For a very long time now we have been told that government is bad, that it exists only to serve the powerful and well-connected, that its job is not important enough to be done by anyone competent, let alone committed, and that all of us are on our own. Today we join together in common cause to lay that fallacy to rest, and to extend a great movement based on shared responsibility from the corner office to the corner of your block and back again.
If ever there was a time that called out for introspection by those in government, it is now. Lincoln spoke of listening to "the better angels of our nature." Indeed, those of us who work in the great building behind me must hear and heed the serious responsibility that public service demands and rise to this moment and show the public in words and in deeds that we understand that our responsibility is to the people ... Some public officials may not want to face stricter ethics rules and more competitive elections, but all citizens will win when we finally get a government that puts the people’s interests, openness and integrity first.