Governor Granholm Asks the Michigan Family to Light the Flame of Engagement

For Immediate Release
January 1, 2003

Governor Jennifer Granholm in her Inaugural Address today asked Michiganians to "light anew the flame of engagement" by being involved in action and service to their fellow citizens who comprise the Michigan family.

Governor Granholm delivered her Address at the Lansing Center before the largest inaugural crowd ever assembled in Lansing.

In remarks that included themes of family and fiscal responsibility, the state's 47th governor said state government under her direction will "be great and do great," but noted true greatness in trying economic times will require more than the work of government.

"Citizenship in a democracy is not a spectator sport, particularly in times as tough as these," Governor Granholm said today. "Understand, I am prepared to make the tough decisions, yet the house stands strong when the family thinks, talks, argues, resolves and works together."

Governor Granholm framed her remarks in the context of Janus, the god of entrances, gates and doors.

"The door has been opened, so bring in an air of innovation. The door has been opened, so breathe a renewed air of citizen patriotism, duty, and service to one another. The door has been opened, so bring in an air of possibility and hope. The door has been opened, and open it will remain," Governor Granholm said.

Governor Granholm pledged that she would not close the door on the people she has met on the road to the Governor's Office, including the Southfield grandmother unable to fill all of her drug prescriptions or the laid off worker she met in Flint. Nor, she remarked, will she slacken in her commitment to protect the state's clean water and unspoiled spaces of the state's two peninsulas.

The governor, whose administration will be dedicated to protecting families and educating children, made a special appeal to youngsters, noting that they hold in their hands the power to change the world.

"Ask not what power will do for you, ask what you will do with your power to impact our world," Governor Granholm said. "I invite you to participate in the bending of history in some purposeful way."

She paid tribute to the people who helped open the door for her to become Michigan's first woman governor, including her parents, former teachers, the citizens who voted for her and the brave women and just men who blazed the trail to the door of the Governor's Office.

"I pay respect to all whose faith in democracy, whose belief in equality and humanity cried out: knock and the door shall be opened," Governor Granholm said.

Governor Granholm closed her remarks with a call to citizens to look toward Michigan's future. "Let us look forward with unapologetic dreams and the unblinking determination to fulfill them. Walk with me, talk with me, work with me, each in our way to light anew the flame of engagement, of action and of service to our Michigan family. May that flame cast its light in every corner of our shared home, and may it reflect like a beacon for all of our country to follow."

Full Text of the Inaugural Address