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Politics

In the Governor's own words

By TIMES WIRES
Published January 3, 2007


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Below are excerpts from the inaugural address of Florida's 44th governor, Charlie Crist:

"What are we doing right? What do we need to change, to do better? This is the time to ask those questions - to reach for new conclusions and fresh ideas."

* * *

"We have a common vision as Floridians. Meaningful, secure work with good pay and benefits; quality, affordable, accessible health care; a good home on a safe street in a safe neighborhood; world-class schools preparing our children for the jobs of the future; and, yes, clean rivers, beautiful beaches and coastlines free of oil drilling. This is a vision we can make a reality."

* * *

"This is our destiny: the people's Legislature and the people's governor following the people's agenda. Item 1 on that agenda must be to reduce the burden on our people from the spiraling costs of property insurance and property taxes."

* * *

"Some of our families are no longer able to afford their homes, spending down their retirement to keep a roof over their head, leveraging their children's future to keep food on the table. This cannot and will not stand."

* * *

"As a proud product of Florida's public schools, I know the essential ingredient in a first-class education is our teachers. We must continue to recruit and retain the very best and brightest to teach our children, and we must pay them more."

* * *

"For if the people cannot understand their government, then power rests with only a few. No longer. Our people will not be disenfranchised by the parlance of bureaucracy. This is the people's government, and clear, plain language will be used to make it open and transparent to all."

Part of ceremony plays out in verse

Tampa's poet laureate, James E. Tokely Sr., mailed Crist this original piece. Crist asked Tokely to read it at Tuesday's ceremony.

A Meeting of the People, by James E. Tokley Sr.

From the oaks of Wewahitchka to the palms of Lauderdale

From the hills of Tallahassee to the fertile Brandon fields

From the shores of Sarasota, snowy-white, pollution-free

To the island of Key Largo, as it looks upon the sea

We have come here as the people

And we stand before you, now

Not Republican, nor Democrat, but we meet as one, somehow

And our minds are independent, based upon a greater sight

As one people, we step forward and prepare to take the mike

As one state, which is united by its greatness yet to be,

Do we stand here now excited, on the steps of history

Do we claim a common legacy based upon the kindred goals

of a universal freedom anchored deeply in our soul!

So, let the voice who speaks, this morning

not forget from whence it came

Let it resonate a language that bespeaks each family name.

Read the full poem online at links. tampabay.com.

[Last modified January 3, 2007, 00:32:16]


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