'A new day in America': Colorado voices on the inauguration of President Biden, VP Harris

biden harris inauguration
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 08:38:29-05

DENVER – Colorado Democrats and community leaders said Wednesday they were ready to get to work with the new administration after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office.

We’re rounding up statements from Colorado’s elected officials, party officials and community leaders as they come in:

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-CO01

“This is a great day for our nation. Our Democracy has been tested in unprecedented ways, but it has held - and today’s inauguration was a testament to the amazing strength and resiliency that our nation has shown time and time again during even the most trying of times.

“Congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris on your historic achievements.

“Our country is yearning to come together. And it’s important that we begin working together immediately to bring an end to this devastating pandemic that’s upended all of our lives and to provide the American people the help they still desperately need.

“I look forward to working with this new administration to protect more of our nation’s public lands, combat the climate crisis, protect Americans’ right to access reproductive care – and so much more

“Today is the start of a new chapter in our nation’s history. It’s a time for us to come together and show the word that America’s unity is still its greatest strength.”

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D)

“Today we begin our work to rebuild the nation. President Biden spoke of coming together to confront the challenges facing our country, and he’s right – there isn’t any time to waste. The pandemic has stolen over 400,000 lives and millions of jobs, climate change has caused severe droughts and record-breaking wildfires in Colorado, and the Trump Administration has endangered families' health care and our standing in the world.

“President Biden and Vice President Harris are taking office at a time when we face deep divisions, but even stronger calls to unite. I’m ready to partner with the new administration and my colleagues, including those across the aisle, to get our nation back on track. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D)

“Not since FDR has an administration began with such formidable challenges – a public health crisis, an economic crisis, a climate crisis, and the most bitter partisan divisions in living memory. Americans are eager for change. President Biden and Vice President Harris have a historic opportunity to earn the American people’s confidence by leading with integrity, governing with competence, and pursuing an agenda that will make a real difference in their lives. The new administration has already put forward proposals to bridge us from the pandemic into a growing economy while expanding opportunity and security for millions of Americans. I look forward to working closely with the new administration to pass this agenda, restore a government that works, and burnish our democratic example to the world once again.”

U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-CO06

“Today is the dawn of a new day in America. President Joe Biden is a good and decent man who has faced many challenges in his life and persevered. His empathy and compassion is born of tragedy, like so many of us. Our first woman Vice President, a daughter of immigrants, embodies the hopes and aspirations of our nation. While the path forward is hard, I know that President Biden and Vice President Harris will help America build back stronger.

“Today’s inauguration sends a clear message to Americans and people across the world that the peaceful transfer of power is the cornerstone of Democracy. The January 6th attacks on our Capitol and the setbacks our nation has experienced over the last four years will not define us. America is strong and our democracy will prevail.

“We face many challenges; from a raging pandemic and economic crisis, to the climate crisis and necessary racial justice movement. We have always been a nation of competing ideas, traditions, and politics. Out of that competition and struggle we have always found a way to move forward. It’s time for America to do what we have done before - come together to address our biggest challenges. Onward!”

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-CO07

"Today we turn the page to new more positive & hopeful chapter of history. Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on this historic, meaningful day. Thank you to the National Guard & other law enforcement helping to ensure the peaceful transfer of power."

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-CO02

“It is a new day in America. Congratulations to our new President, @JoeBiden!”

“A brighter future is here."

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D)

“America’s treasured democratic republic thrives when the voice of the people is heard and valued. We congratulate President Biden and Vice President Harris on their historic inauguration today and we look forward to working with the Biden administration to unify our country and build back stronger than ever.

“Colorado is ready and our country is ready to write the next chapter in American history where we respect the rule of law, put partisanship aside to solve problems, govern responsibly, and value truth.

“Tackling the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including increasing the supply and distribution of the lifesaving vaccine should be a top priority for the new administration. We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to expand on the progress we’ve made in Colorado on our shared values of building an economy that works for all, saving people money on health care, ensuring every child has access to quality education, taking bold climate action and creating good-paying green jobs.”

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-CO03

“It’s Biden’s #InaugurationDay and all the left can seem to talk about is Donald J. Trump. Says it all.”

“Jesus is Lord.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D)

“President Biden’s agenda is an agenda the American people can trust in to move our country forward through the pain and anger of not only this pandemic and economic hardship, but the past four years. And the President’s plan for recovery is an important milestone for Denver’s recovery, which is the priority for our administration. We will have real national leadership to combat COVID-19, with bold action to provide relief, keep people safe and distribute vaccines. We will have real national leadership to rebuild our economy fairly, with equity and opportunity for more people and families. We will have real national leadership to promote social justice to affect positive change and dismantle the systemic challenges that hold communities of color back from prosperity. We will have leadership once again on the most pressing issues of our time – positive progress on immigration reform, addressing climate change, regaining our standing on the international stage, and much more.

“This is also an historic inauguration, with many firsts achieved by Kamala Harris in becoming our next Vice President. Her journey to this position has been an inspiration to so many, and this will be a moment long remembered.

“After the events on the last few weeks, this inauguration was the display of unity we need right now, and a new beginning for all of us. We may have our differences, but we are all Americans, and what we can achieve when working together toward a common goal is one of our greatest strengths as a people.”

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser (D)

“After four challenging years for our democratic republic, we will emerge stronger as a nation. I congratulate President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and look forward to a new day in which states and the federal government can be partners in promoting justice, equality, and the rule of law in the United States.”

Colorado House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver

“Today, America turned a page and put a dark chapter of our history behind us.

“I’m confident that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the right people to lead our country at this crucial time, and I’m hopeful that together we’ll be able to craft a strong economic recovery that leaves no person behind. It’s time to put aside the vitriol that has characterized the last four years and instead work together to build back our country even stronger than it was before. President Biden has said on many occasions that he hopes to be a President for all Americans, whether they voted for him or not. As Speaker of the House here in Colorado, I strive to lead in the same way.”

Colorado House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo

“Congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris-we finally have the first woman vice president, and I couldn't be more excited!

“I look forward to working alongside the new administration to help Colorado recover from this pandemic as quickly as we can and build back stronger. Hope is on the horizon. In the legislature, we’re always working to make our state a better place to live for Colorado families. It’s exciting for us to have a ture partner now in the Biden Administration that is also focused on creating jobs, improving access to affordable health care, and protecting our planet and Colorado way of life for future generations."

Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll

“Today our Constitution and democratic institutions have prevailed as we witnessed the historic swearing-in of the 46th President of the United States and our nation’s Madam Vice President. Today, I watched with pride and patriotism as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took the sacred oaths to lead our country, and I stand optimistic for the promise of tomorrow as President Biden and Vice President Harris step up to tackle the many challenges we face.”

“It is morning again in our great nation, and I look forward to watching the Democratic members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation work with the Biden Administration to lead us past the pandemic, rebuild our economy, and to heal the soul of our nation.”

Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila

“Today I join with Archbishop José Gomez in praying for President Joe Biden, his family, and unity for our country. In this time of transition from one administration to another in the United States we must turn to prayer, to our God from whom all power and authority comes. I will keep President Biden and Vice President Harris in my daily prayers.

I strongly support Archbishop Gomez’s statement that we desire as bishops to work with President Biden to advance policies that are rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the social teachings of his Church, especially when it comes to immigration, racism, and capital punishment. Archbishop Gomez rightly noted in his remarks that the beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church do not fully align with either political party, but my hope is that President Biden will accept the invitation for true dialogue with the Church on all issues, especially those that involve the right to life and the God-given dignity of the human person. My prayer is that when his party seeks to advance “moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender,” he will have the courage to stand up for the truth of God’s love and plan revealed to us by Jesus.

Advancing the idea that one can have a personal belief that is in direct contradiction with one’s public stance, especially on issues that involve the taking of life or the distortion of God’s plan for sexuality, is not a mark of integrity and calls for conversion of heart.

With Christ as our guide, we can work towards a society that respects the God-given dignity of every person from conception until natural death, protects religious liberty and freedom of conscience, and cares for the most vulnerable, including people of all races, religions, and backgrounds.”

Tay Anderson, Denver School Board Director (D)

“This moment is historic. Congratulations President @JoeBiden and Vice President @KamalaHarris. Your administration has a lot of work to do, and I look forward to walking with you to the finish line. With my megaphone in hand.”

Dianne Myles, CEO & Founder of Dope Mom Life

‘Monumental, historical, proud’: Black entrepreneur, advocate reflects on Biden-Harris inauguration

“Being a girl from Colorado Springs, I understand how important representation is and today was an historical, monumental moment for the United States of America. A woman of color … woman become Vice President of the United States of America. It’s beautiful.”“…Words are hard to find. Just one word that just defines this moment for me — monumental, historical, proud, exciting, history.”

“…Neither one of my grandparents are living, and if they were, I know this moment would be beyond their wildest dreams. Like when we say we are our ancestors’ wildest dreams, these are those moments that define those wildest dreams.”

“…My dad marched with Martin Luther King and my dad was from Belzoni, Mississippi, and lived that life of segregation and extreme racism, and so really getting them to understand the fullness of what it means to have a woman in the vice presidency, a woman of color in the vice presidency in the United States of America — they’ve just been really wondering how big this is for you.”

Lauren Y. Casteel, President and CEO of Women’s Foundation of Colorado

‘Deeply meaningful’: Colo. Women’s Foundation CEO discusses historic inauguration

“I think that what we are seeing today is that women — even those who are mothers — regardless and with regard of their circumstances of their backgrounds, of their identities, should all be viewed as having the potential of great leadership and opportunity.”

“..Being the first is a fair amount of pressure. That is probably the other thing that really strikes me is when one is the first. Vice President Harris has spoken about the shoulders upon which she stands. Certainly, other women of all backgrounds, races and identities who have helped to remove barriers and certainly women of color.”

“…I think that women will bring forward a perspective, and that perspective may not always be agreed upon by women. We are not monolithic by any means, but my hope would be that when we think about, for example, during this pandemic the issues of childcare, the number of women who are serving on the front lines as health care workers, as grocery workers … the number of women who have lost jobs in a variety of industries … those jobs have evaporated.”

Clarence Low, Board Member and Former President/CEO of the Asian Chamber of Commerce

‘Our country is the strongest because of its diversity’: Asian chamber board member celebrates inauguration

“Watching the inauguration today was fairly emotional for me for what Vice President Harris represents. As a child of an immigrant family and a multi-racial family, to be as successful as she is, as she was senator in California and now vice president, reflecting on the struggles and challenges of so many of our immigrant families who have come to the United States for a better opportunities and for what she represents for so many who will come after us.”

“…Representing the4 Asian-American community, as well as the Black and Africa-American communities, that she and those who came after her – the girls, young women, women in STEM that I work with now – they can really achieve their dreams. And as she’s already demonstrated through her political experience, she has the ability to lead and really continue with President Biden to unite this country and its economic redevelopment on a global platform.”

“…[Younger generations] can remember that experience and feeling that they had seeing a woman in this historic role, knowing that they themselves can pursue and achieve dreams to break what we always have called the ‘bamboo ceiling’ or the ‘glass ceiling’ for so many of us who are underrepresented but yet compose the fabric of our United States.”