Mayor Gloria C. Hines
January 5, 2016
To Sen. Malloy, other state officials, County Council members, City Council Members, and most importantly the citizens of Darlington, how very delighted I am to be here today and to have the great privilege and opportunity of sharing with you and being with you tonight. I’m truly humbled by the trust and responsibility you have afforded me as the new mayor of this great City – a City I proudly call the Pearl of the Pee Dee.
Now I’m sure each of you is aware of the challenges that we face in our City. I realize the challenges are many and the tasks are tough, but with God on our side we will meet those challenges, overcome those valleys and climb those hills that some would say are insurmountable. Though we have challenges, rest assured we are not alone. There are many communities all over this nation with similar challenges, but as Carlyle once said, “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” Tonight, what lays clearly at hand for those of us in leadership is Darlington.
As a native daughter, I’ve lived here all my life, and many of you have known me all my life. Perhaps that’s why you voted for me. You know that I love this City; you know that I’m honest, but most of all you know that I’m fair. I never compromise my integrity to pay for expediency, and I have no favorites. As Marian Wright Edelman so aptly put in her wonderful book, The Measure of Our Success, “Race and gender are shadows, but character, self-discipline, determination, attitude, and service is the substance of life.”
As your new mayor, my only allegiance will be to do what’s best for Darlington. I will work with the new council and in the spirit of unity and mutual respect; there is nothing that can stop us from achieving progress for the people of Darlington – for they are the ones who trusted us and gave us this mandate to govern, and it’s to them that we cannot and must not fail.
Now I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the great African American pioneers who helped pave the way for me on this historical occasion. I’m talking about Shirley Chisholm, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Carol Mosley Braun, Barbara Jordon, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Barack Hussein Obama, just to acknowledge a few.
Locally, I must also recognize our first African American senator in this district, Senator Gerald Malloy. He is someone I greatly respect and admire for his vision and leadership. Senator, the City of Darlington will be calling on you!
In closing, I’d like to say how proud I am of the people of Darlington. You’ve proven that you’re willing to light a candle rather than curse the darkness, to turn a corner, to not allow our past to bleed into our present and poison our future.
A great part of our growth is exposing ourselves to people who challenge us to see new ways of looking at the world. Tonight you’ve taken the first step by believing in me, but I can no more do it alone than Dabo Swinney or Deshaun Watson can do it alone – I need your help. Just as all of South Carolina is pulling for Clemson, let us pull together for Darlington because, believe it or not, we’re all on the same team. You expect great things from me, and I expect great things from you. None of us can rise to low expectations. Let us turn to each other and not on each other.
And remember this… by the year, it is hard, but inch by inch, anything’s a cinch!