LISTEN & READ: Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist's Inauguration Speech

Jan 1, 2019

"Together we'll move Michigan forward and leave it better than we found it." That was one of the declarations of Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II during his inauguration speech on January 1, 2019.


Here is the text of Lt. Gov. Gilchrist's speech released by his transition team:

The steps we stand upon this morning are more than the pathway to the chambers of lawmaking and halls of collaboration. 

They are stopping points that we, as Michiganders, gather upon every few years to define the goals and promises our state will pursue. 

Platforms upon which we pause to examine our past from above as we look to the future ahead with open eyes and open hearts. 

Rungs of the ladder of aspiration that we climb day by day to make life better for all of the people who call Michigan home. 

It is with those people in mind, my fellow Michiganders, that we stand before you with open minds and open hands. From Detroit to Dexter, to Delta County, let us choose to lock arms and walk forward together in the spirit of peace and love, upon one accord, into our shared and connected destiny.

Let us choose to leave no cry for help unheard, no call for empathy unanswered, and no opportunity for collaboration on the table. 

Thank you to the millions of people who stepped up to participate in our democratic process by voting, volunteering, conversing, and caring about our state. We are all here thanks to you.

We do not ascend these steps alone. 

We are lifted here via the visions of the indigenous people, immigrants, and travelers who planted the seeds of their future in our fertile soil, giving rise to the bounty, beauty, and innovation that set our state apart.

Lifted by the dreams of grandparents like mine, who migrated here from Alabama, Arkansas, and all across the world in search of opportunity. In Michigan, they found this pleasant peninsula that marks God’s handprint on our planet. 

Lifted by the sweat of parents like mine, who believed that Michigan was where their sacrifices would lead to success for their only child. 

I stand here alongside my wife Ellen, who I cannot thank enough for being my motivator and foundation. And my children, Garlin and Emily, who’s imaginations inspire me to want to enable the imagination and possibility that exist within every person in our state. 

Yes, we have specific problems to solve and specific issues to address. 

Regardless of our political affiliations or sensibilities, it is up to all of us to participate in leadership and governance in Michigan. 

But today, as we reposition our hands on the arc of history, let us remember that the strongest bridges that connect us are rooted in equity, justice, and honesty. If we choose these values today and every day, we, together, will move Michigan forward and leave it better than we found it.

God bless you. And God bless the great state of Michigan.