Today is a great day.

With a new administration, a new era begins for Salt Lake City.

I am honored and pleased to assume the helm of our city government in a place

• Where the mountains soar;

• Where the economy thrives;

• Where historic neighborhoods enrich; and

• Where the community spirit welcomes!

Today, I have the opportunity to open the doors of City Hall to dialogue and to action that include and involve our entire community, and I invite all of you — the residents of Salt Lake City — to join me and our City Council members Van Turner, Carlton Christiansen, Jill Remington-Love, Eric Jergensen, Soren Simonsen, JT. Martin, and Luke Garrott.

Today, we begin our partnership, and together we will succeed.

So, what will that dialogue look like and sound like?

• It will be open, inclusive, transparent, and engaging; City Hall will reach out;

• It will respect and honor our common interests, varied views and backgrounds;

• It will find solutions by considering ideas and options; and

• It will achieve the reality of our dreams — together.

We have much to build upon:

Salt Lake City has ...

• An unparalleled natural setting for any city in the U.S.;

• A rich pioneer heritage that made the desert bloom and was dedicated to a practical self-sufficiency;

• An appreciation for the value of our mountains in utilitarian and aesthetic terms;

• A downtown with an enormous catalyst under way through the investment in City Creek Center, new office and residential developments, as well as access to transportation;

• A top-notch university that spins out ideas for our future;

• The world headquarters for a major international religion;

• A technologically savvy population that bodes well in an information era;

• An airport that serves as the crossroads for the West; and

• A dedicated group of city public servants.

We also have so much to do:

We must:

• Give every child the opportunity to enjoy our prosperity through a first-class public education;

• Ensure that we protect our precious natural resources, whether restoring the Jordan River or preserving our mountain magnificence or tending to the shores of the Great Salt Lake;

• Make downtown the vibrant core of our state, bustling with people who ease into our metropolis, and who are drawn to the shopping, cultural offerings, and entertainment;

• Safeguard our neighborhoods, ensuring that quality living places exist for all income levels;

• Address our air quality, as well as the specter of the dire consequences of climate change; and

• Work with our neighboring communities and the state.

These are the actions we will take.

With our efforts, Salt Lake City will set the standard for excellent transportation, clean air, quality living spaces, economic opportunities, and justice for all. Together, we will move Salt Lake City onto the elite list of Great American Cities.

As mayor, I can see our bright future, but I know that to succeed, it will take a commitment from our whole community.

I've outlined an aggressive agenda to move us quickly into our new era, based on principles of engaging our community.

I ask you to hold me accountable for the trust you have placed in me as your new mayor, but I ask you to invest in Salt Lake City.

I look forward to working with the City Council, our neighbors to the north and south, our governor and legislature, and with our federal partners to bring about the progress so close to our grasp.

As one of my favorite writers, a noted Western States leader and friend, Daniel Kemmis, said in his book, This Sovereign Land, in the American West we should seek "a shared agenda of living well in a well-loved place."

Please join me. This is our place. This is our future. This is our time.