Northam urges hope in inaugural address

Photo by VCU CNS

RICHMOND -- Ralph Northam took office as Virginia’s 73rd governor on Saturday and urged citizens to maintain the strong “moral compass deep in our hearts” to help guide the state forward.

In his inaugural address to a crowd of about 5,000 outside the state Capitol on a day of stinging cold, Northam reflected first on his childhood on the Eastern Shore, the time he spent fishing and crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay and the advice he received from his father.

“If things get dark or foggy, if you can’t find your way,” his father said, “keep your eye on the compass. It’ll always bring you home safely.”

Northam, 58, said Virginians can likewise rely on their inner compass.

“We all have a moral compass deep in our hearts, and it’s time to summon it again, because we have a lot of work to do,” said the former lieutenant governor and state senator.

Northam also spoke about transparency and the need for government officials to bridge the political divides. His core policy platforms as governor, he said, are those he believes are nonpartisan: expanding health care, reducing gun violence and ensuring equal access to education.

“Virginians didn’t send us here to be Democrats or Republicans,” Northam said. “They sent us here to solve problems. The path to progress is marked by honest give and take among people who truly want to make life better for those around them.”

Northam was sworn in after fellow Democrats Justin Fairfax took the oath as lieutenant governor and Mark Herring was sworn in for a second term as attorney general.

The inauguration drew a pair of demonstrations: About two dozen people protested the controversial natural gas pipelines, shouting “water is life” during a moment of silence. A smaller group, United We Dream, demonstrated on behalf of immigrants.

Capitol Square officially opened to the public at 9:30 a.m., and by 11:30 a.m., the stands were full. Spectators came prepared with heavy coats and gloves to brave the cold. Hot apple cider was served in blue Northam cups that said, “The Way Ahead.”

The inaugural parade began immediately  after the ceremony, featuring dozens of groups from across  the commonwealth. Cadets from Northam’s alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, marched across the grounds, saluting the new governor. The events concluded with representatives of Virginia’s Indian tribes giving a “Blessing of the Ground” for the new administration.

Northam’s first executive order was signed immediately after the parade. It “prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities in Virginia state government.”

Among the parade participants with a connection to Northam was  the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. Northam served as a pediatric neurologist at the Norfolk hospital for 25 years. He said the lessons he learned there, including the importance of hope, will stay with him during his four years as governor.

“I have recognized the incredible power of hope and my responsibility to preserve it in the people I serve,” Northam said. “Hope is not just a source of comfort for the afflicted – it is a wellspring of energy to fight for a better tomorrow, no matter the odds. I am committed as your governor to fight every day for the hope that tomorrow will be better – for all of us, not just some of us.”

(5) comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

It appears that Governor Northam will be the worst governor, ever. Not of the Commonwealth of Virgina, but of any State or Territory in the long history of the United States of America.

If one wishes to understand everything that is wrong with the socialist movement that is the cancer eating away at the United States of America, one need only watch the inaugural address of this socialist true believer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEhtYsS7gQM&feature=share

Governor Northam believes, wholeheartedly, that the government is to be the solver of all "problems" as the socialists interpret them to be. It is truly sad, and alarming, that such a great state as the Commonwealth of Virginia, has fallen so far, so fast, as to allow this danger to come to pass.

All Virginians of good will, clear minds, and honest intent should watch this video carefully and regularly, and organize to oppose the socialist state Northam seeks, and restore liberty within Virginia and the United States of America.

starman

That remains to be seen. But after one wretched year, Trump is well on his way to being the worst President this country has ever seen.

Tom Fitzpatrick

Trump has been successful beyond all expectations. How do you figure he is not successful, let along the worst President?

timt

Successful beyond all expectations? If by that you mean wildly promoting his make America white again agenda to discriminate against countless races of people and religions and to embolden the racists to come out of the woodwork and kill people in the streets of Cville and elsewhere, then yes he’s been greatly successful. Or by “successful” do you mean by pushing through his ONE legislative accomplishment for his first year for “tax reform” that greatly benefits his own pockets and that of his corporate buddies but in the long run screws most of us working types? If you’re for helping out the rich and paying more in taxes yourself, then yes another success for Trump. Or maybe you’re talking about his efforts to take away health care for millions of people without offering any plan for a better alternative? Yup, that’s another Trump success story. Or maybe you’re thinking of how his minions are systematically rolling back environmental protections that will do catastrophic damage to the environment that will NEVER recover from but again will help line the pockets of his corporate buddies? Yes sir, another big Trump success. Or could it be the way he’s alienating many of our former allies around the world with his asinine tweeting and policies and making this great country the laughing stock of the world? Yup, that one is going strong. But maybe by “successful” you’re referring to Trump smashing all the records for playing the most rounds of golf by a sitting President in a year without doing actual work? That one is a huge success for Trump, he even thumbed his nose at our society by playing on MLK day yesterday instead of performing some community service like past Presidents have done. So congratulations, your racist-in-chief is obviously making you proud of his many “successes beyond all expectations”.

Brad

Northam will be horrible just like Tricky Terry McAuliffe. Northam ran disgusting and false attack ads during the campaign and now he wants to work together? No one should believe him.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.