Ige & Tsutsui Take Reins, Outline Goals of New Administration
By Wendy Osher
Hawaiʻi’s newly sworn in Governor, David Ige and Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui of Maui delivered their inaugural addresses at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol this afternoon.
The theme, “Honoring the Past, and Charting a New Tomorrow,” was apparent as both honored their family history and spoke of their hopes for the next generation.
“All of us, no matter where we came from, walk today with one foot stepping out of the past and the other about to step into a future of endless possibilities,” said Ige in his address.
He said, contrary to what some may believe, “we do not stand at a turning point just because we have a new governor or a new administration. We stand at this point in history, with an opportunity to transform it into a turning point.”
He said that in order to attain those goals, hard work lies ahead including: nurturing a sustainable economy; taking a more active role in growing small business and diversifying the state’s economic engine; empowering schools; providing affordable health care to residents; harnessing natural resources; and collaborating with businesses, labor, community groups and civil servants.
“When our economy is truly healthy and everyone rises with the tide of prosperity, then issues such as the lack of affordable housing, homelessness and hunger are greatly diminished,” he said.
Ige also spoke of transparency, and being accountable for how the state spends the people’s money.
“As I prepare to take over the reigns of your government, I ask each of you to join me in the process of governing. I ask you to find your voice and use it to not only choose your elected officials but to shape the issues that will shape our lives,” said Ige.
Meantime, Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutusi of Maui also addressed the crowd and his home town roots. “Having been born and raised on Maui, I am a product of modest beginnings and a tight-knit community, and in some ways, participating in today’s events is really extraordinary.”
“In 1907, my great grandfather moved to Maui with the hope of building a brighter future for himself and his family. Working on the plantation, they provided my grandparents, then my parents, and now me with greater and better opportunities. Like so many others, my family realized quickly that Hawaiʻi was an amazing place to live, work, and raise a family. But it is only because of my family’s foresight and tremendous sacrifices that I stand here today, humbled and deeply honored to have this opportunity to serve as your Lieutenant Governor,” he said.
Tsutsui, who is now entering a new term as Lieutenant Governor after serving under the previous Abercrombie administration, called today “the beginning of a new journey.”
“Beginning today, Governor Ige and I will work collaboratively to help create a better Hawaiʻi… from making sure that our keiki receive a quality education, to caring for the needs of the kūpuna who raised us.”
In closing he said, “We are overwhelmed and so blessed by your support and confidence. We will work hard for you each day to earn your respect and aloha. May God Bless all of you. May god continue to bless our great state, and may god continue to bless the United States of America.”