September 20, 2011
To realize those benefits, however, we’ll have to achieve our goals. And don’t think for a second that we’re going to limit the size and scope of our effort – particularly this early in the effort. Remember, this is about moving from doing the minimum to maximizing our future.
If our focus is solely on teaching and training, we will have failed.
This diverse organizing committee will encounter questions we’re not thinking about, challenges we don’t expect, and ideas we haven’t imagined. As you see from the list, there are a lot of eggs to be laid and chickens to be hatched yet, and it’s really OK – it’s more than OK – if we have more questions than answers right now.
In fact, it would be a tremendous, potentially fatal mistake to get bogged down in premature details and tangential or even destructive agendas. This is an error that this community has made in the past. I won’t let it happen this time. We can’t let it happen.
Instead, let’s pour our energy, and the community’s energy, into meeting these 10 vital goals and embracing this moment in our history. The fact that this list is so comprehensive and varied speaks to the significance of the opportunity before us.
It also demonstrates that this is a program that’s much bigger than this committee and even the folks in this room. This is a program for our community. It requires the contributions of more people, from more segments of our community, than any single program I’ve seen in more than 20 years of public life. It will require hard work, creativity, unselfish input and commitment from a truly remarkable group of people, and a truly remarkable number of people.
And whatever’s required … is what we must do.
Austin must seize this chance and create this fabric for the health of our neighbors, our economy, and our children and grandchildren. We have to be mindful of the problems and pitfalls of the past, but we must not be intimidated by them.
We’ve got to be open, honest and accountable, working to create and build, not destroy and tear down. We’ve got to make new friends, join new constituencies, and form bonds that ensure everyone who can gain from this project really does.
Most importantly, we’ve got to resist the temptation to keep waiting, watching and wishing. We’ve got to throw out the past and reject the old excuses. We must not tell ourselves that somehow, sometime, some better deal will come along.
This is the moment. This is our chance.
It’s time for a medical school, teaching hospital and health science center in Austin. And I’m looking forward to working with all of you to make it happen.