PHOENIX --- Attorney General Mark Brnovich delivered his second inaugural speech on Monday morning at the state capitol. He emphasized the importance of the Rule of Law and called on Arizonans to believe in each other.
Below is the text of General Brnovich’s speech:
Thank you Judge Brnovich for administering the oath. Thank you to all of my family for being here at this special time, and for your unwavering support in everything that I do.
I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to all of Arizona’s elected officials. I thank the people of our great state for your continued confidence. And I thank all of you for being here this morning.
It’s been four years since the last inauguration, but I remember it like it was yesterday. That day was a dream-come-true. I’m a first generation American. English is my second language … and my last name is still difficult for many people to spell … but none of that stopped me from being elected as the top law enforcement official in Arizona.
Our family didn’t just read about these chapters in history, we have an insight and understanding that can only come from people who lived through it. We know the importance of freedom and limited government.
My mother believed that with faith and hard work, she might enjoy a better life in America and secure more opportunities for her children. If you see her this morning, you may notice a warm, quiet grandmother who still speaks with the accent of her youth.
But there is nobody among us today that has a deeper love and appreciation of our country and our state than my Mother.
Just as previous generations had to rise to the challenges of their times, we are called to do the same. History has shown us that a major difference between our way of life and many others is that, as Americans and Arizonans, we live by “The Rule of Law.”
Many other countries have beautifully written Constitutions, and nobody even knows what they say. That’s because these documents crumbled under pressure, when dictators or party leaders decided that they knew what was best for everyone.
One thing that we should always celebrate is that, in our country, our laws are not just words on paper, they are not just empty promises, and they are not subject to daily revision on the whim of any individuals -- regardless of the office they hold.
Our Constitution recognizes the God-given rights and dignity of us all. It remains the foundation of who we are as Americans and Arizonans.
As our state’s Attorney General, I’m often asked what I would do in various tough situations and my response is always, “What does the law require us to do?”
Being the Attorney General is about enforcing the law as it is, and not how you might like it to be. It’s about doing all we can to ensure that everyone is playing by the rules. It’s a commitment to truth and justice.
With that mission, and some talented public servants at the Attorney General’s Office, my team hit the ground sprinting 4 years ago … and that pace has never waned.
We have dedicated ourselves to thwarting would-be terrorists, foiling con-artists and bringing criminals to justice. We have stood up to preserve Arizona’s sovereignty from those who would infringe upon it; to stop skyrocketing tuition at our public universities; and all the while returning a record 60-Million-Plus Dollars directly to consumers who did not get what they paid for.
Today is Inauguration Day though, and it’s bigger than any one person or office. It’s about the will of the people, about remembering who we are as Arizonans and embarking on our pursuit of the brightest future.
And those “bright future” opportunities should be available to us all. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness often involves accessibility to things like a good education, so we must keep our public schools and universities within the financial reach of those who seek them. Our Constitution recognizes that -- and so must we.
Some other questions I am often asked are, “What’s the greatest challenge of our day?” What’s the single biggest issue facing Arizonians and Americans at this point in history?
Well, I believe it is preserving and restoring our ability as a people, to work together and to remember that we are all on the same team.
What started as egotistical and stubborn gridlock in Washington DC many years ago … grew into a polarization of our political parties and culture across the country. We have now reached a daily, and frankly unbearable, demonization of people who disagree with any group’s way of thinking.
The truth is that Americans have always had individual opinions, loud disagreements and vigorous debates. That’s what it means to live in a free country.
What we are losing at an alarming rate though, is what Senator Goldwater taught us about our ability to disagree without becoming disagreeable; to listen with an open mind to differing opinions; to be reasonable in our negotiations; and to give each other the respect that we deserve.
To believe in our state and country we must also believe in each other.
I’m proud to represent all Arizonans as your Attorney General, and I can assure you that the law is required to see everyone as equal, to fairly hear them and provide due process. But that’s just the start. To thrive as a state we must also be equal in the eyes of each other.
As a crime against one, is a crime against all, so too should we extend the opportunities, services and protections of our society equally. A rising tide lifts us all … even in the middle of the desert.
This is Arizona’s Inauguration Day and it’s about who we are and where we’re going. It’s time to get together -- and get back to work. Let’s move confidently forward to meet the challenges of our time, looking out for our state; looking out for our future; and looking out for each other.