As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you all for being here.
To my wife Katie, and our children Grace, Tara, William and Jack. To my mother Barbara O’Malley, and to my father who is here in spirit, and to my brothers and sisters; to Joe and Barbara Curran; to Monsignor Burke, Imam Hendi, Reverend Hill, and Rabbi Weinblatt; to Lt. Governor Anthony Brown; To Senator Mikulski, thank you for your leadership, friendship, and your kind introduction; to Senator Cardin, to Senator Sarbanes, to Congressman Cummings, Congressman Ruppersberger, Congressman Sarbanes, Congresswoman Edwards, Congressman Bartlett, and Congressman Harris; to Governor Hughes, Governor Glendening, and Governor Mandel; to Judge Bell, to the County Executives, the County Commissioners, and the Mayors of Maryland; to President Miller, Speaker Busch and the men and women of the General Assembly; to Attorney General Gansler, Comptroller Franchot, and Treasurer Kopp; to the members of our National Guard and Armed Forces, and to the many courageous veterans who are joining us today;
A special welcome to Mayor Gray of Washington, D.C. and Governor McDonnell who joins us from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Thank you all for your leadership, thank you for your service and thank you for your presence here today.
To the people of Maryland, thank you for trusting me to serve you at this pivotal moment in our history.
Today, we reaffirm that we are One Maryland, united by our belief in the dignity of every individual, and by our belief in our own responsibility to advance the greater good. In our State, there is no such thing as a spare American; we are all in this together. And as One Maryland, we ask God for His blessing, protection, and grace.
Four years ago, few could have foreseen the suffering so many Maryland families would endure as our national economy and global financial markets nearly collapsed. We could not have imagined how many moms and dads would lose their jobs and homes, or how many small businesses would have to close their doors.
In times of adversity, such as these, the people of Maryland do not make excuses, we make progress.
In Times of Adversity, We Make Progress
Determined to move forward out of this recession, Maryland businesses chose to start expanding and creating jobs again, and are now doing so at nearly twice the national rate.
Determined to make our children winners in this new economy, together we chose to improve public education with record investments. Alone among the fifty states, we made college more affordable for more families by holding the line against any increase in college tuition for four years in a row.
Together, we chose to invest in innovation, bio-tech, renewable energy, research and development.
Thanks to courageous fire fighters and police officers, better technology, and stronger partnerships, we saved lives by driving violent crime, fire deaths, and traffic deaths down to record lows.
With a performance-measured government that functions and works: we provided healthcare coverage to more families and family-owned businesses; we improved the health of the waters and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay, and with our neighbors in Virginia, guided by science, we restored a blue crab population that was in danger of collapse.
With tough but fiscally responsible choices, we cut $5.6 billion in state spending and reduced the size of our government.
As we look ahead, we know these next four years will not be easy. Unemployment and foreclosures remain unacceptably high, wages remain stagnant, and our national recovery has only just begun. We have a long way to go.
None of us has all the answers, but you and I rightly sense what is at stake right now.
We are in a period of profound economic change.
It is a change that will affect all of our lives and, more importantly, the lives of our children for the better, or for the worse. In challenging times like these, a different level of leadership, determination, imagination, and creativity is required from each of us.
No generation of Americans ever built monuments to their own comfort.
If Maryland is to succeed in this new global economy – if Maryland’s children are going to be winners in this new economy – we must move forward.
Forward by harnessing the full job-creating potential of Maryland’s Innovation Economy in life-sciences, bio-tech, aerospace, trade and cyber-security.
Forward by maximizing the new job opportunities generated in global trade through our modernized Port and in the next generation of clean-tech and green-tech manufacturing.
Forward by further improving public education so all of our children can earn a world-class education and successfully compete to win in the global economy.
Forward by making college more affordable for more families, by improving the skills of our workforce, and by building world-class institutions of higher learning, research, and innovation.
Forward by improving public safety and the security of our homeland.
Foward by restoring our Bay, by advancing a cleaner, greener, renewable energy future, and by taking to scale emerging technologies like offshore wind and electric drive cars to create jobs in Maryland.
All of these pursuits are important and essential for the future. Each creates new jobs and new opportunities. And progress on one requires progress on all.
The Better Future We Seek Dawns First in Maryland
I believe in this decade of ours, the better future we seek dawns first in Maryland.
There is not another state better positioned than we are to transform the global challenges we face into the jobs and opportunities of our own new economy here.
We are at the threshold of brilliant science, innovative technology and remarkable discoveries that will transform, for the better, the opportunities and the world that we give to our children. From the schools, laboraties, and companies of Maryland are emerging the discoveries, technologies, and jobs that will remake our world.
In this search for answers and solutions, Maryland is not a random scattering of isolated individuals totally on our own.
In fact, there are some challenges so large, that we can only address them together–making this new economy ours; spurring innovation, harnessing its job creating and healing potential; improving public schools, public safety, public works, and the protection of our public health and our natural resources.
We need each other just as much as the next generation needs us. We cannot allow our individual sense of entitlement to tear apart our shared sense of community.
We must move beyond the debilitating idea that our children will not enjoy a better quality of life than we have, that we are destned to decline, backslide, and fail.
I say our best days are ahead of us–but only if we choose to make it so.
Recognizing the Unity that Already Is
The fabric of our social and political life is stretched and torn by the politics of division; violence casts a long shadow. But we cannot allow fear to separate us.
We must find ways to move forward together; find the ways to make it in America. And Maryland, our Maryland, has a responsibility–especially now–to brighten and defend the constellation of progress that calls our country forward. For Maryland is a vibrant, living system, blessed by a beautiful diversity: different cultures and forests, cities and towns, diverse regions and farmlands, historic universities and rivers, devotion and song.
To heal our painful economic and political wounds, we must connect more of Maryland to herself.
It is not as if there is religion here, science there, government and economics over there, corporations in that corner, children over there in a playground, all separted neatly into walled-off spaces.
We are here to make Maryland whole again. We must recognize “the unity that already is,” and find ways to work together that strengthen that unity. This is our challenge: not of government alone or society as a whole, but of every individual who values the title of citizen.
And so with love, forgiveness, and humility, let us move forward as One Maryland, that our works–and the sacrifice of the days ahead–shall be worthy of the hope God sees in the eyes of our children.