January 5, 2009
Secretary of State Kate Brown
Oregon Senate Chamber
Thanks to each and everyone one of you for joining us today. To my family, Dan, Mom and troops thank you for all of your support. Grandpa, we love you and wish you could be here today.
Governor Kulongoski, and Governor Roberts, your friendship and mentoring have meant a great deal to me. Oregon is lucky to have the both of you.
Tribal leaders, I look forward to continuing our government to government relationship
Senator Trow, thanks for opening a door. Senate President Courtney, thank you and I hope to continue working with you and the Leg in my new role.
Best wishes to my new colleagues. Brad Avakian, John Kroger and Ben Westlund. And Secretary Bill Bradbury. Thank you for your incredible leadership. Of course, I am most grateful to the people of Oregon, who have entrusted me with this job. As a legislator, I got up every morning trying to make Oregon a better place to live. And as your new Secretary of State, I will make that same commitment to you.
In traveling this state during the past year, I promised Oregonians that I'd put three things at the top of my to-do list.
First, we're going to take a good hard look at our initiative system. We are justifiably proud of it. It's part of our political DNA as Oregonians. But I will continue to fight to put integrity back into the in the system. I truly believe it belongs in the hands of Oregonians.
Second, one election does not an engaged voter make. We need to make sure we don't lose the tremendous enthusiasm we saw among young people. Young people registered in huge numbers this year and we need to harness that energy and keep them engaged in public policymaking.
And third, we're going to focus on performance auditing to make sure we're smart, effective and efficient in the ways we spend taxpayer money. In these tough financial times, it's critically important that we get the biggest bang for every taxpayer dollar.
You will hear more about these goals in the days to come. Our huge voter turnout last November - the third highest in the country -- reminds us that Oregonians are engaged in public policy issues in a very big way. And I will be visiting all 36 counties to make sure that voices from all over the state are being heard.
I ran for the Legislature back in 1991 because I truly believed that each one of us can make a difference. Seventeen years later, I still believe that to be true. I look forward to working with you to make Oregon and this nation a better place to live for your families and mine!
Thanks so very much. Let's go get 'em.
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