As we step outside on this first January morning of 2007, the light of a new day shines down on the Empire State once again.
The opportunity at the heart of this day is unique to our times, but not new to our history. As the writer Russell Shorto has aptly noted, New York created the model for the kind of society that would be duplicated throughout the country and around the globe: Our state was born as an island at the center of the world.
What began as a babble of dialects and peoples struggling to find a way to live together, searching for balance between chaos and order, liberty and oppression, became a symphony of democracy.
Under the shadow of liberty’s torch, generations of weary travelers have sailed into New York harbor believing that of all the places on Earth, this was the land where people could come and find the chance to make their world anew.
That no matter how great the hardship, no matter how daunting the challenge, the promise of our democracy makes it possible to overcome the greatest odds so that we — individually and as a society — may arrive at a greater good.
And so it was for those first immigrants who came with little and worked long days to give their children a better life.
For the bold governor, Dewitt Clinton, who ignored the warnings of the skeptics and cynics and built an Erie Canal that so many had said was wasteful, impractical, and impossible.
For the reformers of Teddy Roosevelt’s day who dared to take on the political machine and inbred corruption in order to give government back to the people.
For the suffragists and union members and civil rights heroes who organized and marched on our streets to win their chance at the American dream.
For the inventors, artists and entrepreneurs who have turned our state into a beacon of hope, ideas and opportunity.
And so it must be for us. Like all who have come before, we have arrived at this moment on this day because we have demanded a different and more vibrant future for our children.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Spitzer's inaugural speech
He's no Abraham Lincoln, but this is fairly eloquent for a current politician. Here's a bit from here: