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Mayor Faulconer’s 2016 Inauguration Address Prepared Remarks

Monday, December 12, 2016

I want to start by thanking Pastor John Powell.

Pastor Powell has had some practice at this.

Every time I’ve taken the oath of office, it’s been with Pastor Powell.

He officially retired from Point Loma Presbyterian last year.

But when he heard I was taking the oath of office this month, he would not allow the streak to be broken.

He and his wife Pam flew in from Chicago last night to swear me in for a fourth time.

Pastor Powell, Pam…thank you.

As I embark upon my second term, I would not be able to do it without my family.

I’m happy to have so much of my extended family here today…

Including my mother Kay, my sister Melissa…

My children, Jack and Lauren, who got out of school for half of the day today – you’re welcome…

And most, most, most importantly, my wife Katherine.

Your love, support, and most importantly – patience – mean the world the world to me.

This is a family journey. Thank you for coming with me on this ride.

It is an honor and privilege to serve as mayor of this great city

And I am grateful and humbled that San Diegans have placed their trust and confidence in me.

It is with a great sense of optimism and responsibility that we begin this new chapter.

Several weeks from now, at the State of the City address, I will outline a vision for the future of our city…

And how we will continue our efforts to build a better future for all San Diegans.

Today, I want to reflect on how far we’ve come as a community in just a few short years – and how we have done it.

San Diegans throughout the city are experiencing the tremendous progress we have made after a very difficult political period three years ago.

We’ve achieved this by working together, focusing on results, and doing what’s best for all of San Diego.

It’s not about your party preference.

It’s not about whether you live North or South of Interstate 8.

It’s not about whether you were born here or moved here.

We are one city.

One community.

With one future…that we will all share.

And I strongly believe it’s a future in which San Diego will be leading.

Great things start in San Diego.

Because not only are we a hub for science and technology.

Not only are we an incubator for government reform.

San Diego is a laboratory for bipartisanship and collaboration.

And ladies and gentlemen, I think our nation needs a little San Diego-style bipartisanship now more than ever.

It’s that common sense, cooperative way we do things that helps us to solve our biggest challenges.

So, to our new City Councilmembers and new City Attorney, as well as the Councilmembers who will continue to serve...

I say let’s continue to put our neighborhoods first.

Games and gimmicks have never moved us forward.

That approach has been tried – and failed.

Let us leave political rhetoric on the campaign trail.

Let us shed partisan labels outside the doors of City Hall.

Let’s continue to get things done.

That’s the tone I’ve tried to set. And it’s working.

Just look at what we’ve accomplished with this approach.

Our communities are stronger.

We’re investing nearly half a billion dollars annually into neighborhood infrastructure projects.

Our streets our smoother.

We’re setting new records for road repair – with nearly 400 miles of roads fixed in just a year-and-a-half.

Our civic resources shine brighter.

We’re keeping libraries and rec centers open longer than at any time in the last decade.

Our customer service is smarter.

We’re creating a more business and user-friendly city by making services digital, mobile and online.

Our families are safer.

We’ve opened and broken ground on four new fire stations…

Drastically improved 9-1-1 dispatch times so help gets there faster…

Are expanding connections between neighborhoods and police…

And are making sure San Diego remains one of the safest big cities in America.

Our parks are better.

We’ve secured more than a billion dollars for San Diego’s regional parks with voter approval of Measure J…

And next year we will be breaking ground – finally – on a grand restoration of Balboa Park.

And our budgets are balanced.

Defending pension reform and responsibly managing our tax dollars have given us a brighter financial future.

We can accomplish so much more when we let our commonalities be our guiding light.

I want to sincerely thank City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, City Council President Sherri Lightner, Council President Pro Tem Marti Emerald and Councilmember Todd Gloria for their years of service to this city.

Working together, we have accomplished so many things – more than we have time to mention today.

But let me simply say that I have great respect for each of you…

And you are leaving the city a better place because of your efforts.

And to new City Attorney Mara Elliot and Councilmembers Barbara Bry, Chris Ward and Georgette Gomez…

I look forward to working with you – and our returning City Councilmembers – to continue the progress we’ve made...

And tackle the new challenges that lie ahead.

Together – in the face of rising pension costs that are affecting cities across California – we must be fiscally prudent, save for the future, and be responsible stewards of the public’s money.

Together, we must pursue a sustainable environment and economy by enacting the climate action plan.

Together, as a region, we must – and we will! – compassionately and collaboratively reduce homelessness in San Diego!

And together, we must continue to lift all of our communities up…

By encouraging good-paying careers, investing in neighborhood improvements…

And taking action to address one of the biggest challenges of our times – making housing affordable for all San Diegans!

As I took this oath nearly three years ago, I said that change doesn’t just start in the mayor’s office.

It starts in our communities.

It starts with each of us.

That is as true now as it was then.

So to every San Diegan, I say let us recommit ourselves to being one city and One San Diego.

Let us recommit to being a place that ignites great ideas.

Let us recommit to providing opportunities for all San Diegans – so each of us has our chance to succeed.

My fellow San Diegans, we can accomplish great things.

Together, our potential is truly limitless.

Thank you and God bless.

CONTACT: Matt Awbrey at (619) 453-9913 or [email protected]

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