Today was Inauguration Day in Colorado. And NEVER POLITICS was there at the Capitol to watch the swearing in of our Governor John Hickenlooper for his second term. It was a cold morning, but not frigid, and the crowd on hand was sizable. As John Hickenlooper gave his second Inaugural Address, the sun came out and basked the governor and the audience in its golden rays. Hickenlooper remarked upon how the state was in a precarious position when he first took office in 2011. The state was dealing with unemployment and the vestiges of the Great Recession. Then there were the natural disasters, the copious wildfires and the One Thousand Year Flood in September 2013 which destroyed entire communities. And the state endured the horrific gun violence of the Aurora Theater Shooting and the Arapahoe High School shooting. Hickenlooper described all of these challenges quite eloquently: the fires, floods, and heinous violence. This leader has been truly tested over the last four years.
“When we took office four years ago, Colorado was in a precarious state. We lagged behind most of the nation when it came to job growth. Our unemployment was at 9.1 percent. Our state had a $1 billion dollar deficit. And we were only able to put 2 percent of our state funds into emergency reserves,” Hickenlooper said.
But now unemployment has fallen from 9.1% to 4 percent. Job growth has grown hugely, and the government has been able to sock away $600 million into a rainy-day fund. “Colorado is no longer in a precarious state. It is poised to be a model state,” the governor said.
Hickenlooper also made a theme in his address: the importance of random acts of kindness. I do see this kindness in the people of Colorado. We are a state of rugged people, people who can endure the extremes of our geographical region and its climate. People here are hearty, and also, very kind. People help each other out here. Neighbors join together in times of tragedy like the 2013 flood and the 2012 shootings. It was a message of hope. Colorado has much to be hopeful about. And so does Hickelooper. His political career shines brighter than ever, and he is a potential Presidential candidate. The future is bright, indeed.