Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Competitiveness Council Dinner
February 25, 2004

Good evening. It’s a pleasure for Mona and I to welcome you to the Mansion. We know how busy all of you are, and we’re honored to have you as our guests tonight.

It’s been two-and-a-half years since the first meeting of the Washington Competitiveness Council. Together, we’ve come a long way.

I had high hopes when I convened this group. Some might even say unrealistic hopes.

But the Council exceeded my wildest dreams, and the dreams and expectations of most of you.

Your recommendations for improving our state’s business climate were a formidable challenge—and a terrific roadmap to a better Washington. We’ve made great progress in following that roadmap—unprecedented progress. Your ongoing, tireless efforts have helped keep us moving in the right direction.

We live in cynical times. Some have lost faith in the power of collective action.

But this Council has shown that a group of committed and determined business and community leaders can change the world. You’ve made a substantial difference in the future of Washington state. Thanks to your efforts, we live in a state better equipped to create jobs for today’s adults and our children. And we’ve cut through miles of red tape, and streamlined regulatory processes – all without sacrificing our environmental standards or reducing health and safety protections for workers.

Together, we’ve shown the value of partnership and collaboration. And while we all know there is still more work to be done, we now have the foundation and momentum to continue improving. This Council has helped create a brighter economic future for our state—and made a little history in the process.

And so, on behalf of the people of Washington state, and on behalf of future generations, thank you. Thank you for helping make our state an even better place to live, work and raise a family.

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