Prepared remarks of Comptroller Green at the 2021 Inauguration

Following are the remarks Comptroller Darlene Green, City of St. Louis, will deliver at the April 20, 2021 inauguration.

April 20, 2021 | 3 min reading time

This article is 3 years old. It was published on April 20, 2021.

Good afternoon.

Thank you, Judge Ronnie White, my longtime friend, for swearing me in once again. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and I thank God for blessing me. Thank you, Bishop Michael Jones, Professor Kimberly Norwood, Detective John Leggette, Katarra Parson, and Tony Thompson, for the honor of your presence here today. A special thanks to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Police Honor Guard. Today is a very special day for the city of St. Louis. As we start this next chapter in our journey, I am blessed with a verse from 2nd John: “To the elect lady...Grace, Mercy, and Peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in Truth and Love.”

I want to thank my family and my friends for their support. I want to thank the voters for trusting me to lead because it is truly a privilege to be a public servant. And I want to thank my hard-working staff. I'm grateful to have a seat at the table in the executive branch of city government to represent you—the working families and businesses of our great city. I have represented you well, both fiscally and professionally, with dignity and courage. Maya Angelou said, “Courage is the most important of the virtues, because without it, no other virtue can be practiced consistently. To be that thing time after time, you have to really have courage.”

As an elected public official, I have had my share of political wrangling. Sometimes it can’t be avoided; but for me, what matters is having good judgement, a high moral code and a focus on doing what is right for the taxpayers. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The time is always right to do what is right”. And I know that it takes courage to win at standing your ground and for standing for something. In the end courage wins the day every time.

St. Louis, I have kept my promises to you to be fiscally responsible and accountable with your tax dollars. Under my leadership, I set policies to leverage tax dollars in order to get our city’s fair share of federal matching dollars; In 1996 I created St. Louis Summer Finance Institute, which became the model for STL Youth Jobs; I fought to keep our right to vote for elected leaders in our city in 2004; I made arrangements for the purchase of the Carnahan Building and 1520 Market building to expand our downtown city government campus; Working with Fannie Mae I created a forgivable loan program for homebuyers. Most recently I created a Green communities loan program for city homeowners to improve energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. My office worked to finance the $1.75 billion dollar NGA project—and that’s about saving jobs and bringing thousands of more jobs to our city. I worked with community leaders and elected leaders to protect our airport from privatization. And under my watch, we have maintained an A credit rating, even during the economic downturn in 2008 and now through the pandemic. Promises kept. Results count. But I’m not done.

The past few years have been a trying time for our city and our nation. For many of us the adage the ‘long arc of history bends toward justice’ has been challenged, as well as our democracy. We must address our inequities with solutions that go beyond the status quo. And we cannot take our democracy for granted. Good government needs public officials and public employees who are focused on delivering their best for the public good. Good government needs citizens who are engaged and hold their leaders accountable. That is the promise of democracy in action.

Despite our challenges, this is a time of opportunity. Today, we welcome a new generation of leaders who will continue the work of making our neighborhoods safer, improving our delivery of city services, and moving St. Louis forward in job growth and regional partnerships. I am encouraged by the energy of our young people, stepping up in the community and here at City Hall. I look forward to working with our new Mayor, Tishaura Jones, and our Board of Aldermen. Working together we can introduce transformative public safety initiatives that will reduce violent crime and that will reform criminal justice. We can streamline economic incentives to developers and support public education; and provide resources to increase positive outcomes for housing and healthcare. And yes, we can protect city assets and at the same time rebuild North St. Louis.

As I close, I want to thank each of you and encourage you to stay engaged. You have the power to bend the arc of history toward justice. And now is the time for positive transformative change that will build back a better St. Louis City.

Thank you and God Bless you.

  • Contact Information:
    Tyson Pruitt
    Public Information Officer to the Comptroller
    Office Phone: (314) 613-7360
  • Department:
    Office of the Comptroller
  • Topic:

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