The Baltimore Sun January 19, 1995, Thursday,

Copyright 1995 The Baltimore Sun Company
The Baltimore Sun

January 19, 1995, Thursday, FINAL EDITION


LENGTH: 2055 words

HEADLINE: "We have more in common than divides us."
Text of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's inaugural address


Mr. [Senate] President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Attorney General, Madame Treasurer, Mr. Comptroller, Chief Judge, my very, very favorite lieutenant governor in the whole world, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend -- Kathleen come on up here for a second -- members of the General Assembly with whom I look forward to working very closely, members of Congress that have joined us here today, honored guests, my family, my friends and all Marylanders:

Thank you for joining us on this very, very happy day. My wife, Frances Anne, and my son, Raymond, join me as I stand here today to accept the challenge and the privilege to serve as the governor of our great state.

There is, I might say -- and it's, it's unfortunate that with the weather you can't see it -- but there is over here an empty chair with a rose on that chair. That chair is our symbolic remembrance of our parents: Frances Anne's father, former Sen. George Hughes, and her wonderful mother, Pat. It is also in remembrance of my parents, Raymond and Jean Glendening. Unfortunately, none of them are with us any longer. But we are absolutely certain that they are here in spirit, and that they are smiling on us as we share this great day together. We have loving, warm memories of our parents. Frances Anne often speaks of her mother's strength, determination and commitment to family. She has often said that the song "The Wind Beneath My Wings" reminds her of her mother. Her mother really was her hero.

'My hero'

Frances Anne, would you come up here for a moment? I just want to say publicly that you are indeed my hero. And I say that because, as most of you who know her know, she has been "content to let me shine." You are content today while "I am the one with all the glory." I will tell you without any hesitation, "I can fly higher than an eagle, because you are the wind beneath my wings." I thought at this time, rather than just the traditional presenting of flowers, that I would like to present you with a song that is dedicated to you.

(Song: "The Wind Beneath My Wings")

Ladies and gentlemen, my absolutely wonderful wife, and the first lady of Maryland.

Now, Raymond, I know you hate this, but come on up here a second.

(Raymond: You're not going to do the same thing to me, are you?)

Raymond, I just want to say publicly -- but I think you know -- that your mother and I are very, very proud of you as well. We are proud that you are an honor student at DeMatha and just doing tremendously well. And part of the DeMatha contingent is right here. Let's hear it for DeMatha. Also on the school's baseball team. And we are proud and really blessed that you've been a wonderful son. I will tell you as well, the first young person in Government House in well over a generation. And when he and his friends were running through the halls there this morning, I'm not sure anyone knew what to make of it. But, Raymond, we're proud of you, too.

You know, the rose, the empty chair and the song speak very clearly of family. They are symbolic of the legacy and values one generation passes to another. And they are symbolic of how caring and compassion can lead to lives of responsibility and respect.

Today we reach beyond our personal family to the family of Maryland -- people of all ages, all colors, all backgrounds. We look to those who came before us. Most particularly Governor Schaefer, who embodied, not only for Maryland but also for the nation, the notion that government service can be driven by compassion for people. Our state, our well-being, has been his life's work.

We also look to former Gov. Harry Hughes, whose dignified leadership led our state to focus on things that were really important, like our environment. And I would say as well to Governor Hughes, a personal friend not just to me, but of our extended family. And we look to former Gov. Marvin Mandel, who modernized Maryland's structure of government. Those three individuals are here with us today. Let us recognize them if we would.

For the past two years, I have traveled throughout the Free State and I have heard the voices of Maryland: the lathe operator in Cumberland struggling to make ends meet, the watermen of the Chesapeake who rise long before dawn to work the bay, the steel workers, shopkeepers, and entrepreneurs of Baltimore City, the federal employees who commute from Frederick, and the farmers in Kent County.

I have met them all. And they have given me a great gift. They have taught me that ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things, that there are certainties in this uncertain world, and that sure as the next sunrise, the decent, hard-working people of Maryland will rise to meet the challenges before us.

In my journey across our beautiful state, I have learned we have more in common than divides us, that our future is our common cause -- that the coal miner in Garrett County, the schoolteacher in Montgomery County and the truck farmer in Leonardtown are all living paycheck to paycheck. All worried about the kind of future their children will have -- the quality of education, their safety, the opportunities their children will have to land a good job and earn a decent wage.

Today we put behind us simplistic solutions -- the empty slogans and the divisive politics that hold us back. Instead, we face honestly, forthrightly and with a sense of common purpose the challenges that lie ahead.

'I had an obligation'

In this age of cynicism, I want to earn your faith. I want you to know where we stand, what we stand for and what we hope to accomplish together. From the beginning of this effort, I believed I had an obligation to the citizens to clearly state my priorities and vision to move Maryland forward. That is why we published our plan, the Vision for Maryland, to improve education, to create and keep good jobs, to make our communities and streets safe, to protect our unique environment, and to make our government efficient and effective.

And we offer a practical, common sense, honest approach. This is the agenda of the Glendening administration. It is an agenda of which all Marylanders can be a part. An agenda that will change Maryland's future and our life. An agenda that will shape the dreams and create the opportunities of our children's lives. It can be done.

This is the first of three messages I will deliver over the next 10 days -- each part of a three-part package. This inaugural address is my vision for Maryland in the 21st century. The remaining two will address the budget and details of our legislative programs -- in other words, how to make this vision a reality. Today we address the basic values and expectations and changes in policies that will lead our Maryland family into the 21st century. The changes we will experience together will bring both challenges and opportunities.

From preschool to graduate school, we can create a new education system based on having the highest expectations of our children and young adults -- if teachers, parents, business people, entire communities join with us to make it happen.

In laboratories and offices and factories, we can create an economy that provides not just jobs, but good, substantive jobs that allow us to support our families -- if we recognize that business creates wealth and opportunity and that meaningful work provides real independence and hope, that employers have responsibilities that transcend the paycheck -- and if business and labor recognize we must work together for jobs to support our families.

We can balance economic growth and the protection of our environment -- if we recognize that they are not and cannot be mutually exclusive. In our homes, our schools and streets, we can make safety and security the rule and not the exception -- if we tackle the problem as a community, bound together by common concerns for neighbors and neighborhoods. And we can make government work smarter and leaner if state employees help us meet the challenges of re-engineering government.

We must count on everyone to do his or her part. I have faith that together we will move Maryland forward. It is already starting to happen. The Maryland I see is not a distant dream. I see an exciting vision for Maryland as we move into the 21st century.

I see a Maryland with educational programs like [UMBC President] Freeman Hrabowski -- Freeman, Freeman, right here. Freeman Hrabowski who has created the Myerhoff Scholarship Program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County -- a program that shatters the stereotype of the "urban myth" and takes young African-Americans, and shows them that someone cares about them and their education, and prepares them to be our scientists, our doctors and our teachers of the future.

I see a Maryland that works with businesses such as Telspan International, which is owned by Toni Ford. Toni where are you? Toni Ford, right here. Toni began her business alone, working out of her home. She moved her business to Prince George's County and we gave her a small business loan. That loan provided the seed to transform Telspan into a company that today grosses $ 500,000 annually and has work under contract totaling $ 3 million. And Telspan has grown to 17 employees and is still growing.

I see Maryland communities with public safety programs like Chief Colburn Dykes' over here. Chief Dykes' program, community policing in Salisbury, which today is a model not just for the state, but for the nation. We can indeed fly higher than an eagle once we understand that Maryland is one state, one family.

As Edwin Markham wrote in his poem "Outwitted:" "He drew a circle that shut me out -- Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win; we drew a circle that took him in."

'Era of unity'

Today we draw our circle. Today we begin an era of unity. We begin a time of inclusion. Today we begin working on our priorities -- a quality education for our children, safe communities and good jobs. Today we see change as opportunity. The changes we will make happen will not be measured overnight, nor in the next four years, nor even in the next eight years. The impact of our changes will be measured over decades. Change will be measured by what happens in our schools. Change will be measured by what happens in our communities. Change will not be measured by the laws we pass. It will be measured by the lives we touch. Change will be measured in the lives and the lifetimes of our children.

I cannot make these changes alone. Your government cannot make these changes alone. These changes will come from all of us, throughout the state, working together. These changes will come when we stop saying we have a problem and then asking "What can government do about it?"

A perfect example of this occurred recently in Prince George's County when we broke ground for a hospice facility.

Twelve years ago, a woman named Murt Foos -- where's Murt? -- Murt Foos, right here, quit her job to pursue her dream of creating a hospice program. Volunteers worked thousands of hours and created a program that has helped hundreds of families when their loved ones were terminally ill. And now, just this past November, we were all pleased to join Murt as we broke ground for a permanent new hospice facility.

By working together, these people here turned a dream into a reality -- and so can we.

We will build a better Maryland because we believe in each person's right to dignity and independence. We will build a better Maryland because we believe in family, in our Free State family. We will build a better Maryland because we believe in the future.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Thank you for the opportunity to lead. And thank you for the opportunity to lead Maryland into the 21st century. Thank you.

At the ground-breaking of the Prince George's County hospice, I heard Dorothy Myrick sing a spiritual song that explains, really, the importance of the contributions of our Maryland family. That song, I think, really touched me and what we ought to be about as individuals when we think about what we can contribute. I want to introduce you at this time to Dorothy Myrick, and ask her if she can touch you the way she touched me and my family.

(Song, beginning, "May the work I've done speak for me.")