Maryland leaders hailed President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address as a call to action on important issues from equality to climate change.
“We’re definitely pleased President Obama is showing leadership on this absolutely fundamental, critical issue,” Tommy Landers, executive director of Environment Maryland, said regarding climate change.
Obama had called for the U.S. to invest in new technologies to develop sustainable sources of clean energy.
“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Obama said. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.”
U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Dist. 5) of Mechanicsville, the Democratic Whip, said moves by Obama in his first term strengthened the economy and reduced the deficits, as well as improved national security.
“We have made significant progress over the course of his first term, but we know more needs to be done to make the promise of the American Dream more accessible to every American,” Hoyer said.
Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park said Obama’s address really hit home with her as a woman and a lesbian because he stressed the importance of equality for all.
“I thought it was munificent,” Mizeur said. “It exceeded every expectation I had. As an LGBT, to hear him call for full equality was historic and riveting,” Mizeur said.
As a Democratic National committeewoman, Mizeur attended several inaugural events over the weekend, but passed her inauguration tickets to supporters so they could attend in person.
In the address, Obama hailed the fight for equality for women, gays and minorities, but said the work is not done yet.
“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began, for our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts,” Obama said. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Dist. 7) of Baltimore said the inauguration on Martin Luther King Jr. Day made it especially meaningful.
“So many in our parents’ generation –– and ours –– never thought we’d see an African American elected president of this country,” Cummings said. “Our president is in many ways a living fulfillment of dreams Dr. King could only hope to see.”