News Flash

Executive - Press Release

Posted on: January 5, 2021

Meyer lays out bold vision, determined to address inequalities exposed by pandemic

New Castle, DE – New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer re-took his oath of office as County Executive today and delivered remarks that were broadcast through the Facebook platform. His address laid out his bold vision for his next term in office and highlighted recent accomplishments from his last term.  

 

Meyer won re-election to a second term as the New Castle County Executive with 209,480 votes in the November 3rd general election. Meyer previously won the New Castle Democratic Primary over challenger Maggie Jones 43,833 votes to 33,735.

 

Meyer was sworn in by retired federal judge and patent and corporate law expert, Gregory Sleet. The invocation was delivered by Rev. Greg Jones of Westminster Presbyterian, and benediction by Rabbi Douglas Krantz.

 

Excerpt from speech below: 

As we embark on this new year, over two decades into the 21st century, economic challenges are dooming too many children, essentially barring them from the classroom. It is obvious, if you do not have the basic tools, if your parents are not able to assist when you face technical difficulties, if your home is not quiet and conducive to academic concentration, then the prospects of success are rigged against you. We have an obligation to acknowledge these inequities and prevent a whole generation from falling into a lifetime of risk.  

 

That is an obligation that extends beyond this pandemic. 

 

And the classroom is not the only place we have seen inequality. 

 

For years we have known that families across our community do not have equal access to quality medical care. For too many black and latino families, that has meant greater risk of COVID. Before the pandemic, we would talk about how too many in our community do not have access to quality medical care. In a pandemic, these inequalities have caused too many marginalized citizens to mourn loved ones. 

 

For our homeless population who for too long have not had access to quality mental and behavioral health and domestic abuse services, and for immigrants, for parents trying to afford basic child care, this pandemic has created an unfair and devastating divide. 

 

Let’s be clear. At the very same time, this pandemic has also provided insight into how we can better address some of these very serious problems. 

 

One year ago, if you had proposed converting a high end hotel into the largest homeless shelter in Delaware history, with comprehensive mental and behavioral health, job training and case management services, I would tell you that could not be done or at best would take many years. Yet, last month, we opened the NCC Hope Center in just two weeks. 

 

One year ago, if you proposed monitoring our sewers as a community health tool, I would tell you that would take years to implement. Back in May, within days of learning of the technology out of an MIT-incubated company, our excellent environmental services team under the leadership of Mike Harris, began measuring Coronavirus in our communities using our sewers and demonstrating, much earlier than expected, the depth of the problem. New Castle County’s successful sewer monitoring has now been profiled around the world, including weeks ago by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. 

 

One year ago, if you proposed putting educational innovation in the hands of teachers, I would tell you the logistics might defeat us and at the very least the implementation would take a long time. Three months ago, we entered a partnership with a national nonprofit called DonorsChoose. Teachers went online and wrote proposals to improve instruction and teach safely in a pandemic.   As of today tens of thousands of students in 1,675 classrooms across our state are being served by this program.    

 

One year ago, if you proposed partnering with Delaware State University to create a next generation genomics laboratory to provide the highest quality fast COVID-19 test processing to underserved communities and serve as an early pandemic detection device, I would tell you that would take years. We proposed it a few months ago. And thankfully, next week Del State student athletes will have their COVID tests evaluated through this laboratory right here on Kirkwood Highway. That facility has advanced medical machinery similar to that which was used just 12 months ago to, in record time, initially sequence the genome of the virus in China. 

 

It is amazing the things we can accomplish, and the problems we can address with urgency when we come together.


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