Let's Go For It Pasadena!

Remarks of Mayor Bill Bogaard
Inaugural Speech at Pasadena City Hall
May 3, 1999 

Twenty weeks ago, I climbed these steps to file papers to become a candidate for mayor--and ask the citizens of Pasadena for their support. Today, I climb these steps as Mayor--and once again ask you for your support.

I was not elected to be a caretaker, but to serve as a catalyst for bringing our community together and building a greater city.

My vision for Pasadena is based on a simple premise: all of our citizens deserve the best city possible.

Drawing on our traditions, our diversity and our sense of community, this vision means strong schools, clean and safe streets, thriving neighborhoods, parks that welcome families, and good housing.

It means a vibrant economy with an expanding business base, jobs for Pasadenans, and increasing tax revenues.

It means a wealth of opportunities for social, cultural and civic involvement.

It means taking advantage of Pasadena's unique assets, such as the Arroyo Seco, Old Pasadena, the Tournament of Roses, Caltech and our other great academic institutions, the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, our rich history and architecture, and our many churches, museums, and community organizations.

And most important, this vision means empowering men, women and children of all communities and neighborhoods to solve problems together.

Coming together... Working together... Succeeding together... As Mayor, this is my promise to you.

I am truly honored and humbled by the confidence the voters placed in me as Pasadena's first citywide-elected Mayor. This is a new beginning for our City--and I look forward to serving in this new role.

But I know that the mayor is only one member of Pasadena's leadership team. I consider it a privilege to join my fellow members of this City Council. There is no doubt in my mind--there never was--about their desire and their ability to build a great Pasadena. I am confident of our ability to work together to address the many issues that face the City.

Mayor Holden and I sat down a few days ago as we reviewed various City issues. It was a good meeting and I was reminded of his thoughtfulness, his dedication and his ability to serve this community. I am proud to receive the gavel from Chris and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead.

Since the election, I have also conferred with Cynthia Kurtz, our City Manager, Jane Rodriguez, the City Clerk, Michele Bagneris, the City Attorney, and with other members of the City staff. They have all demonstrated the ability to get things done. I anticipate a satisfying and successful relationship in working with our dedicated City employees.

More than 30 years ago, my wife, Claire, and I came to Pasadena to make our home and build a better life for our four children. We are proud of our children and their successes--an we give credit to our community which taught and nurtured them.

Today, I want to spotlight all the children of Pasadena. As Mayor, I intend to put education and the well-being of our children at the top of my agenda. We must renew the City's partnership with the public schools, and explore ways-in a relationship of trust and confidence-to help our students graduate with high achievement and with high aspirations for their personal lives.

New programs and new initiatives are underway in the public schools, and I am confident that positive results will be evident in coming months. As Mayor, I want to be a part of this effort and to inspire others to join as well.

Equally important will be a new partnership between City Hall and the community. We can look to Lorna Miller, who heads the Office for Creative Connections, for inspiration on how this new partnership can work.

Less than 10 years ago, Lorna helped create Young & Healthy: a program in which today nearly 300 physicians, dentists, and other health professional-all volunteers-serve thousands of children in the Pasadena area who would otherwise almost certainly go without medical attention.

Of this program's success, she said, "What has happened in Pasadena is a dramatic statement of what can occur when people in a city decide to be a true community, by claiming responsibility for its most vulnerable members."

With Lorna's inspiration, I ask you to imagine a Pasadena:

  • Where there are tutors for every child who needs academic help;
  • Where businesses, large and small, commit to accepting a high school intern to prepare that student for the rigors of employment;
  • Where musicians, artists and writers offer lessons to children to unlock their spirit of creativity;
  • And where large numbers of young people experience the satisfaction of helping others through volunteer community service.

I am convinced that programs like this will be established in our community and that the benefit to our children will be dramatic. As Mayor, I intend to devote my best efforts to making this happen.

It is a great honor to be here today in the shadow of our magnificent City Hall in this beautifully-designed civic center framed by the library and civic auditorium. We stand on the shoulders of the women and men who worked hard in the past to create and nourish Pasadena. As I think about this City's past and present, and as I contemplate our tremendous resources, I am confident that our capacity for greatness far exceeds our problems. I believe we can fill this City with success, and with a rising tide of hope for those in the community who do not share in today's prosperity.

There are no constraints on the human mind; no walls around the human spirit; no barriers to our progress except any we might ourselves impose.

So, in the words of our young people, let's go for it!

Go with and for each other!

Go against despair and limited aspirations!

Go with certainty that one person can make a difference, and that together we can shape the future!

Go for it, Pasadena!

And let's go for it now! 

Posted: 5/3/1999 08:20:00 AM
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