The historic inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will impact the United States and its politics for years to come.
In Michigan, Democratic state and local officials are welcoming the pair to the country’s highest offices, eager to work with them to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and unify a polarized nation.
See what some Michigan officials had to say about the Jan. 20 inauguration below.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
“The country is ready for a leader who listens to medical experts to lead our country’s COVID-19 response and works on behalf of hardworking Americans,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am honored to attend the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and ready to begin working closely with each of them to fight this virus, save lives, and put the country back on track.”Michigan Gov. Whitmer
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, from Michigan
Sen. Stabenow attended the inauguration with her 11-year-old grandson, saying the peaceful transfer of power on Wednesday showed her that “our democracy has survived, and it will thrive.”
“It was such an honor to witness history today as President Biden and Vice President Harris were sworn into office. The peaceful transfer of power is at the core of American democracy. Despite the events of these past weeks, today’s ceremony affirmed that the fabric of our country is strong. I intend to do everything in my power to help the Biden Administration bring our country together, combat the pandemic, get Americans back to work, and strengthen our democracy for our children and grandchildren.”Sen. Stabenow
U.S. Senator Gary Peters, from Michigan
Sen. Peters has shared several inauguration updates on Twitter Wednesday, congratulating Biden and Harris and thanking the new president for the “inspiring speech” he gave after being sworn in.
We need to come together to address the challenges we face in this country. Thank you President Biden for such an inspiring speech.— Senator Gary Peters (@SenGaryPeters) January 20, 2021
Let’s get to work. pic.twitter.com/J2eL42YCL3
U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, Michigan’s 12th district
“Today marks the beginning of our mission to restore the heart and soul of America. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris illustrated their vision for a kinder, stronger country. But words alone will not drive out the darkness of recent years, they must be met with concrete actions to improve the lives of every single person who calls this nation home. Together, President Biden and Vice President Harris will listen to the pain and fear many of our fellow citizens feel today, they will have uncomfortable conversations and make difficult choices, and they will lead us all forward.
“Joe and John Dingell were the best of friends. Over decades, they built unbreakable bonds through their shared commitment to the causes of health care and our environment, and because they both saw the dignity in every person they ever met. When I lost John, President Biden showed me the endless empathy that will guide him as he leads this country forward in the midst of a pandemic that has taken more than 400,000 lives. Today, we all saw that empathy and compassion as he spoke of healing a divided nation. I have no doubt he will spend every waking moment as our President working towards that goal.
“When Vice President Kamala Harris took the oath of office, our world changed forever. Not just for young women and girls who see themselves in her, but for every single person with limitless dreams. More than a trailblazer and trusted voice for President Biden, Vice President Harris will fight for justice and equality in this nation.
“Now, begins the hard work of uniting this country and fighting to protect our democracy. We all have a role to play as Americans in this road ahead. And I look forward to getting the job done with President Biden and Vice President Harris.”Rep. Dingell
U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib, Michigan’s 13th district
“I congratulate President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their historic inauguration. This moment will forever be remembered, as will the actions we take moving forward with this Administration to improve the lives of residents in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District and across the country.
“The last four years have brought dark clouds, and an enormous amount of pain and hate to every corner of the United States. From day one, the previous President blazed a path of destruction and self-interest. Today, we start a new presidency, a new administration, with hope for the future. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration to implement bold and aggressive policies advancing economic, racial, and environmental justice, as well as strong civil rights protections to ensure that every person has the ability to thrive. We must end the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure we provide much needed and long overdue economic relief to residents. I am pleased to see many of the day one actions released by the administration, and know they are just the beginning. The path toward unity and restoration of faith in this country must include action and possibility. We have much more work to do and I’m ready to help in any way that I can on behalf of our constituents.”Rep. Tlaib
U.S. Representative Haley Stevens, Michigan’s 11th district
“Today was a historic and joyous day for our country. The inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris completed the peaceful transfer of power as required by our Constitution. I feel optimistic about our future and motivated to get to work for the American people. I worked with President Biden while serving on the U.S. Auto Rescue Task Force, and I know he will prioritize the needs of hardworking Michigan families and our manufacturing economy. I am ready to work alongside the Biden Administration and my colleagues in Congress to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, get our economy back on track, and help Michiganders get back on their feet. Today we begin a new chapter in American history - one of innovative, collaborative, and forward-thinking leadership to strengthen the nation for generations to come.”Rep. Stevens
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans
“The peaceful transition of power between administrations is a foundational element of a democratic nation. We cannot ignore how that tradition was challenged this month in a manner our nation has never previously experienced. Nonetheless, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were inaugurated this afternoon in the presence of now-former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. This moment proves once more that American leaders do not rule over us, but function as public servants working in our collective interest. I hope the unconscionable attempts to silence the majority of American voters after the election will spur all Americans to recommit to core values such as democracy, truth, and justice.
“In that spirit, today is one we should celebrate as a nation. The Constitution and democracy endures. Additionally, the inauguration of a woman of color as Vice President—the first woman to hold elected office in the executive branch—not only shatters the glass ceiling but ensures all Americans have a seat at the table of power.
“There is much work to be done over the next four years. First to end the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken too much from us already. Then to build a more equitable, inclusive society that affords respect to all and offers every individual the opportunity to succeed. The success of President Biden and Vice President Harris will be a success we all share. My administration and I look forward to working with the Biden-Harris team in any way possible to improve the lives of Wayne County residents.”Wayne County Executive Warren Evans
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