Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Leadership requires support

Leadership without support is like trying to make bricks without enough straw.
True leaders reinforce their ideas and plans with strategic partnerships,
alliances and supportive audiences.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Martin Luther King "I Have a Dream"

In 1950's America, the equality of man envisioned by the Declaration of Independence was far from a reality. People of color — blacks, Hispanics, Asians — were discriminated against in many ways, both overt and covert. The 1950's were a turbulent time in America, when racial barriers began to come down due to Supreme Court decisions, like Brown v. Board of Education; and due to an increase in the activism of blacks, fighting for equal rights.
Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, was a driving force in the push for racial equality in the 1950's and the 1960's. In 1963, King and his staff focused on Birmingham, Alabama. They marched and protested non-violently, raising the ire of local officials who sicced water cannon and police dogs on the marchers, whose ranks included teenagers and children. The bad publicity and break-down of business forced the white leaders of Birmingham to concede to some anti-segregation demands.
Thrust into the national spotlight in Birmingham, where he was arrested and jailed, King organized a massive march on Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he evoked the name of Lincoln in his "I Have a Dream" speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The following is the exact text of the spoken speech, transcribed from recordings.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Governor Sonny Perdue Second Inaugeral (2007) Speech

Second Inaugural Address of Governor Sonny Perdue 8 January 2007

Before I begin my remarks today, I would like to ask three gentlemen to join me at thepodium….the former governors who are present with us today, Governor Carl Sanders,Governor Joe Frank Harris and Governor/Senator Zell Miller.
Ladies and gentlemen, not too many years ago, a man traveled to and fro across this state tellingeveryone who would listen a folksy story about a turtle on a fencepost. The point of the storywas that if you drive down the road and see a turtle on a fencepost, then you can be assured thatturtle didn't get there by himself…that he had help.
On behalf of a grateful state, I want to ask our audience to stand with me as we acknowledge thatyou all helped put Georgia on a high…high fencepost.
My fellow Georgians, I stand before you once more, as I did four years ago, humbled by history .. . lifted by your support. It is an incredible honor to be playing my small part in a long line ofgreat Georgians.
The 13th original colony. The fourth state to ratify the US Constitution.
Birthplace of Girl Scouts Founder Juliette Gordon Low . . . author Margaret Mitchell and thatgreat philosopher, Lewis Grizzard. . . golf legend Bobby Jones and baseball pioneer JackieRobinson . . President Jimmy Carter, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas . . . and theReverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Georgia has a long, proud, distinguished history. And I am honored that the people of this statehave allowed me to be a part of this history for four more years.
We are here today reaffirming our faith in a tested covenant – the simple truth that governmentexists to serve the governed, and the state to serve the will of the people.
I took this same oath of office four years ago, and I spoke to you then of a new Georgia – aneducated, healthy, safe and growing Georgia.
We boldly struck out on the path toward those achievements and we overcame great challengesalong the way.
Over these last four years, Georgia has been tested. . . and Georgians have risen to meet everytest.
We have been tested by difficult economic times. Though the skies looked dark in 2003, throughthe enterprise and determination of Georgians, a brighter day dawned in our state.We have been tested by the demands of war. We are proud to shoulder more than our fair sharein freedom's fight. Because of the service and sacrifice of our citizen soldiers, our state shines asa model of valor across the land.
We have been tested by the forces of nature itself. When the floodwaters of Katrina drove ourneighbors into our arms, Georgians met them with a compassion and love that rose far above thewaters of the storm.
And we have met daily tests of character and strength – not as dramatic as war or naturaldisaster, but no less important.
We care for our children, preparing them to meet the challenges of the future. . . we create jobsfor Georgians across the state . . . we protect the legacy of our natural environment . . . and webuild our communities, creating a safe and healthy place to live.
Our state rose to meet these trials – big and small, enduring and fleeting alike – and emergedstronger every time.
There will be more to come – more tests, more challenges. . . and in them… more opportunities.Because in this great state, home to nine million hardworking, industrious people, there is alwaysthe promise of a better tomorrow.
I am humbled and honored to stand here once more as your Governor. The responsibility youhave placed before me is awesome.
And I am proud to have been given the opportunity to continue moving our state forward, tocreate the momentum we need to lead in the 21st century.
I have a vision for Georgia as a state of the future. In fact, it's a vision for the possibilities thatawait us in the year 2020 – a 20/20 vision. And, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to look at this as a“State of the Future” address.
When I gave an inaugural speech four years ago, we didn't have the luxury of looking at thefuture. We were focused on the more urgent needs of the present. We had to start at thebeginning to get our state back on track.
I think of my grown son, when he was about 5 years old, putting on a shirt for church. Hemissed his first buttonhole, so all the rest of them were off. He tried again, and after his thirdattempt failed, he was frustrated – “it won't turn out!” he yelled.
My wife Mary is one of the most patient people I know – and I would like to thank her for herenduring support, counsel, and love.
She has taught me much about life, not the least of which is unconditional love. That day, shecalmly replied . . . “son, it'll turn out right, but only if you get the first one right.”Well, that's what we did in the last four years – we went back and got the first one right. We laidthe foundation, set ourselves up for everything else to turn out.
Now with our state on solid footing, we can look clearly to tomorrow and see where we want ourstate to be 5, 10 or 20 years from now. Georgia has all the ingredients for greatness. Andtogether we can make that vision come alive.
We've already begun our travels down the path toward greatness.
Where bureaucracy and red tape weighed us down, business-like efficiency and streamlined,friendly services have emerged.
Where Georgians once may have resigned themselves to last in the nation, today we're movingahead, passing education and economic milestones every day.
Great government is about stewardship. I believe we all have a responsibility to leave thingsbetter off than we found them. Stewardship means you keep an eye on the horizon – you look tothe future to make your decisions today.
When Mary and I became parents, stewardship took on a new importance.
When we looked on our four precious children, we were strengthened with resolve to bring themup in a world that was even better than the one we grew up in. And with each new grandchildbrought into this world, that feeling intensifies.
In the year 2020, my twin granddaughters Sunni and Mary Kate will be 20 years old.
And just like any grandparent, or parent, or aunt or uncle, I want them to enter their 20's with anexcellent education. I want them to have learned in small classes and safe classrooms, under theinstruction of capable teachers who have access to all the resources and tools they need.
I think it goes without saying that in 2020 I want them to have graduated from high school. Butthat's not enough. I want all their friends where they live in Clarkesville – and all the 7 year oldboys and girls across the state to have graduated from high school, too.
I'd like them to continue their world-class education here in Georgia, on the HOPE scholarship,at top-notch universities and technical schools that are leading the world in life science researchand bioscience technology.
I want them to have here in Georgia all the opportunities they could find in places like New Yorkor London or Tokyo. I hope they travel the world and learn from other cultures and peoples –but I hope they return to Georgia, because I want our state to offer them the best promise for abright future.I want those twins in 2020 to have their choice of careers. I see them as aerospace engineers . . .cutting edge cancer research scientists. . . world class nanotech biomedical engineers.I see them as teachers like my mother, instilling a desire for life-long learning in thousands ofyoung people.
And I see them landing in the world's busiest airport, coming home to their families in aninternational center of business and finance.
Mary and I are blessed with a large, loving extended family. Not just our four children and sixgrandchildren, but aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews. . . and not just theeight babies we cared for while they were awaiting adoption.
But we have a calling to care for every child in Georgia. This is not just a vision for mygrandchildren – this is a vision for your grandchildren, for Georgia's grandchildren.
And I want these opportunities to be available to all the future generations of our state.
That's what stewardship is – I plan on handing over to the next Governor a state that's even better off than the one we live in today.
So I remain committed to securing Georgia's status as the single best-managed state. I envisionher as an international leader.
You may know we've begun running the state like a business.
Well, I want Georgia to be a business that, if we were traded on the New York Stock Exchange,would be recognized as a blue chip, stable, long term growth company and rewarded with a highmarket value.
Georgia has made great progress – and that progress has been steady and measured over the lastfour years.
This is the kind of growth you may not notice right away – it's gradual, incremental – it's a lotlike the way kids grow taller over the span of a few months.
It's their haircuts you'll notice – both the ones that come from a professional barber and the onesthey give each other.
But I'll tell you what – you notice the change in Georgia when you renew your driver's licenseonline in minutes. Or when a state government help line is answered promptly and politely. Orwhen you receive your tax refund quickly and electronically.
Georgia is growing into a position of national leadership. Our population is increasing . . . oureconomy is strengthening . . . our resources are protected.We are going from good to great – working on the transparency and accessibility of our healthcare system, working on providing a high quality education for every Georgian.
Now, I'm often asked, ”what is your mandate? What will be your legacy?”
I believe my mandate is simple: to be a good steward of the state and a faithful servant to thepeople.
And the only legacy I seek is the same one any parent or grandparent seeks: to hand off ourstate, our home, to the next generation in better shape than we found it.
This legacy won't be achieved by executive order or sweeping legislation. This legacy will bethe sum of individual actions – it will be the result of Georgians deciding to make a difference.
Today's Georgia is large and growing larger. Georgians come from all sorts of backgrounds,races, cultures and creeds – with many different aspirations. But there are some things we allhave in common.
We share a belief in a great legacy, the American dream. The belief that in this land ofopportunity, we can raise our children to fulfill their most hopeful ambitions.
That we may take responsibility and we may take action – that regardless of our starting point,we are free to create fruits of our labors and free to succeed in this greatest of lands.
Although some may think we should, I think most of you'll agree with me that state governmentcannot control the weather. State government can – and should—however, act as an umbrella.
Just like yesterday, we all hit rainstorms and downpours, and that's what government is there for.
But on a sunny day like today, it should be out of the way, not weighing you down or blockingout the sun's rays.
Well folks, the days ahead are bright – we have a rosy forecast. We are on a path to national andinternational leadership.
And in the end, while I am the one who takes this oath today, when we leave this place, yourresponsibility is as sacred as mine.
The hard work and determination of the people of Georgia will play the greatest part in buildingthe future of our state.
I am making a solemn pledge and commitment to every Georgian to ensure that the foundationfor the future is in place, rock-solid, and secure.
But we will build the state of the future together. I've seen over and over that strong familiesand strong communities are the backbone of our state.In 2011 there will be another person standing here – possibly someone in this room – with his orher hand on the Bible, taking the oath of office and becoming our next Governor.
I want to hand off a well-run state . . . one whose principles will endure beyond a change ofleadership . . . one whose children are at the top of their national class. . . one who is operatingwith strong, conservative fiscal policies . . . and one who is moving forward with momentum.Today we continue our journey.
We look to the future, supported by our record and sustained by our faith.
Together we will strengthen our families and communities.
We will raise expectations and create opportunities for our children and grandchildren.Together we have already started building a New Georgia.
Let us continue . . . together . . . in this great state where wishes come true, dreams are fulfilled,and opportunities are abundant for all.
Thank you all. God bless you, and God bless Georgia.

Governor Sonny Perdue State of State (2007) speech

State of the State Address of Governor Sonny Perdue 10 January 2007

* Governor Perdue often deviates from prepared remarks*
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, President Pro Tem Johnson, Speaker Pro Tem Burkhalter… Members of the General Assembly. Constitutional officers and members of thejudiciary. The Consular Corps and other distinguished guests. And, most of all, myfellow Georgians:
I come before you today to report on the state of the state. And I'm proud to say thatafter four years of united effort, Georgians have brought forth a state renewed, growingand stronger than ever before.
To understand the State of the State, we must not simply look at Georgia as asnapshot. Georgia is a changing, dynamic action video.
We have laid the foundation and are beginning to build on the progress that will moveGeorgia from a good state to a great state, a state of the future.
This afternoon, we reflect on the fact that since 2002, Georgia's population has grownby nearly half a million people…more than 252,000 new jobs have been created…andGeorgia's economy, as measured by GDP, has grown by more than 18% to anastonishing $363 billion.
If Georgia were a stand alone country, we would have the 17th largest economy in theworld.
This is the type of growth and prosperity that everyone in this chamber can take pridein.
We have begun well. But it's only a beginning. And we do not gather today tocongratulate ourselves on what we have done, but rather to challenge ourselves tofinish what we have not yet completed.
What we do today is for the future. The great philosopher Yogi Berra pointed out that"it's tough to make predictions, especially about the future."
He also said "the future ain't what it used to be," and that's certainly true for Georgia.Four years ago the skies were cloudy but today it's looking bright. And that's why we'rehere today - it's about the future.
But the best thing about the future, as Yogi would say, is that it's all ahead of us.As public servants, we have a sacred duty to serve our fellow citizens – to give themtheir rightful voice in these hallowed halls.
And, yes, service is a large part of representative government. But there's somethingelse…leadership.
I submit to you that we are elected not only to serve, but to lead. As I stated four yearsago, I believe we need to lead in creating a safer, healthier, better educated, growingGeorgia.
Yes, we serve the people to the best of our abilities. We act as an umbrella during thedownpours of life.
But we also lead. We take our cue from the people of Georgia, and we lead on theissues that matter to them. They expect us to work hard, to work smart and to findinnovative solutions that work for them.
Just like any good football team that's building a winning program – we've spent the lastfour years working on our fundamentals, our blocking and tackling and special teams.
We've worked to lay a foundation for success.
And, now, we're ready to win championships.
My fellow citizens, this state is poised for greatness. We are standing on the brink. Andour challenge this year, and in the years to come, is to build a state we can be proud topass on to the next generation.
But what are the hallmarks of that great state? What will it look like?It's one whose kids are well cared for – whose children grow up challenged andprepared for the opportunities of the future.
A great state is one where business thrives as the result of a skilled, educatedworkforce. It's a place some of the most successful national and internationalcompanies call home.
These businesses, both large and small, are the driving force behind a robust, growingeconomy.
But a great state is not only somewhere to work, but somewhere you can play – whereyou can enjoy the outdoors, take in the arts, learn about history…and, most importantly,be a family.
A great state is one whose people have access to health care, but beyond that, theyhave a choice in which doctor they see and how much they spend.My ultimate goal, and I think the goal of every person sitting in this chamber today, is toimplement the types of policies that will make this vision of Georgia a reality.
This year and over the next four years, let us resolve to continue building on our pastsuccess.
We've made great strides, but we can – and will – do even more – through passionate,progressive, principled leadership that uses facts – not fantasy – as the basis fordecision making.
And I believe that's what the people of this state have elected us to do.
There's a theme you've probably heard me mention once or twice over the last fouryears – stewardship. And it's something I'll continue to talk about over the next fouryears – because it was ingrained in me from boyhood. It's a word that embodies whywe choose the path of public service.
It's about taking care of our resources and laying the groundwork for the 21st century.I know most of you in this chamber have experienced the emotion of having a child,grandchild, niece or nephew brought into this world.
And I believe you've felt that deep, natural desire to make the world a better place forthem, for your family.
There's a Native American saying that I think sums it up: We do not inherit the earthfrom our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
Two years ago, we took a confident step toward managing Georgia's resources for thefuture when we implemented the Land Conservation Act.
That act defined bipartisanship, with support on both sides of the aisle, as well as frombusiness and environmental groups across the state.
Well, this year, I want to do more to keep Georgia pristine and beautiful for ourgrandchildren. We started by creating a $100 million program in 2005, and this year Iam recommending we commit $50 million more to preserve our lands for the enjoymentof generations to come.
Land like the Paulding Forest. Our distinguished Speaker has advocated theconservation of this land for a long time.
It's something he's passionate about – and he's not alone. If we don't act now, we maynever…ever get the chance again.Another integral part of protecting Georgia's resources is keeping them pristine for useby our citizens and visitors from around the world.
We have a long-standing tradition of hunting and fishing in our state, and last year,voters preserved that right in our constitution. Each year residents and tourists spendnearly $600 million on fishing alone, for a total economic impact of more than $1.5billion.
But we can do even better. We will turn Georgia into a fisherman's paradise.That's why I am proposing a $19 million investment for an initiative we call Go FishGeorgia.
This state-wide program will create world-class resources for fishing and boatingenthusiasts – new ramps along a bass trail that will include 15 sites on Georgia's majorrivers and reservoirs capable of hosting large bass tournaments.
With premier tournaments generating upwards of $20 million each, we know these aresound investments.
Fishing is a huge industry in the South, and we are behind many of our neighbors inattracting anglers. We will no longer sit by and watch as tourists drive through Georgiaon their way to surrounding states to fish.
But natural beauty isn't all that Georgia has to offer. We are home to some of theregion's most treasured historical sites. Among these are our Civil War memorials,museums, battlefields and cemeteries.
2011 will mark the 150th anniversary of the conflict, and we all know that few stateswere as impacted by the Civil War as Georgia.
Heritage tourists will be commemorating this occasion. They spend an average of 30%more per trip than average travelers, and we want them to come to Georgia.
So in order to prepare for the upcoming milestone, I am recommending that we invest$5 million to develop Resaca Battlefield, and to revitalize and restore our historic CivilWar sites.
Known for our hospitality, we always look forward to welcoming new people to Georgia– including welcoming new companies to Georgia.In fact, in the last few years we've seen record amounts of new investment in our state– $5.76 billion in 2006 alone. Companies like Kia, HP, Gulfstream and Aflac have alllocated or expanded here in Georgia.Our world is, indeed, getting flatter. The rapid expansion of globalization is a sterlingopportunity for Georgia to gain new business.
That's why we're planning to launch a new international initiative – Global Georgia.Former Governor George Busbee put us on the map 30 years ago in international tradeand together, today, we will build skyscrapers on the foundations he laid.
We are working tirelessly to cultivate new relationships with businesses around theworld. Last year alone, we made more than 31 trade missions to 23 countries. But wecan do more.
We have 10 international offices spanning the globe, we're getting ready to open one inChina, and one in India is on the horizon.
Our plan is to grow the Georgia brand in emerging economic engines like Asia, while wealso work to strengthen our presence in established markets like Canada.
That's why I'm recommending to the General Assembly that we ramp up our investmentin international marketing by 135%. This additional $5.1 million will open the door evenwider to the world for Georgia companies.
I look forward to working with Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle as goodwillambassadors to these business prospects.
We're focusing on the main things – the fundamentals – and how they serve as thefoundation for success.
And I believe all of you in this chamber will agree that few issues we face are morefundamental than the health of our citizens.
Health care is an area where innovation is an absolute necessity. We cannot continueto throw traditional, short-term solutions at long-term challenges.
We owe it to the people of this state to start from the beginning, to challenge ourselves–and each other – to find new solutions and new ways of meeting health care needs.
I am committed to building a new strategy. The first part of this strategy is prevention –we need to challenge our citizens to take individual responsibility. Not only to eat rightand exercise, but to take ownership over their health outcomes – to adopt a medicalhome, and to get regular checkups and screening.
Georgia has risen sharply in the ranks over the last few years to become number one inthe southeast, and third in the nation for vaccination coverage. Number one is a goalwe should strive to attain for all the rest of our health measures.That's why we put $10 million in the Georgia Research Alliance to support vaccinebasedantiviral life science research in this growing industry.
The other principle our health policy will be founded on is the fact that we need atransparent marketplace.
I want to create a system where Georgians can go online, look up doctors and hospitalsand compare cost and quality.
Let's give our citizens the power to make health care decisions based on marketprinciples, the control to choose how much they spend and where they seek care.We must also focus on solutions for rural health care. My vision is to create financiallyviable regional systems that meet the needs of the communities they serve.
This is the driving idea behind the Rural Health Access Project. This project seeks aunited effort to promote health care as a strategic industry in rural Georgia…To increase access to primary care… to create stable networks… and to usetechnology to lower costs and improve outcomes.
I know medical access is a concern to many Georgians. And the cost of state-providedhealth coverage is a growing part of our budget. To deal with this challenge, we areasking for $176 million to continue funding health insurance for our teachers and stateemployees. And at the same time we will continue to support Medicaid and PeachCarefor uninsured children and people who need it.
In fact, I call on the President and Congress to meet their obligation to the StateChildren's Health Insurance Program – the program we all know as PeachCare.Today PeachCare is the fourth largest children's health insurance program in thecountry, providing health insurance for over 270,000 of Georgia's children. Georgia hasexcelled in accomplishing the mission of this program. But we can't fund this Federallyinitiatedpartnership program alone.
Georgia stands ready, willing and able to pay our part, but we need our Federalpartners to meet their fair share of the responsibility.
We are also planning to set aside $100 million to meet our future obligations for stateemployee benefits. This is required for all states by new national accounting standards.It may not be a shiny new program, but it is the right thing to do for our state's long-termfiscal health and for our state's retirees.Just like putting money in our rainy day fund, we have to stick to smart, sound fiscalpolicies. And this means that we start putting money away today to help pay thesecosts tomorrow.
It's by sticking to these conservative fiscal standards that earned us the best creditrating in the nation.
As you remember last year, I announced that I would ask this General Assembly to cuttaxes on retirement income for Georgia's seniors.
With the money they save off state income taxes, retirees can better cover the costs ofprescription drugs and healthcare, or spend more time with their grandchildren.
I think we all agree that we need to take a long, hard, comprehensive look at tax policy -and to come up with a fair approach that meets our needs and spurs economicdevelopment in Georgia.
Another necessity for growth in our state is the development of forward-thinkingsolutions to our energy needs.
We are aggressively pursuing options for alternative energy. Georgia has developedtop-notch research facilities in the area of biofuels, and we are blessed with anabundance of natural resources to support this research.
In order to continue this support, I am proposing that we pass legislation to exemptmaterial and equipment used to build biofuel facilities from state taxes.
It's important that we continue to seek innovation and new solutions, but it's alsoimportant that we keep our eyes on the main thing.
And perhaps the most fundamental of all government's duties is to educate our children.I know all of you have heard me say many times over the last few years that our toppriority is education.
Well, I'm here to tell you again that my priorities have not changed. Education is thesingle most important factor in the future prosperity of our state.
That's why we are keeping our teachers the highest-paid in the Southeast - and we'redoing that this year with a 3% raise for all educators. With step increases, that meansmore than half will receive a 6% raise.
Since 2003, we have seen vast improvements in education. Some of the mostimportant gains have been in our students' graduation rate – which has increased sevenand a half percent over the last four years.
In fact, that rate, over 70%, is at an all-time high – and so is our national SAT ranking.But today I make the same challenge as before: While we've seen terrific progress, wemust do better.
Last year, you supported my initiative to place a graduation coach in every Georgia highschool.
Our graduation coaches have been in place since September - that's just over fourmonths. In that time, they have not only identified the 42,000 of Georgia's highschoolers who don't have the credits they need to graduate - they have also createdindividualized plans to graduate for 32,000 students.
But we know that many of our kids never even make it to high school. Last year, morethan 2,000 students dropped out before 9th grade – folks, these are children who are 12,13, 14 years old.
I can't stress enough that these aren't just numbers – these are Georgia's children.That's why this year I'm asking you to expand the graduation coach program to middleschools. Our middle school coaches will work with their high school counterparts inhelping students transition.
They will help families plan and prepare for the rigors of high school. And they will helpstudents make the connection between the skills they learn in school and the skillsthey'll need in the real world.
I want to make sure our coaches have the support they need to do their jobs. The mostcommon need they see is basic academic tutoring.
So I am recommending funding for a statewide online tutoring program to reach allstudents. I want this program to be available to students after school and on weekendsso they don't fall behind on issues they may not have understood in class.
Yesterday I challenged the business community to connect with these coaches – andthey assured me they are prepared to rise to the challenge. Today, I'm asking that wefollow through on our part as well.
Georgia is on its way to becoming a national and international leader. We have startedthe process, and we've been building up our momentum for the next four years andbeyond.
Georgia is a great state, but no one in this chamber should be satisfied until it's thebest.
This is what brings us together, what serves as our common purpose.Although some of us sit on different sides of the aisle, there will always be one areawhere we can come together…
We are all Georgians.
We will lead boldly, we will work tirelessly and we will serve the people of this state withevery ounce of brains and sweat we can muster.
If we do this, if we make this pledge to one another, we will deliver something worthy toGeorgians.
We can deliver them a state of the future – a state that leads in protecting its resources,in growing jobs, in educating its children and in providing for the health of its people.
This will be our legacy. So that when we leave this place – this chamber, this golddome, this city and even this life – we will have made a difference – for our families andfor our state.
We will hand down a longstanding dream, a dream of mothers and fathers andgrandparents everywhere – we will hand down a world better and brighter than the onewe grew up in.
I feel blessed to live in this great state. When I stand at our beautiful coastline – and Isee the sun shining out on the horizon – I know it's always dawning a New Day overGeorgia.
Thank you. God Bless you. And God bless the great state of Georgia.

Governor Sonny Perdue Economic Outlook Speech

Governor Perdue addresses Economic Outlook Luncheon. 4 December 2007
Economic Outlook4 December 2007
Each December this Economic Outlook luncheon gives us a chance to look forward, to prepare for the year to come. I’m slated to give a welcome today, but while I’m here, I’ll fill you in on some of the big issues facing our state.
Our country’s economy is perched in an interesting – some may say perilous – place. From California to New York, many states are facing tough budget times.
California has a $10 billion budget shortfall. And unless they want to deal with a $4.3 billion deficit, New Yorkers need to take a serious look at their checkbooks. Even Virginia, usually a soundly run state, is debating making withdrawals from its reserve to offset $400 million of their deficit. Economists in Florida are forecasting tax collections will be down by $2.5 billion over the next two years.
But the good news is: Georgia is in good shape! We pulled through those tough times a few years ago, fixed our hole in the budget, and have emerged with a strong, vibrant economy. We’ve worked hard to fill up our rainy day reserves – and they are holding strong at a billion and a half dollars.
Now, it’s not all roses and sunshine – several segments and industry sectors are facing serious financial woes, mainly due to the effects of the drought.
But overall, Georgia has the strength, the reserves and the stability to persevere and succeed. We have great economic development assets, like our business-friendly environment and our low tax burden. We also have a world-class ports system that continues to drive economic growth.
Though we have slowed that rapid rate of growth, Georgia’s economy continues to expand. Unemployment remains low. Job growth is above national levels. The Kauffman Foundation ranked us #3 in the country for entrepreneurial activity. Site Selection Magazine ranked us #2 for our business environment.
Our competitive and fair tax structure also helps attract businesses. KPMG recently conducted a study on the competitiveness of 20 states, including Georgia, which compete for jobs and investment. They found that Georgia has the single most competitive tax environment. Our low statutory tax rate, single-sales factor apportionment and job tax credit all help create that business-friendly tax environment.
In the last three months, I’ve announced ground breakings, attended ribbon cuttings and marked the expansion of companies in Jeffersonville, Soperton, Macon, Griffin, East Point, Valdosta, Atlanta, LaGrange, Peachtree City, Columbus and Rincon.
Companies across the country and around the world are taking note that Georgia is open for business. July through October, the Department of Economic Development reported that investments are $637 million, up 30% from FY07.
We remain focused on building up our strategic industry clusters – high-growth areas like Aerospace, Agribusiness, Energy, Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Communications, Logistics and IT.
I’ve gone on three international trade missions this year alone, targeting companies within these industry clusters.
I went to Europe in June, where I visited with pharmaceutical, aerospace and automotive companies. In October I went to Japan and Korea to meet with automotive manufacturers, including prospective Kia suppliers.
I also went to Canada a few weeks ago. There I signed documents with our top trading partner, creating a new alliance between the Southeastern US and seven Canadian provinces.
These relationships are important – because they result in projects like the Kia manufacturing plant in West Point. Speaking of Kia, I’m pleased to report not only that they are moving forward on schedule … but also that their suppliers are coming.
Six Kia suppliers have already committed to bringing a total of 1400 jobs to that area.
The Koreans aren’t the only ones expanding their operations to the United States. Chinese companies are also selecting Georgia as their entry-point to the U.S. market. In just the past year and a half, three major Chinese firms have announced plans to locate to Georgia.
Kingwasong LLC, is now building a plant in Newnan, creating 200 jobs and attracting $12 million in new investment.
In May 2007, China-based General Protecht Group purchased 211 acres of land in Barnesville to assemble and distribute electrical products.
And just this September, Sany, a major heavy construction equipment manufacturer, announced that it will invest $30 million to build its first North American plant in Peachtree City, creating 200 jobs.
I look forward to visiting our partners in Asia in person this coming March – that is, if the legislature behaves….
I intend to fly on the inaugural Delta direct-flight from Atlanta to Shanghai. From there, I will go on to Beijing to open Georgia’s first economic development office in China which will help market our state to the world’s fastest growing economy.
Domestically speaking, Range Fuels, a Colorado-based company, was another exciting announcement this year. Last month they broke ground on the nation’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Soperton. Their process takes wood chips and sawdust and all sorts of timber waste product, and turns it into ethanol.
This plant means Georgia is on the forefront of a new technology that capitalizes on our natural strengths and comparative advantages. And the fact that it’s a several hundred million dollar investment doesn’t hurt!
But Georgia’s growth and progress does not hinge solely upon large corporations and million dollar investments. The backbone of our economy, the bedrock and foundation of our communities – that is our small businesses.
Of 600,000 businesses in Georgia, 95% employ fewer than 50 people. 50% employ fewer than 5. We’ve added 320,000 jobs in 5 years – and that doesn’t all come from big businesses.
We recognize this, and we have become a national leader in entrepreneur and small business development. Georgia helps out with things like market research, which is vital to business success, but difficult to take on as a small company.
And Georgia has the first and only program in the country to use this support as a rural and urban development tool.
Another engine driving Georgia’s development is our ports system. Georgia’s ports have seen some monumental advancements over the past few years.
Our very own historic Savannah port is now the second-largest port on the east coast.
Year to date, Savannah’s port traffic, including imports and exports, has increased 25 percent over last year. Compare that to the Port of Charleston which is down 7 percent or to the Port of Los Angeles which has flat growth numbers. In fact, Savannah is the only port in America experiencing double-digit growth and is hailed as the nation’s fastest growing port.
I am also proud to say that the demand for our exports is growing equally as fast as the demand for imports. In fact, Savannah is one of the only major ports in America with balanced trade, or 52 percent of total trade dedicated to imports and 48 percent to exports.
Our deepwater ports are major economic engines – they foster growth in virtually every industry in the state, and give us a strong competitive advantage. I think of them as a heart, driving development and pumping commerce.
And earlier this month I joined Governor Mark Sanford to announce our agreement with South Carolina to develop a new joint port on the Savannah River.
This project will result in serious economic growth – it will mean more jobs, a bigger revenue stream, and benefits for the entire Southeast.
This joint port agreement will prove to be historic. In fact, I believe that, along with education reforms and land conservation, this joint port may be among the projects with the longest-term financial impact on the state after I leave office.
Now, before I conclude, I want to talk briefly about one thing that is not only weighing on the minds of everyone in the state, but is also vital to our economic future. That is our water situation.
Georgia’s continued economic vitality does depend on the sustainable management and protection of our water resources.
We are in the middle of a historic drought, and we are making do with less than we are accustomed to. But we do have enough water in the state.
It’s simply a matter of managing it properly, making smart, conservative decisions, and working with our neighbors and federal partners to make it last.
I will be meeting again with the governors of Alabama and Florida later this month, and I hope to have good news to share with you after that meeting.
One part of managing of our water resources is the adoption of the Statewide Comprehensive Water Plan.
The Water Council has been hard at work on this plan for several years, and it was crafted to support economic growth and prosperity while protecting our resources. It will be presented to the legislature next month during the session – and the time for passing this plan is now.
While this drought was not born out of a lack of storage capacity, I urge local governments to take a hard look and assess their storage capacity needs for the future.
In closing, Georgia’s economic development investments, the additions to our deepwater ports system, and smart management of our water resources each add to Georgia’s strong economic foundation. It is that foundation that has caused the Kauffman Foundation, Site Selection Magazine and KPMG to sing Georgia’s praises internationally.
For the remainder of my second term as Governor, we will continue to foster growth in our economy and keep Georgia the envy of the nation.

Pete Correll, CEO Georgia Pacific speech

University of Georgia Commencement Speech, August 2005By A.D. "Pete" Correll, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Georgia-Pacific Corp.
Change and Tradition: Partners of Paradox and Necessity
To President Adams, the faculty and staff, to parents and family:
Congratulations on all you've done to bring these graduates to this special day. To you graduates, congratulations on your accomplishments - and your prospects. Your years here, I hope, have been as rewarding as mine were.
I was a little intimidated when I first got here - a little apprehensive, but excited. UGA had a mystique about it. It was big and cosmopolitan. It offered new friends and knowledge I badly needed. And some things I was really excited about: mainly, unlike Georgia Tech, there were girls here. I expected major things from the University of Georgia - and it delivered. It delivered beyond what I could reasonably have hoped for. I met my wife here. All in all, my years here were a wonderful time.
Four decades later, this is, of course, a far different campus. Still, despite all the changes, you and I share a great deal in this university - notably in our traditions. There's The Arch - still the central place on campus - football between the Hedges and ringing the chapel bell. Our first bulldog mascot, UGA I, arrived five years before I got here. UGA VI reigned in your tenure. Our archrival has linked the generations for over a century. And there is The Varsity, which was across from The Arch when I was here.
All are cherished traditions; and far more profound ones link us with other people in other places and times. This ritual of commencement is one, and behind it, the centuries long traditions of teaching and learning, of pursuing the arts, of questioning and searching.
When I was here, The School of Social Work and The College of Environment and Design didn't exist. Nor did The School of Public and International Affairs or The College of Public Health. The East Campus Village wasn't here or the Ramsey Center, Performing Arts Center, Psychology-Journalism Building and no Dean Rusk Hall.
When I was here, research was not a priority. Now, the University of Georgia is in the thick of innovation in genetics, biotechnology, cellular and molecular biology, nanotechnology - a boon to the South.
But one of the most profound innovations in the university's history occurred while I was here. UGA opened its doors to African-Americans. It was the beginning of a new era not only for the university, but the state.
Tradition and change. The two together make this university, as they do with other institutions and with life itself. All need a healthy balance of tradition and innovation - the old and the new, the enduring and the changing. The clash naturally sorts out the best innovations and makes them traditions. It also winnows the weak and worst traditions - segregation being an example. In the end, the tradition of segregation fell before the might and right of an older tradition: The idea that we are all created equal.
Such is the process that gives us the healthy balance of tradition and innovation.
I must admit that I look back with some remorse on some of the changes at Georgia. When I was here we were constantly ranked in the top five lists of party schools in the country. I worked very hard while I was here to maintain and improve that record. We may not have had the best academic education, but we sure developed great social skills. President Adams, and President Knapp before him, created an academic powerhouse, but they sure messed up a good party.
But you know, as an aside, I was a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos last year. Also on the program was Senator Saxby Chamblis and Pat Mitchell, President of Public Broadcasting. All three of us are from small towns in Georgia, and all of us were at this university together. I guess we learned more than we knew.
Yes, we have had a lot of change.
Earlier, I said your prospects are excellent. They are indeed. They are excellent because the digital age continues its sustained run of powerful innovations, new kinds of jobs - good jobs.
Today, a fourth of all Americans work in occupations that didn't exist in the late 1960s. These include high-paying occupations created around computers, the cell phone, and the Internet - and all the related hardware and software of the digital age.
My generation has witnessed a lot of this change. When we were here, we used typewriters. We didn't even dream of laptops. Personal computers were the stuff of sci-fi.
Microsoft didn't exist. There was no Dell, Apple, Intel or Cisco Systems. Google was not around, nor was eBay or Yahoo!
UPS was truly just a low-tech package delivery company, not a high-tech, just-in-time inventory system for businesses all over the world. Cingular and Verizon didn't exist.
In fact, the only guy we knew who routinely used anything like a cell phone was a character in a cartoon strip - Dick Tracy. He had a wrist radio.
All this digital innovation has delivered great benefits to people and communities. But innovation can also be frightening.
All change is not good, and all change is difficult and frightening to some. There are two change sayings that are favorites of mine. One is from Snoopy: "Change is good, you go first." The second is from Boyd Young, one of our country's great union leaders, who said, "Change is not mandatory, because survival is not assured."
One thing that has changed - and that we have lost - is trust in the major institutions that made this country great. You cannot imagine the difference in how you feel about the major institutions of our country and how I felt when I sat in your seat years ago. I trusted our government, our business leaders and our institutions to serve me and my country well.
Think about it. When I was a sophomore in high school the Secretary of State of our country said, "What is good for General Motors is good for the country," and none of us thought that there was anything strange about it. In fact, we thought it was more or less a statement of the obvious. Then came the Vietnam War, Watergate, presidential impeachment, Enron and so on until now none of us know who to trust and what we can trust. So we, at least most of us, are tempted to be cynical observers.
That is why I thought I would spend a few minutes with you talking about trust.
Life, as we all know, is not simply about getting and spending. In the end, we all want to be happy and we know that takes more than work. If I could give you the formula for being happy, I could write a best-selling self-help book or go on Oprah. But I don't know the formula.
I do know that having the ability to deal with change and at the same time having a set of values that you can hang on to and trust are keys to going through this experience we call life with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.
In the midst of all the change and flux, we need things to hang on to - not just anything, but ideas that will guide us and ideas that work in living life.
How do we find these? Your professors have introduced you to many of them. Human experience fills literature - novels, poetry, essays, drama - in all the arts and in thoughtful histories. The traditions of religion are rich with knowledge about experience through the long ages of the human race. Wise people can be found in every neighborhood and every community.
Those with a special wisdom will guide you in affairs of the heart, and of the soul and spirit. They'll teach you the fine points of how to deal with others.
I have spent my life in the business world of this country and more specifically in the world of big business. Nothing has been more painful to me than to see the people of the United States lose confidence and trust in the leaders of the economic institutions that drive the wealth of this country. I know that we have seen some bad things done in the Enrons and the Worldcoms of this world, but the ultimate damage will likely be the collapse of the trust relationship that we had because a few bad apples tried to beat the system at the expense of all of us.
We've seen the human pain that results when corporate leaders turn their backs on basic values of decency - truthfulness and honesty, their responsibilities to owners, employees and communities.
Their transgressions make it easy to point to them and their flaws. We see CEOs going to jail for falsifying their companies' results. I see the credibility of corporate leaders at an all-time low - only one notch above used car dealers and even lower than politicians.
I see in one recent poll that 70% of the people believe corrupt accounting and other practices are widespread. I see another poll asking how often do you trust business executives to do "what is right," and 75% of the public say 'Never!' Those are not the facts, but once you lose trust all basic logic goes out the window with it.
But any time we turn our backs on basic values like honesty and integrity we run the risk that we will inflict pain and suffering on someone whether we meant to or not. Telling the truth is really, really important. Or as my mother put it, "Always tell the truth and you won't have to remember what you said." My grandfather put it another way when he said, "A man's word is his bond." There simply is no substitute for honesty and trust. Our entire American capital system is built on a premise of honesty and trust.
I have played golf since I was nine years old, and I love the sport. Golf is a lot like business and a lot like life. You have a big book of rules, and most of them are easy to understand, but some are obscure. But unlike other sports, there are no referees or judges to enforce the rules.
You call the penalties on yourself. When you finish, you sign the card, you post a score, and only you know if that is the right score. Most golfers know there is no joy in a score that is not correct. In the final analysis, it comes down to our own honesty and integrity.
Some CEOs get upset about having to sign the financial statements and being accountable for them. I am not one of those. I played the game, it is my score, and I am happy to attest it.
Ultimately, we are accountable. Each one of us. We have to be responsible for what we do. Lack of accountability has permeated our whole culture for a while, and it's still going on in too many areas.
It's this idea that external forces, quite beyond our control, made us do what we did. Like Huckleberry Finn said of his sinful ways, "I can't help bein' bad. I was brung up that way."
Wherever your dreams take you, remember there is nothing as valuable as your integrity, and work really, really hard to ensure that the people who you are following and those that you're leading share your values and ethical principles. Our own narrow wants and desires aren't enough. We need to look outside ourselves for opportunities to provide service to others.
As the legendary Zig Ziglar has said, "The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity." And, he's noted, "All happy, successful, long-term relationships are built on trust. That's why character is so important; so build a strong character base, and I will see you at the top."
For me, it's really simple. I think of it like those rules we all learned in kindergarten. You probably recall the book from a few years back. It talked about the basics you learn from the get-go: share everything, play fair, don't hit people, clean up your own mess, don't take things that aren't yours, say you're sorry if you hurt someone.
Business is in the mess we are today with regulators and the public because a few business leaders forgot some very basic principles. We need to look to tradition, to the innovation that keeps tradition honest.
My best to each of you as you build on tradition in family, career and community. As for your innovations, this final thought: Tradition begins with change. Someone always has to do it first.
May your very best changes become lasting, cherished traditions to at least some who follow you in this life. Congratulations to all of you.
Positive streams of language flow smoothly across the listener and should be the preferred approach to sharing information. Negativity interrupts the flow of listening creating anxiety, depresstion and anger. -Reed Markham, Georgia Leadership Series

The challenge of maintaining a healthy, positive perspective does not occur when the pathway is easy. The great challenge comes when the pathway is difficult. -Reed Markham, Georgia Leadership Series

At the beginning of a new year many wonder whether they have the time, energy, and resources to accomplish their goals in the coming months. The real question to be considered is whether you have specific, well defined goals and the desire to achieve them. -Reed Markham, Georgia

Leadership Series