those yet to com. We will all be better for it. New Orleans has long been a place. Where the promise. Of tomorrow. A better tomorrow always seems just just out of -- But not anymore. I'll Thomas com. Four years ago we came together and we made a choice to be one team one fight one voice and one city we changed. And forge a new -- A path to higher common ground. When this child was born. A seed was planted. And took sure. To become. The city we always dreamed we should be it is here where we must focus our efforts it is here with this young man and in the hearts and minds of the children across the city where the future will be decided. It is here with the outstanding class of the graduates of 2018. Indeed it is a simple solemn promise that we made it to the next next generation. We will find -- where are we won't make want to make sure that each of you. Can reach great heights. With God's grace. We can become that shining city on a hill. Four years ago we began with one single step one team one fight one voice one city with just one step. Four years ago together we took that first -- and through trials and tribulations we have overcome. Now together we must press on we will not turn back -- children's sake and all those who will come after New Orleans let's keep going. Let's take another step and Wallace let's create this city we always. Dreamed we could beat we have changed we will win it. We will press on and we won't not look back today is the first day. All the rest of our lives and our best days are yet to come let's get back to work.