Representative Robert A. DeLeo was re-elected Speaker of teh House of Representatives by his colleagues on Wednesday. The following are his remarks.
Thank you, Amanda and Emma. Your performance was beautiful. Your grandfather, who was very musically-inclined, would be proud.
I am extremely happy to have with us members of my family including my partner Vicki, my children Rob and Rachele, my sister, Carol and brother-in-law Anthony.
Thank you to the firefighters of Engine 33 and Ladder 15 for being here today: Your strength, courage and resilience are an example to all elected officials and public servants.
We have a number of dignitaries with us. Chief Justice Gants, our constitutional officers, Attorney General-Elect Healy and Treasurer-Elect Goldberg, and Mayor Rivera.
I’m proud to welcome all of you to the Chamber today. We join together on a day filled with meaning. It is our last day of official business with Governor Patrick, to whom we thank and bid a fond farewell. And it was my pleasure to officially welcome Governor-Elect Baker to the Chamber for the first time today.
Today, I offer him my sincere congratulations on his election. As we begin this new chapter, I am optimistic. In recent years, Leader Jones and I have worked together on issues that have benefited the state as a whole and distinguished the Commonwealth as a national leader. Where other legislatures, including Congress, have become bogged down by partisan bickering, we have achieved much and have positioned the great state of Massachusetts for a promising future.
I’m proud that last session we raised the minimum wage, passed landmark gun safety legislation, enacted a new domestic violence law and improved substance addiction treatment to change the way we respond to the unprecedented public health crises like the one we’re currently confronting. It has been my distinct honor to achieve these gains through collaboration.
In the spirit of Senator Edward Brooke, let me state that it is my hope that his statesmanship and patriotism will guide us as we embark on a new session. I look forward to building on our accomplishments with Governor-Elect Baker.
And, now, most importantly, the most important business at hand: you, the members of the 189th General Court. One of my favorite duties as Speaker is to welcome our new representatives. Congratulations. Today is your day.
When you took the oath a few moments ago, you became one link in a chain that goes back to our founding. Your name will stand next to those of other former representatives, including Michael Dukakis, Mel King, and Tip O’Neill; Henry Cabot Lodge and Samuel Adams; Susan Fitzgerald and “Speaker-for-a-Day” Sylvia Donaldso, both of whom were elected the first year women were eligible.
Members of this House sparked the American Revolution, lead the fight for independence, energized the struggles of abolition and suffrage, created a model for public education and brought the right to marry to all of our citizens. That represents our past. And we have a bright future. You come here from across the Commonwealth, representing the unique viewpoints and concerns of your districts. You reflect the diversity of our great state. I extend my heartiest congratulations and welcome to you.
We have high goals for ourselves this session which I will outline in a speech later this month. I am proud to join with you as we address them in the new session. May God Bless the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and God Bless the United States of America.
It’s now my pleasure to introduce my good friend and esteemed colleague – who is celebrating his 50th birthday today – Leader Brad Jones.