Two years ago, we gathered together in cities all over America, still in shock. We could not believe the country we love so much had made such a terrible choice. We dreaded what would come next. Little did we know how bad it actually would be.
But we knew one thing – we knew we would not quit. We had lost an election, but we had not lost the fight. We had not lost our commitment to fight for what is best in our country.
We knew we had to stand together. We had to organize. We needed strong candidates who could relate to their communities. We had to support them, work for them and we had to vote.
So, when we gathered here again 12 months ago. We had already gone to work. We worked together in unity.
And it worked! In November, we flipped 40 seats in the Congress. We elected more women to Congress than ever before. We elected more people of color than ever before. We have more LGBT elected officials than ever before. We elected people across every faith community in America.
Nancy Pelosi is not only again the first woman to be Speaker of the House, she is the leader of a Democratic caucus that is the most diverse ever elected to Congress..
There are 653 days left until election day 2020. We have 653 days to work, to organize and to bring together – women, men, young people and old, Democrats, Independents and fed-up Republicans.
It is different now.
There is something at stake that transcends politics as we have known it. Personal Integrity, National Character and Rule of Law are not left-right, liberal-conservative, Democratic-Republican questions.
It is Republicans who have said:
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal rights to those appearing before them.” ~Chief Justice John Roberts
“A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with … mutual respect. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.” ~ Utah Senator Mitt Romney.
“He gives aid and comfort to the enemy of democracy.” ~ Arizona Senator (retired) Jeff Flake.
Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse calls the White House a place of “chaos. A reality TV circus.”
We have 653 days to end this circus. We have 653 days to organize, to come together and return our country to the values of fairness, responsibility and opportunity.
The future begins right here. It begins with each and every one of us. I am confident in our future. I see the future in the faces of the people here. Diversity makes us stronger. Equal Rights make us fairer. Immigration has given us dreamers and hard work.
Two weeks ago, in our state – in California – we inaugurated a new Governor and seven other statewide elected officials. And as I watched their inaugurals I was taken by how our eight constitutional officers looked like California.
Gavin Newsom, raised by a single mother. Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis – daughter of Greek immigrants. Controller Betty Yee – daughter of Chinese immigrants. Treasurer Fiona Ma – daughter of Chinese immigrants. Attorney General Xavier Becerra – son of Mexican immigrants. Secretary of State Alex Padilla – son of Mexican immigrants. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara – our first gay state wide elected official – son of Mexican immigrants. Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond – son of a Panamanian immigrant.
‘O Yes, Donald Trump is afraid of immigrants – their children grow up to become our leaders n this country his opposition!
California values are American values. Hard work, equal opportunity and fairness.
Ladies and gentlemen – 653 days – to work, to organize, and to get out the vote in this country. We are going to stand up for women. For men. For America. Together across the political spectrum it is time to talk about the future. A future we can believe in because it is a future open to all who believe in the enduring American values of hard work, equal opportunity and fairness.