Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Asian Pacific Islanders Legislative Day
March 6, 2003

Good morning, and welcome to Olympia. It is great to see this kind of turnout.

Iím proud to be an Asian American. I am proud of how far we have come as a community.

My grandfather worked as a servant here in Olympia, about a mile from where Iím standing now.

Today, we stand thousands strong, celebrating our progress and actively participating in the process of democracy. We have all come a long way in this state and in this country. We have a right to be proud.

I am especially pleased that youíve all taken the time to come to Olympia today. I encourage you to work with your legislators. Let them know what you are concerned about, what you support and what you oppose. Like me, they are able to do their jobs better when theyíve heard from you. Thatís the essence of representative government.

We need to hear from you and we want to hear from you. And we enjoy hearing from you.

These are tough times.

Our state, like nearly every other state in the country, faces tough economic times. We have taken a very close, disciplined and creative look at everything we do. We have prioritized. Like a family going through hard times, weíve determined what we can do with what we have.

The budget I have proposed includes deep cuts. We are all affected by these cuts.

We need to work together to soften the cuts.

We still want to continue to give our children a great education. We want to create jobs, and to protect our most vulnerable children and adults, our elders. And we will.

As we work our way through these tough times, we will be flexible and do our best to balance our limited resources against the needs of our people.

Difficult times remind us that we cannot do everything. But we can do the things that matter most by being disciplined, creative and determined.

I am confident that if we work hard and work together, we will continue to make Washington a state where our children and grandchildren will want to live, work, and raise their families.

Thank you.

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