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Congressman-elect Maffei's remarks at The Everson

Jan. 3:

As area journalists constantly remind me, I have big shoes to fill. Congressman Jim Walsh served us in this office for two decades and in other offices for years before that. But what so many observers fail to understand is that it is not his seniority that makes him exemplary nor even the Federal resources he is credited with obtaining, but rather it's his absolute dedication to the community that raised him and to the people of Central New York. That is the example that I will strive to honor. Thank-you Congressman Walsh.

I offer my humblest appreciation to those who supported my campaigns for change. You put faith, time and resources toward a long-shot effort. And while the campaign is over, I know I must still work to earn the support of many across our diverse district. I must represent all our people -- Democrats, Republicans, Independents -- Labor and Business -- Rural, City, and Suburbs -- throughout the 42 towns and the city of Syracuse that make up this great district.

The challenges we face are significant. Plant closings, lay-offs, recession, crumbling infrastructure, school children left behind, 48 million uninsured, struggling hospitals and colleges, diminished support for our arts and science, global climate change, armed conflict in the Middle-East, our loved ones still in war zones and inadequate support for our veterans.

I cannot promise we will fix these enormous problems by the end of my first two-year term or President Obama's four-year term. I cannot promise you that government has all the answers to these immense challenges. In fact, I promise you it does not. This is a time where we will all have to look beyond simple solutions or quick fixes. Instead, I believe we have to keep in mind four principles in order to ensure we overcome these difficult times.

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