This is the full text of Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon's inaugural address: When I first announced, I quoted Ecclesiastes, "for there is a time and a season for everything and everyone." So it is with our great city. For in their time and in their season, Commissioner John Duncan, Mayor Walter Washington and Mayor Marion Barry, each in his own way, made a telling contribution to the progress and growth of our community.
So now, we begin a new time; a new season of coming together. A season where the international city, the federal city, the many neighborhoods, the many constituents, become one.
For in this togetherness we have the power to meet the staggering challenges we face and do more -- to allow this city to become all of what she was meant to be -- a great cosmopolitan community -- a beacon for 21st century America.
But to achieve great things means we must first envision what we can be. We must envision how we can make a difference -- how it is in our grasp to make Washington, D.C., a city of hope, humanity and excellence.
So "Yes We Will!" is more than a theme for a day. It is an attitude and an ethic we must embrace to move our city beyond the troubles of drugs and crime, racial polarization and the mounting financial problems. 'Affirmation of Our Striving'
We must cease to define our city by her problems. We must begin to define our city by her potential. "Yes We Will!" is an affirmation of our striving; an assertion that every intractable problem, however stuborn, can yield to a solution.
And, "Yes We Will!" must resonate from Congress Heights to Wesley Heights -- from Shepherd Park to LeDroit Park -- from Capitol Hill to the District Building.
"Yes We Will!" must resonate in the hearts and minds of each and every one of us -- and with this pledge and in this bond anything is within our reach.
The mere fact that I speak to you now as your mayor is a testament to the power of the ethic -- "Yes She Can and Yes We Will!" Because in spite of the political pundits, the powerbrokers, and even the pollsters -- together we beat the odds, and we forged a partnership that brought us to this moment.
Throughout the campaign you heard me say "clean house." And I said that it means many things. One thing it clearly means is rediscovering some time-honored values; pulling the dust and the cobwebs off of these values that were set aside too easily in the last fast-paced 'let's have it all' decade.
That we, as a community, have paid a handsome price for setting aside these values: the value of commitment; the value of making an investment in the future; the value of excellence; and the value of serving others. We can no longer afford to set aside these values.
Because no quarter is more illustrative of this point than the pain and trouble now besetting our children. A generation of young people has been lost. Lost to drugs, instant gratification and violence; to the overwhelming sense that they have no place in our lives. We must rise up and proclaim for once and for all that 703 killings is too much -- we must have no more. And we are in danger of losing still another generation unless we act now to reclaim our heritage and to reclaim these values.
We are a community with a rich tradition; a city earmarked by excellence. This is the city created by Washington, laid out by Benjamin Banneker, engineered into a splendid reality by L'Enfant.
We are the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the freedom cry of Frederick Douglass, the jazz of Edward "Duke" Ellington, and the constitutional voice of Charles Hamilton Houston.
Decade after decade the people of this city have contributed their strength and talent to this community and nation: Sterling Brown, Julia West Hamilton, Mordecai W. Johnson, Melvin Grosvenor and David Lloyd Kreeger, natives all.
I know in the most direct and personal way the strength that abides in Washington, D.C. For, you see, I was reared, disciplined and loved by three of her products -- my father, my grandmother and my aunt, all from Washington, D.C. And I was encouraged to pursue my dreams by my homeroom teacher right here at Roosevelt High School -- a teacher who, for me, made all of the difference: Mrs. Helen Blackburn.
So, you see, I remember Washington, D.C., when she was still a sleepy Southern town. A town where government was the only real employer; and summer fashion meant seersucker suits. And yet in spite of the lack of wealth and opportunity, I've often said we were in many ways richer than we are now. For we had a sense of community, a deep commitment to one another, and an uncompromising devotion to excellence and making way for a better tomorrow.
So now, in this new season, we need to rekindle these values and recapture this ethic. Where we pledge to commit ourselves to one another, to one community, and to give ourselves -- to invest in a better tomorrow for the sake of our children. To this we must simply say: Yes We Will!
Our Washington, our Washington of the '90s, is no longer a sleepy Southern town where success is measured by your GS rating. The economic landscape and profile of our city has changed.
Today, the primary source of employment in D.C. is the private sector. Washington has become a cosmopolitan city of research and law, science and education. In the last two decades, we have become the hub and magnet for one of the great metropolitan regions of the country.
We are also a diverse community -- we are rich in many hues and many cultures. To walk down 18th Street in Adams-Morgan is to see the richness of a hundred different cultures at play. We are African American, and Latino, Irish American and Italian, Ethiopian and Vietnamese. We hail from San Salvador, Managua, Asmara and Lagos.
We speak Spanish, Korean, Hebrew and Farsi. We dance the Electric Slide and sing in the Gay Men's Chorus. We worship in synagogues and storefronts, in great cathedrals of Christianity and mosques dedicated to Allah.
We are a community reflecting the new diversity that is America. We come from every region of the country and every nation on the globe and yet all of us call Washington, D.C., home.
Our city has changed and continues to change -- but our city government has been left behind. We have a system governing for the '70s striving to serve a city that has already moved into the 1990s. We have too few people in the right jobs and too many people in jobs that shouldn't even exist.
Our immediate responsibility is to give the people of this city the government they deserve and expect. I know that this mission is uppermost in the minds of Chairman John Wilson and the new District Council. So, I extend my hand to him and to every member of the council and say, let us build a true partnership to make this city work again, to return the government to the people again, to make this city great!
To make good on this commitment means returning to some time-honored values. To rekindle that sense that quality service and to serve the public good are cherished things. To remember again that titles and perks are less important than good ideas and solid solutions -- that values and character take precedence over rank and station.
So, I say to every civil servant on the front line -- paramedic and policeman, computer operator and teacher -- let this be the first rule of this new season: It's not who you are that's important but who you help that matters; it's not how grand your rank, but how great your service; it's not how manifold your worldly possessions, but how significant your human legacy.
What the people of Washington want most is an honest deal. We have lived through a decade of national excess, ignoring all the while the fundamental truth of our condition. There has been a corruption of the public estate; a disregard by those on top for those fundamental values that hold us together.
Our situation is not unique. All across America, in every statehouse and city hall, the same issues that beset this city are being confronted. What will be unique will be our determination to give our citizens an honest deal, to reclaim our values, to streamline our government, to balance our books, and then, together, to affirm that which is indicative of our potential.
Now, it will not be easy. Our fiscal posture is not sound, our taxpayers are demanding a government that minds their money. And it would be foolish to ignore the wealth of good advice offered by the Rivlin Commission. It is an informative and instructive guidepost, a contribution of many concerned citizens, a message that old ways of doing business must yield to a new order.
However difficult the immediate future, we need, however, to envision our city by its full potential. A great city where the youth enjoy a promising future. Where a quality educational system is the order of the day. Where senior citizens can walk the streets safe and secure and where African Americans and Latinos are the captains of commerce. 'New Anchors of Hope'
All of this potential lies latent in the horizon of our future. And the energy that will carry us lies dormant within us all. We need to harness, galvanize and meld the ideas, vitality and strength of this community; to find new anchors of hope and promise for our children.
Every neighborhood in this city is rich with PhD's in survival; men and women who are architects of hope and promise such as Eugene Hughes at the Midtown Youth Academy; the Latin American Youth Center; Ernest White's mentor program; the House of Ruth and Martha's Table; Yvonne Vega at Ayuda and the Organization of Concerned Black Men.
What they need is our full support; a public-private partnership that says we are all part of the same family; a partnership that gives them a green light to use their ingenuity. So I say to each and every one of them today, give us your best ideas and we will make it happen.
And there is nothing in my book that says good ideas stop at the edge of the Potomac because our problems don't. The gridlock on our roads, the shortage of affordable housing, the growth of air pollution, matching jobs to workers, easy access to guns -- these issues are regional in scope and demand a stronger regional response, none more so than the issue of gun control. It is a partnership to which I am committed; to find new solutions that help us all.
And as we rebuild our city we ask Congress for its support and confidence. We know where we are going and what needs to be done. We hope that Congress will reexamine old arrangements that hinder our ability to be effective now. For some time, the District has been carrying an unequal financial burden. So no matter how prized this relationship, it is an arrangement we can no longer afford. We need a United States Congress who pays her fair share and her full share.
Now we have much to be proud of as we enter the 1990s, and we will be prouder still when we are the state of New Columbia. Home rule for all of us is only a halfway mark on a long journey, a statement that we have not yet gained the absolute full measure of our equality. Not stopping until we achieve our goal of full freedom is another way in which we must say "Yes We Will!"
So, to all the naysayers, we must say "Yes We Will!" Naysayers are famous for outlining the problems as if there were no solutions. They will go on and on about fiscal problems, the drug problem, and the health problem, as if it were preordained that we would all drown in a sea of insurmountable concerns.
Well, I am here to tell you that nothing is beyond our reach, especially if we really reach out to one another, for by doing so we create an anchor and a bridge to a city of great hope and promise.
So, let us together, in this new season and time, plant strong and lasting anchors in every neighborhood in this community. Together we can put hope back in the hearts of our children. Together, we can give the people of this great city the honest deal they deserve and expect. This is our purpose and this is our quest. To this we must say "Yes We Will!"
Now, let us begin.