Here’s everything Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs said during her inauguration speech
Jan 5, 2023, 12:34 PM | Updated: 1:27 pm
PHOENIX — Katie Hobbs delivered her inaugural speech as governor of Arizona on Thursday morning outside the state Capitol.
Hobbs, a Democrat and Arizona’s 24th governor, called for unity and outlined priorities for her tenure during the 13-minute address.
Here’s the full transcript of Hobbs’ speech:
Today represents a new chapter in the story of our beloved state. It is a chapter that will be written by you, your families, your neighbors and the communities you love.
It is a chapter that will once again prove that the power of democracy, the power of the people to make their voice heard in free, fair and secure elections that serves as the foundation of what makes our nation the greatest on earth.
Your voice and the voices of your fellow citizens, no matter who you voted for, have been heard loud and clear at our state Capitol and across the nation. You embraced the challenge before us and rejected those who seek to divide and to pit Arizona community against community.
Instead, you sent a message that it’s time your elected officials worked together to find real solutions and to build an Arizona for everyone.
As a born and raised Arizonan, I am honored. You have entrusted me the power of this office at this critical time for our state.
You, the people of Arizona, gave me a clear directive to find common ground, work with people and not political parties and embrace the challenges that stand before us.
I pledge to you that I will not forget this charge because just like you, I see challenge as opportunity. It’s not always going to be easy, but just like Arizona, I never back down from a tough fight.
We are a people who see the promise of this land and the promise of each other. We are also not the first to do so.
We must acknowledge that we are here because of the first people who have called this place home since time and where we gather at this moment continues to be connected to the O’odham of today’s Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian community.
Let us also acknowledge the 22 tribal nations that today continue to be a vital part of our great state and nation.
From those who created a brilliant canal system in central Arizona that laid the foundation for the Valley as we know it today to all of the families and individuals who followed and helped to create a thriving and resilient state, our ancestors and predecessors embraced the challenges of their times and now it is our turn to carry on that spirit.
We know we have trials and tribulations before us, including some that politicians have kicked the can on for decades. But we also know that if we work together, we can start to solve these problems right now and fulfill our responsibility to build a better future for our state.
Arizona offers so much to be proud about — our world class universities drive innovation and new opportunities. The entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners and large companies shape industries across the globe.
The hard work put in by every Arizonan in whether they wear a uniform or work behind a desk or share the expertise of their trade each day defines who we are and powers this amazing state.
We are also defined by the strength that comes from our diversity of age, religion, race, color and creed. From the Latino community that makes up nearly a third of our population — and growing — to our friends in the Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, African American and tribal communities throughout the state, we have all undeniably shaped our past and are working hard each day to shape our future.
As we go forward into this new chapter, we have an obligation to build upon this strong foundation, but we must also do all we can to ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed and that’s not always the case today.
We have to recognize that too many families are struggling to afford the rising cost of essentials like groceries, gas and rent. I know firsthand how families feel when they work hard all week and still come up short. And how it feels to have to work a second and third job to make ends meet. How it feels to lose your home to foreclosure. How it feels to grow up in a family that relies on food stamps or other assistance to get by. I know from my own experience how good it feels to finally get a chance to find your footing, to find a way up through education, to live a life of service and do everything possible to make our community and our state better.
Standing here today, in the shadow of our Capitol, I think back to the countless lessons my family and my church community taught me while growing up in Tempe: work hard, serve others and never back down when things get tough.
Those lessons guided me while working my way through Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University. They guided me as a social worker for youth experiencing homelessness. They guided me while helping run one of the largest domestic abuse shelters in the nation. They guided me while serving in the state legislature and as Arizona’s secretary of state and they guided me as I raised my own two kids right here in the state.
I love so much that that’s my Arizona story and I know each of you here today or watching at home have your own unique story to share about how our beliefs are shaped by our experiences, our loved ones and by our hopes and dreams for the future.
That’s the common thread that connects us now. Does that mean that we always agree? Of course not. But the greatest promise of our nation of democracy is that individuals from vastly different backgrounds and beliefs can put our differences aside to find common ground and do what’s right for our fellow citizens and for each other.
Make no mistake, it is clear what we must do. We must find common ground and do what’s right to invest in public schools and finally provide the support our students, teachers and parents deserve. And to create good paying jobs and lower costs to defend reproductive freedom and women’s rights. And to support public safety in all communities, to ensure access to safe, affordable housing. To enable small businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive, to hold Washington accountable for our broken immigration system and its devastating impact on families and communities. To safeguard our elections, to protect our forests and public lands, to secure Arizona’s water future and so much more.
There is so much at stake and we have no time to waste. Now is the time to embrace the challenges before us to work together to build an Arizona for everyone.
We will choose the path of action of real change where we make a positive impact in the lives of every family and every community from Page to Douglas, from Yuma to Window Rock, from Flagstaff to Tucson.
We can start making that impact immediately and we have an obligation to the people of our state to do so. Now is the time for leadership and real solutions that create meaningful change. The challenges we face today and those looming on the horizon are too important.
So let me say, unequivocally, to every elected official here today that if you’re ready to make real progress on the issues that matter most to the people of this state, then my door will always be open.
Let me also say just as clearly that chasing conspiracy theories, pushing agendas for special interests, attacking the rights of your fellow Arizonans or seeking to further undermine our democracy will lead nowhere.
To build an Arizona for everyone today and for the generations that follow us, we must work together to make real progress. That’s why you’ll see my administration bring people together from across from all parts of the state and from across the political spectrum — Democrats, Republicans and independents with different points of view — to work side-by-side.
So I ask every elected official and every resident of Arizona to join us in these efforts to make our state even greater through partnership, through support and understanding and through commitment to embrace the challenge of our time.
It won’t be easy. However, just like generations of Arizonans before us, we know that building a better future takes hard work, faith and tenacity and we are ready to take on the challenge.
I’m an optimist. I believe that now is the perfect time to move past division and partisanship and return to a path of cooperation and progress. I believe in the future of our state and I’m excited about what’s possible if we work together to do what we’ve been elected to do. I believe that we can and we will build an Arizona for everyone.
So let us go forward together into the state’s next chapter with a steadfast resolve in our principles and with open hearts and open minds. Let us live up to the promise of this land and the promise of the people who call it home.
Let us never forget that the promise of tomorrow can only be achieved if we embrace the challenge of today. Thank you again for this extraordinary honor. Let’s get to work.