Nancy Pelosi: Inaugural Address -- First Female US House
London, UK - 5 January 2007, 05:42 GMT - We are grateful
to receive a copy of Nancy Pelosi's inaugural speech to the US House of
Representatives. Second in line to the US Presidency, Nancy Pelosi has
said her ascension to become the first female House speaker in history
was the culmination of 200 years of struggle for women as well as a personal
ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance
is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex
global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive
action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine
of non-violence, ATCA addresses opportunities and threats arising from
climate chaos, radical poverty, organised crime & extremism, advanced
technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI, demographic skews, pandemics
and financial systems. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only
and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 100 countries: including
several from the House of Lords, House of Commons, EU Parliament, US Congress
& Senate, G10's Senior Government officials and over 1,500 CEOs from
financial institutions, scientific corporates and voluntary organisations
as well as over 750 Professors from academic centres of excellence worldwide.
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Re: Nancy Pelosi: Inaugural Address -- First Female US House Speaker
cites Saint Francis of Assisi's Prayer
We are grateful to receive a copy of Nancy Pelosi's inaugural speech
to the US House of Representatives. Second in line to the US Presidency,
Nancy Pelosi has said her ascension to become the first female House
speaker in history was the culmination of 200 years of struggle for
women as well as a personal victory.
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi (born March 26, 1940) is the 60th
and current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and
is the first woman in US history to hold that office. As Speaker, she
ranks second in the presidential line of succession, behind Dick Cheney,
the current Vice President. In the November 2006 midterm elections,
the Democratic Party was victorious in winning control of the United
States House of Representatives. With the victory, Pelosi was nominated
to be the Speaker of the House and was elected to the position and took
office on January 4, 2007. Prior to the position, she was the House
Minority Leader of the 107th, 108th, and 109th Congresses of the United
States. Since 1987, she has been the representative from the 8th district
of California, which falls entirely within and includes most of the
city and county of San Francisco. With her election as Speaker, Pelosi
is the highest-ranking woman in the history of the American Federal
government. Pelosi is the first woman to lead a major political party
in either house of Congress. She is also the first Californian and first
Italian American to hold the post. Pelosi's speech upon her election
as speaker of the House follows:
Thank you my colleagues, thank you leader [John] Boehner [Representative
I accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship,
and I look forward to working with you Mr Boehner and the Republicans
in the Congress on behalf of the American people. After giving away
this gavel in the last two Congress', I'm glad someone else had the
In this House, we may belong to different parties, but we serve one
country. We stand united in our pride and prayers for our men and women
in the armed forces. They are working together to protect America, and
we, in this House, must also work together to build a future worthy
of their sacrifice.
In this hour, we need and pray for the character, courage, and civility
of a former member of this House -- President Ford. He healed the country
when it needed healing. This is another time, another war, and another
trial of our American will, imagination, and spirit. Let us honour his
memory, not just in eulogy, but in dialogue and trust across the aisle.
Let us express our condolences and appreciation to Mrs Ford and the
entire Ford family for their decades of service to our country.
With today's convening of the 110th Congress, we begin anew. I congratulate
all members of Congress on your election; I especially want to congratulate
our new members of Congress. The genius of our Founders was that every
two years, new members bring to this House their spirit of renewal and
hope for the American people. This Congress is reinvigorated new members
by your optimism, your idealism, and your commitment to our country.
Let us acknowledge your families, whose support has made your leadership
Each of us brings to this new Congress our shared values, our commitment
to the Constitution, and our personal experience. My path to Congress
and the speakership began in Baltimore where my father was mayor. I
was raised in a large family that was devoutly Catholic, deeply patriotic,
very proud of our Italian American heritage, and staunchly Democratic.
My parents taught us that public service was a noble calling, and that
we had a responsibility to help those in need. I viewed them as working
on the side of the angels and now they are with them.
I am so proud that my brother Tommy D'Alesandro, who was also a mayor
of Baltimore, is here leading my D'Alesandro family today. Forty-three
years ago, Paul Pelosi and I were married. We raised our five children
in San Francisco, where Paul was born and raised. I want to thank Paul
and our children Nancy Corinne, Christine, Jacqueline, Paul, and Alexandra
and our six magnificent grandchildren for giving me their love, support
and the confidence to go from the kitchen to the Congress.
And I thank my constituents in San Francisco and to the state of California
for the privilege of representing them in Congress. Saint Francis of
Assisi is our city's patron saint, and his song of St Francis is our
city's anthem: 'Lord, make me a channel of thy peace; where there is
darkness may we bring light, where there is hatred, may we bring love,
and where there is despair, may we bring hope.'
Hope, hope, that is what America is about and it is in that spirit that
I was sent to Congress. And today, I thank my colleagues. By electing
me speaker, you have brought us closer to the ideal of equality that
is America's heritage and America's hope.
This is an historic moment -- and I thank the leader for acknowledging
it. I think you Leader Boehner. It is an historic moment for the Congress,
and an historic moment for the women of this country. It is a moment
for which we have waited over 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited
through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women
weren't just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked
to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created
equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the
marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters, the sky is
the limit, anything is possible for them.
The election of 2006 was a call to change -- not merely to change the
control of Congress, but for a new direction for our country. Nowhere
were the American people more clear about the need for a new direction
than in the war in Iraq. The American people rejected an open-ended
obligation to a war without end. Shortly, President Bush will address
the nation on the subject of Iraq. It is the responsibility of the president
to articulate a new plan for Iraq that makes it clear to the Iraqis
that they must defend their own streets and their own security, a plan
that promotes stability in the region, and a plan that allows us to
responsibly redeploy our troops.
Let us work together to be the Congress that rebuilds our military to
meet the national security challenges of the 21st century. Let us be
the Congress that strongly honours our responsibility to protect the
American people from terrorism. Let us be the Congress that never forgets
our commitment to our veterans and our first responders, always honouring
them as the heroes that they are. The American people also spoke clearly
for a new direction here at home -- they desire a new vision, a new
America, built on the values that have made our country great.
Our founders envisioned a new America driven by optimism, opportunity,
and strength. So confident were they in the America they were advancing,
they put on the seal, the great seal of the United States, 'novus ordo
seclorum' -- a new order for the centuries. Centuries, they spoke of
the centuries. They envisioned America as a just and good place, as
a fair and efficient society, as a source of opportunity for all.
This vision has sustained us for over 200 years, and it accounts for
what is best in our great nation: liberty, opportunity, and justice.
Now it is our responsibility to carry forth that vision of a new America
into the 21st Century. A new America that seizes the future and forges
21st Century solutions through discovery, creativity, and innovation,
sustaining our economic leadership and ensuring our national security.
A new America with a vibrant and strengthened middle class for whom
college is affordable, health care is accessible, and retirement reliable.
A new America that declares our energy independence, promotes domestic
sources of renewable energy, and combats climate change.
A new America that is strong, secure, and a respected leader among the
community of nations.
And the American people told us they expected us to work together for
fiscal responsibility, with the highest ethical standards and with civility
and bipartisanship. After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress
will commit itself to a higher standard: pay as you go, no new deficit
spending. Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future
generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.
In order to achieve our new America for the 21st Century, we must return
this House to the American people. So our first order of business is
passing the toughest congressional ethics reform in history. This new
Congress doesn't have two years or 200 days. Let us join together in
the first 100 hours to make this Congress the most honest and open Congress
in history -- 100 hours.
This openness requires respect for every voice in the Congress. As Thomas
Jefferson said, 'Every difference of opinion is not a difference of
principle.' My colleagues elected me to be Speaker of the House -- the
entire House. Respectful of the vision of our Founders, the expectations
of our people, and the great challenges that we face, we have an obligation
to reach beyond partisanship to work for all Americans.
Let us all stand together to move our country forward, seeking common
ground for the common good. We have made history, now let us make progress
for our the America people.
May God bless our work, and may God bless America!
We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views.
For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency
ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance
is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global
challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action
to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence,
ATCA addresses opportunities and threats arising from climate chaos, radical
poverty, organised crime & extremism, advanced technologies -- bio, info,
nano, robo & AI, demographic skews, pandemics and financial systems. Present
membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished
members from over 100 countries: including several from the House of Lords,
House of Commons, EU Parliament, US Congress & Senate, G10's Senior Government
officials and over 1,500 CEOs from financial institutions, scientific corporates
and voluntary organisations as well as over 750 Professors from academic centres
of excellence worldwide.
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