Rahm Emanuel was inaugurated as the new Mayor of Chicago, in a ceremony at Millennium Park, on Monday, May 16, 2011. It was a historic event in the city, as Emanuel is the first new mayor for 22 years.
Mayor Richard Daley attended the ceremony, along with his wife, Maggie Daley. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden attended the ceremony, which was slightly delayed because Biden flew in from Washington on Monday morning and the motorcade was late.
Rahm Emanuel spoke for about 24 minutes, emphasizing the city budget, education and safety on the city streets. Following are excerpts from the speech. The speech shared Emanuel’s ambitious vision for the city. For the entire speech, see Rahm Emanuel Inauguration Speech.
Honored guests, Mr. Vice President, Dr. Biden, Mayor Daley, First Lady Maggie Daley, Members of the City Council and other elected officials, residents and friends of Chicago.
Today, more than any other time in our history, more than any other place in our country, the city of Chicago is ready for change.
For all the parents who deserve a school system that expects every student to earn a diploma; for all the neighbors who deserve to walk home on safer streets; for all the taxpayers who deserve a city government that is more effective and costs less; and for all the people in the hardest-working city in America who deserve a strong economy so they can find jobs or create jobs — this is your day.
As your new mayor, it is an honor to fight for the change we need and a privilege to lead the city we love.
We have much to do, but we should first acknowledge how far we have come.
This is a prescription for failure that Chicago will not accept. Given the challenges we face, we need to look for better and smarter ways to meet our responsibilities. So when I ask for new policies, I guarantee, the one answer I will not tolerate is: “We’ve never done it that way before.”
Chicago is the city of “yes, we can” — not “no, we can’t.” From now on, when it comes to change, Chicago will not take no for an answer.
For the next generation of Chicagoans, let us roll up our sleeves and take on the hard work of securing Chicago’s future.
Our problems are large, but so is our capacity to solve them — only if all those who profess a love for this City of Big Shoulders are willing to bear the responsibility for keeping it strong.
So today, I ask of each of you — those who live here, and those who work here; business and labor: Let us share the necessary sacrifices fairly and justly.
If everyone will give a little, no one will have to give too much.
And together, we will keep faith with future generations, and the visionaries of our past, who built on the shores of Lake Michigan a city where dreams are made.
President Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago – pictures