By Nyesha Stone
Jan. 7, 2019 marks a new page for Wisconsin because a new governor is in office. Tony Evers was sworn into office while residents across the entire state watched the 2019 Wisconsin Inauguration Ceremony.
Alongside him, Mandela Barnes became Wisconsin’s 45th Lieutenant Governor. Attorney General Josh Kaul, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Secretary of State Doug La Follette were sworn into their positions earlier this week, as well.
The message of the day was this: to protect people no matter what party they represent. Evers said it is time for the state to get back to its core values because “we’ve got away from who we are.” It’s about putting the people before politics, he said.
“Every person has meaning,” Evers said about the state coming together to fix our issues. “May we be willing to do what the next generation needs.”
He continued: “We are more than the sum of our differences.”
With former Gov. Scott Walker out of office, Evers said he’s never been more hopeful for this state than the moment when he was sworn in.
Evers wasn’t the only one making history this prior Monday. Barnes became the first African-American Lt. Gov. in Wisconsin’s history. This is a monumental moment for the people of Milwaukee, specifically the Black community. Despite the road blocks the city has in the Black community, Barnes was able to make it out, and become a powerful voice for the same neighborhoods that raised him.
“A person’s zip code should never determine their destiny,” Barnes said. He added that it’s time to focus on equity and sustainability, not just for Milwaukee, but the entire state.
According to Evers, 870,000 families in Wisconsin are struggling to or can’t afford basic necessities like child care, food, and transportation.
“We have significant challenges facing our state, and we will no doubt face setbacks in the days ahead…And what unites us is far, far greater than what divides us,” he said.
He added, “I have never been more hopeful about our state and our kids’ future as I stand here today.
We must dare greatly to go forward in the face of adversity and uncertainty.”
With the inauguration complete, people of Wisconsin will be watching Gov. Evers as the real work begins.