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I encourage all Juneauites to participate in the 2003 Inaugural events on Jan. 25. Inaugural celebrations are important rituals in any community, but especially in the community that is the seat of government. As Alaska's capital city, it is Juneau's unique privilege to congratulate and welcome an incoming administration to its new home.
When Americans celebrate an Inaugural, we honor not only a new administration, but also the very workings of our democracy.
A fundamental aspect of our republic and of our state - an aspect we often take for granted - is the peaceful and orderly transition of government from one political party's control to another. It's not surprising that this characteristic of our democracy is often obscured. Our elections are spirited and hard-fought. And when the 23rd Alaska Legislature convenes this week, we are likely to witness and sometimes even participate in heated, often partisan debate. The Inaugural activities are a time-out from partisanship.
Because we are Alaska's capital and are known for our openness and hospitality, Alaskans from every corner of our state will converge on Juneau for this weekend's Inaugural events. Regardless of our political affiliations, this is truly a time for the entire community to welcome the new administration and our Inaugural guests and celebrate with them. The Inaugural organizers have worked tirelessly to make these festivities affordable and inclusive. So see you at the ball!