Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Wis. delegate informs, inspires young Dems

Wisconsin delegate Jason Rae, at 29 years old, is a seasoned veteran of Democratic National Conventions.

At the Philadelphia convention, his fourth, the Milwaukee man is leading the party’s youth council and mobilizing young voters for Hillary Clinton.

“I’m a lifelong Democrat — born and raised,” said Rae, who is the executive director of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

John and Lori Rae early on encouraged their son, who was in kindergarten when he informed them of his political interests and affiliation.

“I told them I wanted to work for Bill Clinton,” Rae recalled during an interview July 27 in the corridor at Wells Fargo Center near the entrance to Section 115, where the Wisconsin delegation is seated.

The Marquette University graduate dates his first political memory to 1996 and “watching the Democratic National Convention in 1996 and Bill Clinton’s speech.”

In that speech in Chicago, Bill Clinton memorably said, “We can only build our bridge to the 21st century if we build it together, and if we’re willing to walk arm-in-arm across that bridge together.”

Rae got on the bridge.

Eight years later, in Boston, he went to the party’s convention to nominate John Kerry.

Each convention is unique to the time, the place, the people and the circumstances, Rae said.

In Boston and Denver, Democrats nominated candidates with the goal of taking back the White House. In Charlotte, Democrats nominated a president they wanted to keep control of the White House. In Philadelphia, they nominated a candidate they want to continue the party’s occupation of the White House.

As a delegate to conventions in Boston, Denver and Charlotte, Rae represented the youth vote and inspired other young people to get involved in party politics.

At the convention in Philadelphia, his task is to inform and inspire young delegates and prepare them for the general election campaign.

“It’s my role. As a DNC member, I chair the youth council,” said Rae, who in 2004 became the youngest person ever elected to the Democratic National Committee.

At night, delegates are spending their time in the Wells Fargo Center arena, listening to speeches.

During the day, delegates are spending their time attending caucus and council meetings at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Delegates were gathering this week for the LGBT, black, Hispanic, AAPI and women’s caucuses, as well as for the ethnic, Native American council, disability, small business, veterans and military families, labor, faith, rural and youth councils.

At the youth council sessions, Rae is presiding over a variety of discussions and welcoming politicians addressing issues of concern to younger voters and how best to rally for the election on Nov. 8.

“The work is to turn out millennials,” Rae, who also leads programs to teach children about the democratic process, said.

Speakers at youth council meetings talked about reforming Wall Street and the criminal justice system, dealing with the student debt crisis, addressing gun violence, expanding and safeguarding LGBT rights, recruiting young candidates, legalizing marijuana and much more.

Attendees said the evening speeches at the DNC are energizing, but they are learning from youth council panelists how they can build an even bigger voting bloc for Democrats.

Rae acknowledged the strong support Bernie Sanders enjoyed among young voters and the protests continuing throughout the convention, even after Sanders’ speech on July 25 calling for unity.

“There was some disappointment,” Rae said. “It’s a grieving process. But at the end of the day, we are strong. We are uniting. And we are strong.”

Early on July 27, Rae said the highlight of the convention had been the roll call to nominate Clinton. “We made history,” he said.

That was before President Barack Obama’s speech, followed by Obama and Clinton embracing onstage. And that was before Clinton’s speech, set for July 28, accepting the nomination.

For the history books: Hillary Clinton’s speech at the DNC

After an introduction by daughter Chelsea, Hillary Clinton on July 28 accepted her party’s nomination for president and delivered this address to the Democratic National Convention.

Her remarks …

Thank you! Thank you for that amazing welcome.

And Chelsea, thank you.

I’m so proud to be your mother and so proud of the woman you’ve become.

Thanks for bringing Marc into our family, and Charlotte and Aidan into the world.

And Bill, that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago is still going strong.

It’s lasted through good times that filled us with joy, and hard times that tested us.

And I’ve even gotten a few words in along the way.

On Tuesday night, I was so happy to see that my Explainer-in-Chief is still on the job.

I’m also grateful to the rest of my family and the friends of a lifetime.

To all of you whose hard work brought us here tonight, and to those of you who joined our campaign this week.

And what a remarkable week it’s been.

We heard the man from Hope, Bill Clinton.

And the man of Hope, Barack Obama.

America is stronger because of President Obama’s leadership, and I’m better because of his friendship.

We heard from our terrific vice president, the one-and-only Joe Biden, who spoke from his big heart about our party’s commitment to working people.

First Lady Michelle Obama reminded us that our children are watching, and the president we elect is going to be their president, too.

And for those of you out there who are just getting to know Tim Kaine – you’re soon going to understand why the people of Virginia keep promoting him: from city council and mayor, to Governor, and now Senator.

He’ll make the whole country proud as our Vice President.

And I want to thank Bernie Sanders.

Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary.

You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.

And to all of your supporters here and around the country:

I want you to know, I’ve heard you.

Your cause is our cause.

Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion.

That’s the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.

We wrote it together – now let’s go out there and make it happen together.

My friends, we’ve come to Philadelphia – the birthplace of our nation – because what happened in this city 240 years ago still has something to teach us today.

We all know the story.

But we usually focus on how it turned out – and not enough on how close that story came to never being written at all.

When representatives from 13 unruly colonies met just down the road from here, some wanted to stick with the King.

Some wanted to stick it to the king, and go their own way.

The revolution hung in the balance.

Then somehow they began listening to each other, compromising, finding common purpose.

And by the time they left Philadelphia, they had begun to see themselves as one nation.

That’s what made it possible to stand up to a King.

That took courage.

They had courage.

Our Founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together.

America is once again at a moment of reckoning.

Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart.

Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.

And just as with our founders, there are no guarantees.

It truly is up to us.

We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together.

Our country’s motto is e pluribus unum: out of many, we are one.

Will we stay true to that motto?

Well, we heard Donald Trump’s answer last week at his convention.

He wants to divide us – from the rest of the world, and from each other.

He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise.

He’s taken the Republican Party a long way, from “Morning in America” to “Midnight in America.”

He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.

Well, a great Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than eighty years ago, during a much more perilous time.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against.

But we are not afraid.

We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have.

We will not build a wall.

Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good paying job can get one.

And we’ll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy!

We will not ban a religion.

We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight terrorism.

There’s a lot of work to do.

Too many people haven’t had a pay raise since the crash.

There’s too much inequality.

Too little social mobility.

Too much paralysis in Washington.

Too many threats at home and abroad.

But just look at the strengths we bring to meet these challenges.

We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world.

We have the most tolerant and generous young people we’ve ever had.

We have the most powerful military.

The most innovative entrepreneurs.

The most enduring values. Freedom and equality, justice and opportunity.

We should be so proud that these words are associated with us. That when people hear them – they hear America.

So don’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak.

We’re not.

Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes.

We do.

And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.”

Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland.

And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.


I alone can fix it?

Isn’t he forgetting?

Troops on the front lines.

Police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger.

Doctors and nurses who care for us.

Teachers who change lives.

Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem.

Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe.

He’s forgetting every last one of us.

Americans don’t say: “I alone can fix it.”

We say: “We’ll fix it together.”

Remember: Our Founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power.

Two hundred and forty years later, we still put our faith in each other.

Look at what happened in Dallas after the assassinations of five brave police officers.

Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them.

And you know how the community responded?

Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days.

That’s how Americans answer when the call for help goes out.

Twenty years ago I wrote a book called “It Takes a Village.” A lot of people looked at the title and asked, what the heck do you mean by that?

This is what I mean.

None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone.

America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger.

I believe that with all my heart.

That’s why “Stronger Together” is not just a lesson from our history.

It’s not just a slogan for our campaign.

It’s a guiding principle for the country we’ve always been and the future we’re going to build.

A country where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, no matter what zip code you live in.

A country where all our children can dream, and those dreams are within reach.

Where families are strong, communities are safe, and yes, love trumps hate.

That’s the country we’re fighting for.

That’s the future we’re working toward, and so it is with humility, determination. and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for President of the United States!

Now, sometimes the people at this podium are new to the national stage.

As you know, I’m not one of those people.

I’ve been your First Lady. Served 8 years as a Senator from the great State of New York.

I ran for President and lost.

Then I represented all of you as Secretary of State.

But my job titles only tell you what I’ve done.

They don’t tell you why.

The truth is, through all these years of public service, the “service” part has always come easier to me than the “public” part.

I get it that some people just don’t know what to make of me.

So let me tell you.

The family I’m from, well, no one had their name on big buildings.

My family were builders of a different kind.

Builders in the way most American families are.

They used whatever tools they had – whatever God gave them – and whatever life in America provided – and built better lives and better futures for their kids.

My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years.

Because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did.

And he was right.

My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor.

When the war was over he started his own small business, printing fabric for draperies.

I remember watching him stand for hours over silk screens.

He wanted to give my brothers and me opportunities he never had.

And he did. My mother, Dorothy, was abandoned by her parents as a young girl. She ended up on her own at 14, working as a house maid.

She was saved by the kindness of others.

Her first grade teacher saw she had nothing to eat at lunch, and brought extra food to share.

The lesson she passed on to me years later stuck with me:

No one gets through life alone.

We have to look out for each other and lift each other up.

She made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith:

“Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”

I went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund, going door-to-door in New Bedford, Massachusetts on behalf of children with disabilities who were denied the chance to go to school.

I remember meeting a young girl in a wheelchair on the small back porch of her house.

She told me how badly she wanted to go to school – it just didn’t seem possible.

And I couldn’t stop thinking of my mother and what she went through as a child.

It became clear to me that simply caring is not enough.

To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws.

You need both understanding and action.

So we gathered facts. We built a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities.

It’s a big idea, isn’t it?

Every kid with a disability has the right to go to school.

But how do you make an idea like that real? You do it step-by-step, year-by-year, sometimes even door-by-door.

And my heart just swelled when I saw Anastasia Somoza on this stage, representing millions of young people who – because of those changes to our laws – are able to get an education.

It’s true, I sweat the details of policy – whether we’re talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs.

Because it’s not just a detail if it’s your kid – if it’s your family.

It’s a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.

Over the last three days, you’ve seen some of the people who’ve inspired me.

People who let me into their lives, and became a part of mine.

People like Ryan Moore and Lauren Manning.

They told their stories Tuesday night.

I first met Ryan as a seven-year old.

He was wearing a full body brace that must have weighed forty pounds.

Children like Ryan kept me going when our plan for universal health care failed, and kept me working with leaders of both parties to help create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that covers 8 million kids every year.

Lauren was gravely injured on 9/11.

It was the thought of her, and Debbie St. John, and John Dolan and Joe Sweeney, and all the victims and survivors, that kept me working as hard as I could in the Senate on behalf of 9/11 families, and our first responders who got sick from their time at Ground Zero.

I was still thinking of Lauren, Debbie and all the others ten years later in the White House Situation Room when President Obama made the courageous decision that finally brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

In this campaign, I’ve met so many people who motivate me to keep fighting for change.

And, with your help, I will carry all of your voices and stories with me to the White House.

I will be a President for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

For the struggling, the striving and the successful.

For those who vote for me and those who don’t.

For all Americans.

Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for President.

Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come.

Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.

Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.

So let’s keep going, until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves.

Because even more important than the history we make tonight, is the history we will write together in the years ahead.

Let’s begin with what we’re going to do to help working people in our country get ahead and stay ahead.

Now, I don’t think President Obama and Vice President Biden get the credit they deserve for saving us from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes.

Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs. Twenty million more Americans with health insurance. And an auto industry that just had its best year ever. That’s real progress.

But none of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot.

We’re still facing deep-seated problems that developed long before the recession and have stayed with us through the recovery.

I’ve gone around our country talking to working families. And I’ve heard from so many of you who feel like the economy just isn’t working.

Some of you are frustrated – even furious.

And you know what? You’re right.

It’s not yet working the way it should.

Americans are willing to work – and work hard.

But right now, an awful lot of people feel there is less and less respect for the work they do.

And less respect for them, period.

Democrats are the party of working people.

But we haven’t done a good enough job showing that we get what you’re going through, and that we’re going to do something about it.

So I want to tell you tonight how we will empower Americans to live better lives.

My primary mission as President will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States, from my first day in office to my last!

Especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind.

From our inner cities to our small towns, from Indian Country to Coal Country.

From communities ravaged by addiction to regions hollowed out by plant closures.

And here’s what I believe.

I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives.

I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should.

That’s why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And we’ll pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!

I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return.

Many of them are. But too many aren’t.

It’s wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other.

And I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.

I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.

I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out.

Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together – and it’s the right thing to do.

Whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign.

If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not pad executive bonuses, join us.

If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty — join us.

If you believe that every man, woman, and child in America has the right to affordable health care… join us.

If you believe that we should say “no” to unfair trade deals, that we should stand up to China, that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers, join us.

If you believe we should expand Social Security and protect a woman’s right to make her own heath care decisions, join us.

And yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister, or daughter deserves equal pay… join us.

Let’s make sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Now, you didn’t hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention.

He spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd.

And he offered zero solutions. But we already know he doesn’t believe these things.

No wonder he doesn’t like talking about his plans.

You might have noticed, I love talking about mine.

In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.

Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure.

If we invest in infrastructure now, we’ll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future.

And we will transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs.

Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all!

We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt.

It’s just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts, but students and families can’t refinance theirs.

And here’s something we don’t say often enough: College is crucial, but a four-year degree should not be the only path to a good job.

We’re going to help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it.

We’re going to give small businesses a boost. Make it easier to get credit. Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks.

In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it.

We’re going to help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the “woman card,” then Deal Me In!

(Oh, you’ve heard that one?)

Now, here’s the thing, we’re not only going to make all these investments, we’re going to pay for every single one of them.

And here’s how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes.

Not because we resent success. Because when more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, that’s where the money is.

And if companies take tax breaks and then ship jobs overseas, we’ll make them pay us back. And we’ll put that money to work where it belongs — creating jobs here at home!

Now I know some of you are sitting at home thinking, well that all sounds pretty good.

But how are you going to get it done? How are you going to break through the gridlock in Washington? Look at my record. I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people. And if you give me the chance, that’s what I’ll do as President.

But Trump, he’s a businessman. He must know something about the economy.

Well, let’s take a closer look.

In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you’ll find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills.

People who did the work and needed the money, and didn’t get it – not because he couldn’t pay them, but because he wouldn’t pay them.

That sales pitch he’s making to be your president? Put your faith in him – and you’ll win big? That’s the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses. Then Trump walked away, and left working people holding the bag.

He also talks a big game about putting America First. Please explain to me what part of America First leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado.

Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan. Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio. Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin.

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again – well, he could start by actually making things in America again.

The choice we face is just as stark when it comes to our national security.

Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face.

From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, to San Bernardino and Orlando, we’re dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated.

No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance. Looking for steady leadership.

You want a leader who understands we are stronger when we work with our allies around the world and care for our veterans here at home. Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do it will be my highest priority.

I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel’s security.

I’m proud that we shaped a global climate agreement – now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.

I’m proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia.

I’ve laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS.

We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen.

We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country.

It won’t be easy or quick, but make no mistake – we will prevail.

Now Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do….”

No, Donald, you don’t.

He thinks that he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are “a disaster.”

Well, I’ve had the privilege to work closely with our troops and our veterans for many years, including as a Senator on the Armed Services Committee.

I know how wrong he is. Our military is a national treasure.

We entrust our commander-in-chief to make the hardest decisions our nation faces.

Decisions about war and peace. Life and death.

A president should respect the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country – including the sons of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, both Marines.

Ask yourself: Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief?

Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign.

He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he’s challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally.

Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.

I can’t put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.

America’s strength doesn’t come from lashing out.

Strength relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power.

That’s the kind of Commander-in-Chief I pledge to be.

And if we’re serious about keeping our country safe, we also can’t afford to have a President who’s in the pocket of the gun lobby.

I’m not here to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

I’m not here to take away your guns.

I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.

We should be working with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and all others who would do us harm.

For decades, people have said this issue was too hard to solve and the politics were too hot to touch.

But I ask you: how can we just stand by and do nothing?

You heard, you saw, family members of people killed by gun violence.

You heard, you saw, family members of police officers killed in the line of duty because they were outgunned by criminals.

I refuse to believe we can’t find common ground here.

We have to heal the divides in our country.

Not just on guns. But on race. Immigration.  And more.

That starts with listening to each other. Hearing each other. Trying, as best we can, to walk in each other’s shoes.

So let’s put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job.

We will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

We will defend all our rights – civil rights, human rights and voting rights, women’s rights and workers’ rights, LGBT rights and the rights of people with disabilities!

And we will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric wherever it comes from.

For the past year, many people made the mistake of laughing off Donald Trump’s comments – excusing him as an entertainer just putting on a show.

They think he couldn’t possibly mean all the horrible things he says – like when he called women “pigs.” Or said that an American judge couldn’t be fair because of his Mexican heritage. Or when he mocks and mimics a reporter with a disability.

Or insults prisoners of war like John McCain –a true hero and patriot who deserves our respect.

At first, I admit, I couldn’t believe he meant it either.

It was just too hard to fathom – that someone who wants to lead our nation could say those things. Could be like that.

But here’s the sad truth: There is no other Donald Trump.This is it.

And in the end, it comes down to what Donald Trump doesn’t get: that America is great – because America is good.

So enough with the bigotry and bombast. Donald Trump’s not offering real change.

He’s offering empty promises. What are we offering? A bold agenda to improve the lives of people across our country – to keep you safe, to get you good jobs, and to give your kids the opportunities they deserve.

The choice is clear.

Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger.

None of us can do it alone.

I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we’ll ever pull together again.

But I’m here to tell you tonight – progress is possible.

I know because I’ve seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up.

And I know it from my own life. More than a few times, I’ve had to pick myself up and get back in the game.

Like so much else, I got this from my mother. She never let me back down from any challenge. When I tried to hide from a neighborhood bully, she literally blocked the door. “Go back out there,” she said.

And she was right. You have to stand up to bullies.  You have to keep working to make things better, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce.

We lost my mother a few years ago. I miss her every day. And I still hear her voice urging me to keep working, keep fighting for right, no matter what.

That’s what we need to do together as a nation.

Though “we may not live to see the glory,” as the song from the musical Hamilton goes, “let us gladly join the fight.”

Let our legacy be about “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

That’s why we’re here, not just in this hall, but on this Earth.

The Founders showed us that.

And so have many others since.

They were drawn together by love of country, and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow.

That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight.

Yes, the world is watching what we do.

Yes, America’s destiny is ours to choose.

So let’s be stronger together.

Looking to the future with courage and confidence.

Building a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country.

When we do, America will be greater than ever.

Thank you and may God bless the United States of America!

Democrats: Trump is lying, sexist, bigot

Speakers emerged to the familiar chords of “Come Together.”

The delegates sang along with Paul Simon, as he performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

“Bridges not walls!” shouted some in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on July 25. They were attending the first night of the four-day Democratic National Convention that would culminate with Hillary Clinton accepting the party’s nomination for president of the United States.

Overhead, nets held thousands of red, white and blue balloons for the history-making celebration July 28, after WiG went to press.

Clinton officially would become the first female to lead a major U.S. party ticket.

The message to delegates and other party faithful gathered in the City of Brotherly Love: If Clinton is to shatter the glass ceiling in the Oval Office, the party must unite — unite behind the nominee and running mate Tim Kaine, unite behind the most progressive platform in the party’s history and unite in the campaign to defeat Donald Trump and take back Congress.

Key to unity will be bringing together the loyalists who backed Bernie Sanders during the long primary season.

On July 25, before delegates assembled at the hall, Sanders emailed supporters and said the credibility of the movement they built would be damaged by “booing, turning of backs, walking out or other similar displays.”

The afternoon was marked by a massive demonstration for Sanders in downtown Philadelphia and another rally for Sanders near the Wells Fargo Center.

Then, in the first hours after the convention was gaveled to order, some Sanders delegates did boo, chant and turn their backs on speakers — including other Sanders delegates and advocates.

Comic Sarah Silverman, who was a vocal Sanders supporter, was booed when she said she proudly will vote for Clinton.

As delegates chanted “Bernie” and others chanted “Hillary,” an exasperated Silverman said, “To the ‘Bernie or Bust’ people: You’re being ridiculous.”

Sanders closed that first night of the convention. An early preview of his speech led to speculation Clinton might join him onstage. She didn’t, but Sanders made clear his support for the ticket and outlined “what this election is about.”

The election, said Sanders and many other convention speakers, is about addressing the income gap, the decline of the American middle class and Wall Street greed; reigning in campaign financing; enacting immigration reform; dealing with climate change; improving access to college and health care; protecting reproductive freedoms; and building a united Uniting States.

“In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up,” Sanders said. “While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.”

Sexist, egotistical, hypocritical bigot

Donald Trump accepted the GOP nomination on July 21 in Cleveland, concluding a rocky convention that revealed a still-fractured party. Several also-rans addressed the convention, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who endorsed Trump, and Ted Cruz, who refused to do so.

In his speech, Trump promised to be the champion of disaffected Americans — mostly older white voters — with a campaign against minorities and women, the impoverished and the immigrants.

Speaker after speaker at the Democratic convention condemned the billionaire’s business practices and offensive rhetoric as delegates waved signs reading “Love Trumps Hate.”

Delegates, too, focused on Trump’s hateful words and lack of policies.

Democrats set the stage for a general election campaign that will reveal Trump as a living model of the Frank Hart character in 9 to 5: a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”

Sexist: “How do you tell your kids not to be a bully if their president is one?” Jarron Collins, former pro basketball player, said. “How do you tell your kids to respect their heritage if their president disparages it? How do you tell your daughters they are empowered if their president reduces women to their physical appearance?”

Egotistical: U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York addressed delegates and said, “Hillary Clinton’s life’s work has been defined by one question: ‘How we help those who need it most?’ Donald Trump’s has been defined by a very different question: ‘How can I help myself most?’”

Lying: Cheryl Lankford of Texas said she invested about $35,000 to get an education at Trump University and has nothing to show for it. “Donald Trump made big promises about Trump University,” Lankford said. “And I was fooled into believing him. Now he’s making big promises about America. Please don’t make the same mistake.”

Hypocritical: U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, referring to Trump’s outsourcing of labor, said, “Where are his ‘tremendous’ Trump products made? Dress shirts — Bangladesh. Furniture — Turkey. Picture frames — India. Wineglasses — Slovenia. Neck ties — China. Why would Donald Trump make his products in every corner of the globe but not in Altoona, Erie or here in Philadelphia?”

Bigot: “Donald Trump believes that Mexican immigrants are murderers and rapists,” U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez said from the podium. “But what about my parents Donald? Let me tell you what my parents are. They are the only parents in our nation’s 265-year history to send — not one — but two daughters to the U.S. Congress.”

Meanwhile, speakers and delegates shared stories and impressions of Clinton as a compassionate and intelligent dedicated to helping others. And also, more than one speaker said, she’s badass.

First lady Michelle Obama, in a celebrated speech, said, “What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life. And when I think about the kind of president that I want for my girls, and all of the children, that’s what I want. I want someone with the proven strength to persevere. Someone who knows this job and takes it seriously.”

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, in a rousing speech, said, “Hillary Clinton knows what Donald Trump betrays time and again in this campaign: that we are not a zero sum nation, it is not you or me, it is not one American against another. It is you and I together, interdependent, interconnected with one single interwoven American destiny.”

Members of the Wisconsin delegation waved an American flag at the end of Booker’s speech.

The flag went up again during Al Franken’s address, when the U.S. senator from Minnesota urged Democrats to action.

“Now, we’re going to have a lot of fun this week,” Franken said. “But when we wake up Friday morning, there will be just 102 days left until the election. And what you — yes, you — do in those 102 days could determine who wins. I mean that literally. I won my first race for the Senate by 312 votes.”

Wisconsin delegate Frank Long of Madison, who volunteered for the Clinton campaign in Iowa and then Wisconsin, is ready.

“It’s incredibly exciting and exhilarating,” he said of the convention. “There’s a lot of passionate people here, a lot of energy. … We really are strong.”

Sarah McBride becomes 1st transgender person to address DNC

Sarah McBride became the first transgender person to address the Democratic National Convention, stepping to the podium on the fourth night of the event in Philadelphia.

Her remarks…

My name is Sarah McBride, and I am a proud transgender American.

Four years ago, I came out as transgender while serving as student body president in college. At the time, I was scared. I worried that my dreams and my identity were mutually exclusive.

Since then, I have seen that change is possible. I witnessed history while interning in the White House and helping my home state of Delaware pass protections for transgender people. Today, I see this change in the work of the LGBT Caucus and in my own job at the Human Rights Campaign.

But despite our progress, so much work remains. Will we be a nation where there’s only one way to love, one way to look, one way to live? Or, will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally; a nation that’s Stronger Together? That’s the question in this election.

For me, this struggle for equality became all the more urgent when I learned that my future husband, Andrew, was battling cancer. I met Andy, who was a transgender man, fighting for equality and we fell in love. And even in the face of his terminal illness — this 28 year-old — he never wavered in his commitment to our cause and his belief that this country can change. We married in 2014, and just five days after our wedding, he passed away.

Knowing Andy left me profoundly changed. More than anything, his passing taught me that every day matters when it comes to building a world where every person can live their life to the fullest.

Hillary Clinton understands the urgency of our fight. She will work with us to pass the Equality Act, to combat violence against transgender women of color, and to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic once and for all.

Today in America, LGBTQ people are targeted by hate that lives in both laws and hearts. Many still struggle just to get by. But I believe tomorrow can be different. Tomorrow, we can be respected and protected — especially if Hillary Clinton is our president. And that’s why I’m proud to say that I’m with Her.

Wisconsin’s Gwen Moore addresses Democratic National Convention

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin addressed the Democratic National Convention on July 28. Moore spoke about Donald Trump’s hateful sexist statements about women and Hillary Clinton’s vision of an America that is “stronger together.”

The following are Moore’s remarks:

“Fat pigs.” “Dogs.” “Disgusting.” That’s what Donald Trump has called women. Is that what he sees in the daughters, mothers, and grandmothers of this country? Is that how he sees our place in America?

I am here from the great state of Wisconsin – the Badger State. I am here to tell you that I see things very differently!

I am here to tell you that Hillary Clinton sees it differently too. She has a very different vision of America, a vision of an America that is Stronger Together.

Pigs? Dogs? Disgusting? Too many women know where this toxic language leads. Too many women have experienced sexual violence and abuse. And I’m one of them. But we are not victims. We are survivors.

We have been bullied, beaten, and berated. Told to sit down and to shut up. Well, my voice matters, and I won’t shut up.

Our voices matter, and we won’t shut up. Women make our communities better – stronger each and every day. That’s why Hillary Clinton has spent her life fighting for us.

She has fought to get equal pay for equal work. She has defended our right to make our own health care decisions. She has the battle scars from advocating for paid family leave and for affordable health care. Hillary Clinton has stood up to be counted when it counted for women. I trust Hillary, because at every turn and at every opportunity, Hillary has been the voice for the underrepresented and overlooked. And as President, she’ll keep fighting for all of us!

Like Hillary, I am a grandmother. And I raised my granddaughters to stand proud and to stand strong. Now they give me strength. They are my joy, my inspiration, and my strength. I know the vision that I have for their future. I know the vision Hillary Clinton has for their America.

Donald Trump is telling us to sit down, to be quiet. Hillary is asking us to stand up. She is asking us to be heard.

My fellow Democrats, stand with Hillary because she stands with us. And, yes, because we are Stronger Together.

Thank you.

God bless our nominee, and God bless America.

I love you.

Action outside the convention: Protesters’ stories

For some of the protesters outside the Democratic convention this week, the demonstrations in Philadelphia are the latest in a lifetime of political activism. For others, they’re a first.

The demonstrators have come from near and far, some driven by specific issues, some inspired by a candidate.

Here are some of their stories.


Sue Kirby needed a second seat on the bus from Boston for her traveling and protesting companion: a larger-than-life Bernie Sanders doll with a papier-mache head and foam body.

Kirby, 65, built the doll about a year ago for Sanders rallies near home in Salem, Massachusetts. She learned from a lifetime of activism that having a prop is a good way to get public (and media) attention.

It works: People take pictures with him, and reporters ask questions.

Back in the 1970s, Kirby protested against the Vietnam War and in favor of women’s rights. The slightly built Kirby later worked as a welder at a factory so she could be a union organizer. She also worked for a policy organizing group for senior citizens.

Now she’s retired. “This is my job,” she said.

She sees younger Sanders supporters on the same activism path she was on 40 years ago. “I sort of see the next generation coming forward, being helped by the generation before them,” she said.


Living abroad helped Daisy Chacon tune into politics in the U.S., her home country.

Chacon, 31, returned to Boston in May after spending two years teaching English in Spain. She found that people there knew what was going on in their country – and hers. “They stand up for things,” Chacon said.

At the same time, she caught wind of Sanders and his populist movement. “To be honest, Bernie lit a fire under me,” she said. “I really didn’t believe in the political system before Bernie.”

As protesters began to show up for a rally Wednesday, Chacon, a student at Salem State University in Massachusetts, carried a sign calling for a ban on the gas-drilling technique known as fracking. She also had a plastic bag of “Latinos for Bernie” buttons to hand out.


Twenty-two-year-old Arthur Ryshov (REE-jawv), born in Russia and adopted by a family in Indiana, recently became a U.S. citizen, and now he is exercising his right to free speech.

Ryshov, who works for an engineering firm, came to Philadelphia from Bedford, Indiana, with his mother and has joined rallies and protests near City Hall and outside the Wells Fargo Center, where the evening convention proceedings are held.

Like most of the protesters, Ryshov is a Sanders supporter. He became one only in the last few months. Before researching Sanders and following his speeches on YouTube, Ryshov said, he wasn’t interested in politics at all.

“He opened my eyes to the reality we live in,” Ryshov said.


At the edge of a rally on Wednesday, Drew Webb held a sign with a line drawn through the word “oligarchy.”

Webb, 32, said he really hadn’t given any thought to destroying oligarchy, but he does like the idea of the rally’s hero, Sanders. “He’s got a good cause,” Webb said. “He’s bringing people together.”

Even though he was off to the side, Webb considers himself a protester.

Webb, a Philadelphian who served just over two years in prison for drug trafficking, volunteers with a prison reform group. A few weeks ago, he joined his first march, making his way from impoverished North Philadelphia to Center City to protest violence by police against black people.

After witnessing nearly two years of similar demonstrations across the country, he finally felt compelled to join in: “Now it’s a boiling point.”


Wednesday was the third or fourth day for many protesters. They nursed foot blisters and sunburns and were generally haggard.

Not Jorge Ruvalcaba, 28, a computer technician from Palmdale, California, who was born in California but grew up in Mexico.

He arrived Tuesday night and was fresh for a day of protest. Despite temperatures in the 90s, he had on long pants and a long-sleeve shirt with a T-shirt over it reading “Our Political Revolution Bernie.”

Ruvalcaba is also a political neophyte, becoming a Sanders supporter just a few months ago.

While many protesters have spent days railing against Hillary Clinton and pledging not to support her, Ruvalcaba said his mission is to try to make sure she fights for key elements of Sanders’ agenda.

“If Bernie says we need to support her,” he said, “I guess, you know, what the heck?”

Tonight at the DNC: Hillary Clinton’s fight song and more

The final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia will bring Hillary Clinton to the stage to accept the nomination for president, make history and officially launch the general election campaign.

Chelsea Clinton will introduce her mother.

Before Clinton’s speech, delegates will hear from a number of speakers, including U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore from Wisconsin.

Featured performers will include Star Swain, Carole King, Sheila E + Family and Katy Perry.


Onstage at the DNC on July 28

The program for the fourth night at the Wells Fargo Center, as provided by the DNCC, follows:

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (EDT) 

Call to Order
U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge (Ohio)

Archbishop from Greek Orthodox Church, Reverend Bernice King, Native American Gov. Eddie Torres, Sr. Mary Scullion

Pledge of Allegiance

National Anthem
Star Swain

President of the League of Conservation Voters Gene Karpinski

Minnesota State Representative Peggy Flanagan

U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (Florida)

Former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa

Former South Carolina State Representative Bakari Sellers

South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jamie Harrison

U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (California)


President of the Human Rights Campaign Chad Griffin

U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond (Louisiana)

Colorado House Majority Leader State Representative Crisanta DuranRemarks
U.S. Representative Gwen Moore (Wisconsin)

Tennessee State Representative Raumesh Akbari

Nevada State Senator Ruben J. Kihuen

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter

U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver (Missouri)

Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (New York) and LGBT rights activist Sarah McBride

Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta

U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty (Ohio)

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

U.S. Senate Candidate Katie McGinty (Pennsylvania)

U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth (Illinois)

6:00 – 10:00 PM (EDT)Musical Performance
Carole King

U.S. Representative James Clyburn (South Carolina)

Hillary for America Director of States and Political Engagement Marlon Marshall

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and the Democratic Women of the Senate

Hillary for America Latino Vote Director Lorella Praeli

U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro (Texas)

Musical Performance
Sheila E + Family

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

On the economy

U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (Ohio)

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

Introduction of Speakers
Ted Danson & Mary Steenburgen

Henrietta Ivey
She is a home care worker Hillary Clinton met while campaigning in Michigan who is helping to lead the Fight for $15.

Dave Wills
He is an 8th grade social studies teacher in Guilford County, NC and has over $35,000 in student debt.

Beth Mathias
She works two jobs and her husband works the nightshift at a factory in Ohio. Hillary Clinton met her at a roundtable in Marion.

Jensen Walcott & Jake Reed
She was fired from her job at a pizza restaurant for asking her boss why she was paid 25 cents less than her male co-worker and friend, Jake. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

“Americans for Hillary”

Doug Elmets
Former Reagan Administration official

Jennifer Pierotti Lim
Director of Health Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce & Co-Founder of Republican Women for Hillary

Tribute to Fallen Law Enforcement Officers

Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez

Jennifer Loudon, Wayne Walker, Wayne Owens, Barbara Owens
Family members of fallen law enforcement officers

“An Inclusive America”Remarks
Reverend William Barber

Introduction of Film
Kareem Abdul-Jabaar

Khizr Khan
Khizr Khan’s son, Humayun S. M. Khan, was a University of Virginia graduate and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was one of 14 American Muslims who died serving the United States in the ten years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Military supportRemarks
U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (California)

General John Allen (ret. USMC), former Commander, International Security Assistance Forces, and Commander, United States Forces – Afghanistan

Florent Groberg
Retired U.S. Army Captain Florent “Flo” Groberg was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s top award for valor in combat, by President Barack Obama after serving in Afghanistan.

Chloe Grace Moretz

U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra (California)

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

Musical Performance
Katy Perry

10:00 – 11:00 PM (EDT)

Introduction of Hillary Clinton
Chelsea Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Reverend Bill Shillady

New DNC Chair Donna Brazile talks about longtime friend Clinton

Longtime organizer Donna Brazile is the new chair of the Democratic National Committee. At the convention on July 26, she talked about a longtime friend: Hillary Clinton.

Brazile’s remarks at the DNC at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia:

Growing up, I was always told that a lady should never reveal her age. I’ll simply say this, I am no spring chicken and I have seen a lot of things in my time. As a child, I saw and survived the segregated South. I sat at the back of the bus at a time when America wasn’t yet as great as it could be.

As a grown woman, I saw the first black president reach down a hand and touch the face of a child like I once was, lifting his eyes toward a better future. But I have never, ever, in all my years seen a leader so committed to delivering that better future to America’s children as Hillary Clinton.

Let me tell you when I first met Hillary. When Hillary graduated from law school, she could have gone to work for a corporation or a big law firm. Instead, she went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund. She didn’t sit in an office, either. She traded pumps for tennis shoes. Hillary went undercover, going door-to-door and school-to-school, investigating discrimination, and the treatment of children with disabilities.

At the same time that Donald Trump was facing a federal discrimination lawsuit for refusing to rent to minority families, Hillary Clinton risked her own safety to seek out the truth, to comfort the afflicted, and to make a home for justice where there was none.

It was at the Children’s Defense Fund that I met Hillary. I was 21, feisty, and ready to fight. And I remember thinking immediately, here is a woman who doesn’t mess around. Steel in her spine, Hillary didn’t want to talk about anything other than how to make children’s lives better. That’s the Hillary I know. That’s who she is. When nobody was watching, she quietly toiled away for the voiceless among us.

Over her career, that never changed. From expanding early childhood education as First Lady of Arkansas, to helping win health care for 8 million children as First Lady of the United States, to standing up for women and girls here at home, and around the world as Secretary of State, she has never forgotten what she learned in that very first job.

At her core, rooting her to this earth, is the belief that every child, black or white, rich or poor, native-born, immigrant, or undocumented, deserves the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential.

My friends, as a child I sat in the back of the bus. I was told, time and time again, that God’s potential didn’t exist in people like me. I’ve spent my life fighting to change that. And, from the first day when I met Hillary Clinton, I’ve known that she’s someone who cares just as much and fights just as hard.

As long as she’s in charge, we are never going back. That’s why I’m with Her.

Obama embraces Clinton, he’s with her

Barack Obama told the nation July 27 that Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person to serve as president — more qualified than him, more qualified than Bill Clinton.

“I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America,” Obama said to thunderous applause in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on the third night of the Democratic National Convention.” I hope you don’t mind, Bill, but I was just telling the truth, man.”

The president said he is ready to pass the baton to Clinton and he called on people to join her campaign to become the first female president in the nation’s history.

The call included a reach out to the loyal supporters of Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and hard-fighting primary candidate who has endorsed her and repeatedly has urged his backers to vote for the Democratic ticket.

Throughout the evening, Sanders supporters interrupted speeches with shouts of “This is what democracy looks like” and “Sanders.” During Tim Kaine’s speech, from the balcony to the left of the stage, demonstrators unfurled a yellow banner reading, “Democracy?”

To Sanders supporters, the president said, “It can be frustrating, this business of democracy. Trust me, I know. Hillary knows, too. When the other side refuses to compromise, progress can stall. Supporters can grow impatient, and worry that you’re not trying hard enough; that you’ve maybe sold out.

“But I promise you, when we keep at it; when we change enough minds; when we deliver enough votes, then progress does happen. Just ask the 20 million more people who have health care today. Just ask the Marine who proudly serves his country without hiding the husband he loves. Democracy works, but we gotta want it — not just during an election year, but all the days in between.”

Clinton is the only candidate in the race, Obama said:

“If you agree that there’s too much inequality in our economy, and too much money in our politics.”

“If you want more justice in the justice system.”

“f you want to fight climate change.”

“If you want to protect our kids and our cops from gun violence.”

Obama said citizens who care about democracy can’t sit out the 2016 general election. “You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. America isn’t about ‘Yes he will.’ It’s about ‘Yes we can.'”

The audience in the arena was standing-room only — in fact beyond standing-room only, as many volunteers who had spent the night ushering people to their seats doubled up in seats and chairs to watch Obama.

“I think this is about the most exciting night in politics,” said Philadelphian Peter Crosse. “Well, until tomorrow night.”

At the end of Obama’s speech, delivered after remarks by running mate Tim Kaine and Vice President Joe Biden, Clinton stepped onto the stage to embrace her 2008 rival. Delegates roared a welcome.


At the podium

The transcript of the president’s speech, as delivered at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on July 27:

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  (Applause.)


AUDIENCE:  Obama!  Obama!  Obama!


AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!


THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back!  (Applause.)


Hello, America!  Hello, Democrats!  (Applause.)


So 12 years ago tonight, I addressed this convention for the very first time.  (Applause.)  You met my two little girls, Malia and Sasha — now two amazing young women who just fill me with pride.  (Applause.)  You fell for my brilliant wife and partner Michelle — (applause) — who has made me a better father and a better man; who’s gone on to inspire our nation as First Lady — (applause) — and who somehow hasn’t aged a day.  (Applause.)


I know, the same can’t be said for me.  (Laughter.)  My girls remind me all the time.  Wow, you’ve changed so much, Daddy (Laughter.)  And then they try to clean it up — not bad, you’re just more mature.  (Laughter.)


And it’s true — I was so young that first time in Boston.  (Applause.)  And look, I’ll admit it, maybe I was a little nervous, addressing such a big crowd.  But I was filled with faith; faith in America — the generous, big-hearted, hopeful country that made my story — that made all of our stories — possible.


A lot has happened over the years.  And while this nation has been tested by war, and it’s been tested by recession and all manner of challenges — I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as your President, to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before.  (Applause.)


How could I not be — after all that we’ve achieved together?  After the worst recession in 80 years, we fought our way back.  We’ve seen deficits come down, 401(k)s recover, an auto industry set new records, unemployment reach eight-year lows, and our businesses create 15 million new jobs.  (Applause.)


After a century of trying, we declared that health care in America is not a privilege for a few, it is a right for everybody.  (Applause.)  After decades of talk, we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil.  We doubled our production of clean energy.  (Applause.)  We brought more of our troops home to their families, and we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.  (Applause.)  Through diplomacy, we shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  (Applause.)  We opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba, brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save this planet for our children.  (Applause.)


We put policies in place to help students with loans; protect consumers from fraud; cut veteran homelessness almost in half.  (Applause.)  And through countless acts of quiet courage, America learned that love has no limits, and marriage equality is now a reality across the land.  (Applause.)


By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started.  And through every victory and every setback, I’ve insisted that change is never easy, and never quick; that we wouldn’t meet all of our challenges in one term, or one presidency, or even in one lifetime.


So, tonight, I’m here to tell you that, yes, we’ve still got more work to do.  More work to do for every American still in need of a good job or a raise, paid leave or a decent retirement; for every child who needs a sturdier ladder out of poverty or a world-class education; for everyone who has not yet felt the progress of these past seven and a half years.  We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer

— (applause) — our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation.  (Applause.)   We’re not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed that all of us are created equal; all of us are free in the eyes of God.  (Applause.)


And that work involves a big choice this November.  I think it’s fair to say, this is not your typical election.  It’s not just a choice between parties or policies; the usual debates between left and right.  This is a more fundamental choice — about who we are as a people, and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.


Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s precisely this contest of idea that pushes our country forward.  (Applause.)  But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican — and it sure wasn’t conservative.  What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world.  There were no serious solutions to pressing problems — just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.


And that is not the America I know.  (Applause.)  The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity.  The America I know is decent and generous.  (Applause.)  Sure, we have real anxieties — about paying the bills, and protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent.  We get frustrated with political gridlock, and worry about racial divisions.  We are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice.  There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten; parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities that we had.


All of that is real.  We are challenged to do better; to be better.


But as I’ve traveled this country, through all 50 states, as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I have also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America.  (Applause.)  I see people working hard and starting businesses.  I see people teaching kids and serving our country.  I see engineers inventing stuff, doctors coming up with new cures.  I see a younger generation full of energy and new ideas, not constrained by what is, ready to seize what ought to be.  (Applause.)


And most of all, I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together — black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young, old; gay, straight; men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love.  (Applause.)  That’s what I see.  That’s the America I know!  (Applause.)


And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, has devoted her life to that future; a mother and a grandmother who would do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, and blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American — the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.  (Applause.)


AUDIENCE:  Hillary!  Hillary!  Hillary!


THE PRESIDENT:  That’s right!


Let me tell you, eight years ago, you may remember Hillary and I were rivals for the Democratic nomination.  We battled for a year and a half.  Let me tell you, it was tough, because Hillary was tough.  I was worn out.  (Laughter.)  She was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers, it was backwards in heels.  (Applause.)  And every time I thought I might have the race won, Hillary just came back stronger.  (Applause.)


But after it was all over, I asked Hillary to join my team. (Applause.)  And she was a little surprised.  Some of my staff was surprised.  (Laughter.)  But ultimately she said yes — because she knew that what was at stake was bigger than either of us.  (Applause.)  And for four years — for four years, I had a front-row seat to her intelligence, her judgment, and her discipline.  I came to realize that her unbelievable work ethic wasn’t for praise, it wasn’t for attention — that she was in this for everyone who needs a champion.  (Applause.)  I understood that after all these years, she has never forgotten just who she’s fighting for.  (Applause.)


Hillary has still got the tenacity that she had as a young woman, working at the Children’s Defense Fund, going door-to-door to ultimately make sure kids with disabilities could get a quality education.  (Applause.)


She’s still got the heart she showed as our First Lady, working with Congress to help push through a Children’s Health Insurance Program that to this day protects millions of kids.  (Applause.)


She’s still seared with the memory of every American she met who lost loved ones on 9/11 — which is why, as a Senator from New York, she fought so hard for funding to help first responders, to help the city rebuild; why, as Secretary of State, she sat with me in the Situation Room and forcefully argued in favor of the mission that took out bin Laden.  (Applause.)


You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office.  You can read about it.  You can study it.  But until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war.  But Hillary has been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions.  She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes — what’s at stake for the working family, for the senior citizen, or the small business owner, for the soldier, for the veteran.  And even in the midst of crisis, she listens to people, and she keeps her cool, and she treats everybody with respect.  And no matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.  (Applause.)


That is the Hillary I know.  That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire.  And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)


I hope you don’t mind, Bill, but I was just telling the truth, man.  (Laughter.)


And, by the way, in case you’re wondering about her judgment, take a look at her choice of running mate.  (Applause.) Tim Kaine is as good a man, as humble and as committed a public servant as anybody that I know.  I know his family.  I love Anne. I love their kids.  He will be a great Vice President.  He will make Hillary a better President — just like my dear friend and brother, Joe Biden, has made me a better President.  (Applause.)


Now, Hillary has real plans to address the concerns she’s heard from you on the campaign trail.  She’s got specific ideas to invest in new jobs, to help workers share in their company’s profits, to help put kids in preschool and put students through college without taking on a ton of debt.  That’s what leaders do.

And then there’s Donald Trump.




THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo — vote.  (Applause.)


AUDIENCE:  Don’t boo, vote!  Don’t boo, vote!


THE PRESIDENT:  You know, the Donald is not really a plans guy.  (Laughter.)  He’s not really a facts guy, either.  He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated.  (Applause.)


Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion?  Your voice?




THE PRESIDENT:  If so, you should vote for him.  But if you’re someone who’s truly concerned about paying your bills, if you’re really concerned about pocketbook issues and seeing the economy grow, and creating more opportunity for everybody, then the choice isn’t even close.  (Applause.)  If you want someone with a lifelong track record of fighting for higher wages, and better benefits, and a fairer tax code, and a bigger voice for workers, and stronger regulations on Wall Street, then you should vote for Hillary Clinton.  (Applause.)


If you’re rightly concerned about who’s going to keep you and your family safe in a dangerous world, well, the choice is even clearer.  Hillary Clinton is respected around the world — not just by leaders, but by the people they serve.


I have to say this.  People outside of the United States do not understand what’s going on in this election.  They really don’t.  Because they know Hillary.  They’ve seen her work.  She’s worked closely with our intelligence teams, our diplomats, our military.  She has the judgment and the experience and the temperament to meet the threat from terrorism.  It’s not new to her.  Our troops have pounded ISIL without mercy, taking out their leaders, taking back territory.  (Applause.)  And I know Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed.  She will finish the job.  (Applause.)  And she will do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country.  She is fit and she is ready to be the next Commander-in-Chief.  (Applause.)


Meanwhile, Donald Trump calls our military a disaster.  Apparently, he doesn’t know the men and women who make up the strongest fighting force the world has ever known.  (Applause.)  He suggests America is weak.  He must not hear the billions of men and women and children, from the Baltics to Burma, who still look to America to be the light of freedom and dignity and human rights.  (Applause.)  He cozies up to Putin, praises Saddam Hussein, tells our NATO allies that stood by our side after 9/11 that they have to pay up if they want our protection.


Well, America’s promises do not come with a price tag.  We meet our commitments.  We bear our burdens.  (Applause.)  That’s one of the reasons why almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago when I took office.  (Applause.)


America is already great.  (Applause.)  America is already strong.  (Applause.)  And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump.  (Applause.)  In fact, it doesn’t depend on any one person.  And that, in the end, may be the biggest difference in this election — the meaning of our democracy.


Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a hill.”  Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene” that only he can fix.  It doesn’t matter to him that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades — (applause) — because he’s not actually offering any real solutions to those issues.  He’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear.  He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.


And that’s another bet that Donald Trump will lose.  (Applause.)  And the reason he’ll lose it is because he’s selling the American people short.  We’re not a fragile people.  We’re not a frightful people.  Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way.  We don’t look to be ruled.  (Applause.) Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that We the People, can form a more perfect union.  (Applause.)


That’s who we are.  That’s our birthright — the capacity to shape our own destiny.  (Applause.)  That’s what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny and our GIs to liberate a continent.  It’s what gave women the courage to reach for the ballot, and marchers to cross a bridge in Selma, and workers to organize and fight for collective bargaining and better wages.  (Applause.)


America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us.  It’s about what can be achieved by us, together — (applause) — through the hard and slow, and sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.


And that’s what Hillary Clinton understands.  She knows that this is a big, diverse country.  She has seen it.  She’s traveled.  She’s talked to folks.  And she understands that most issues are rarely black and white.  She understands that even when you’re 100 percent right, getting things done requires compromise; that democracy doesn’t work if we constantly demonize each other.  (Applause.)  She knows that for progress to happen, we have to listen to each other, and see ourselves in each other, and fight for our principles but also fight to find common ground, no matter how elusive that may sometimes seem.  (Applause.)


Hillary knows we can work through racial divides in this country when we realize the worry black parents feel when their son leaves the house isn’t so different than what a brave cop’s family feels when he puts on the blue and goes to work; that we can honor police and treat every community fairly.  (Applause.)  We can do that.  And she knows — she knows that acknowledging problems that have festered for decades isn’t making race relations worse — it’s creating the possibility for people of goodwill to join and make things better.  (Applause.)


Hillary knows we can insist on a lawful and orderly immigration system while still seeing striving students and their toiling parents as loving families, not criminals or rapists; families that came here for the same reason our forebears came — to work and to study, and to make a better life, in a place where we can talk and worship and love as we please.  She knows their dream is quintessentially American, and the American Dream is something no wall will ever contain.  (Applause.)  These are the things that Hillary knows.


It can be frustrating, this business of democracy.  Trust me, I know.  Hillary knows, too.  When the other side refuses to compromise, progress can stall.  People are hurt by the inaction. Supporters can grow impatient and worry that you’re not trying hard enough; that you’ve maybe sold out.  But I promise you, when we keep at it, when we change enough minds, when we deliver enough votes, then progress does happen.  And if you doubt that, just ask the 20 million more people who have health care today.  (Applause.)  Just ask the Marine who proudly serves his country without hiding the husband that he loves.  (Applause.)


Democracy works, America, but we got to want it — not just during an election year, but all the days in between.  (Applause.)


So if you agree that there’s too much inequality in our economy and too much money in our politics, we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders supporters have been during this election.  (Applause.)  We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done.  (Applause.)


That’s right — feel the Bern!  (Applause.)


If you want more justice in the justice system, then we’ve all got to vote — not just for a President, but for mayors, and sheriffs, and state’s attorneys, and state legislators.  That’s where the criminal law is made.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got to work with police and protesters until laws and practices are changed.  That’s how democracy works.  (Applause.)


If you want to fight climate change, we’ve got to engage not only young people on college campuses, we’ve got to reach out to the coal miner who’s worried about taking care of his family, the single mom worried about gas prices.  (Applause.)


If you want to protect our kids and our cops from gun violence, we’ve got to get the vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, who agree on things like background checks to be just as vocal and just as determined as the gun lobby that blocks change through every funeral that we hold.  That is how change happens.  (Applause.)


Look, Hillary has got her share of critics.  She has been caricatured by the right and by some on the left.  She has been accused of everything you can imagine — and some things that you cannot.  (Laughter.)  But she knows that’s what happens when you’re under a microscope for 40 years.  She knows that sometimes during those 40 years she’s made mistakes — just like I have; just like we all do.  (Applause.)  That’s what happens when we try.  That’s what happens when you’re the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once described — not the timid souls who criticize from the sidelines, but someone “who is actually in the arena…who strives valiantly; who errs…but who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.”  (Applause.)


Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena.  (Applause.)  She’s been there for us — even if we haven’t always noticed.  And if you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue.  You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport.  (Applause.)  America isn’t about “yes, he will.”  It’s about “yes, we can.”  (Applause.)    And we’re going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that’s what the moment demands.  (Applause.)


AUDIENCE:  Yes, we can!  Yes, we can!  Yes, we can!


THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, we can.  Not “yes, she can.”  Not “yes, I can.”  “Yes, we can.”   (Applause.)


You know, there’s been a lot of talk in this campaign about what America has lost — people who tell us that our way of life is being undermined by pernicious changes and dark forces beyond our control.  They tell voters there’s a “real America” out there that must be restored.  This isn’t an idea, by the way, that started with Donald Trump.  It’s been peddled by politicians for a long time — probably from the start of our Republic.


And it’s got me thinking about the story I told you 12 years ago tonight, about my Kansas grandparents and the things they taught me when I was growing up.  (Applause.)  See, my grandparents, they came from the heartland.  Their ancestors began settling there about 200 years ago.  I don’t know if they have their birth certificates — (laughter) — but they were there.  (Applause.)  They were Scotch-Irish mostly — farmers, teachers, ranch hands, pharmacists, oil rig workers.  Hardy, small town folks.  Some were Democrats, but a lot of them — maybe even most of them — were Republicans.  Party of Lincoln.


And my grandparents explained that folks in these parts, they didn’t like show-offs.  They didn’t admire braggarts or bullies.  They didn’t respect mean-spiritedness, or folks who were always looking for shortcuts in life.  Instead, what they valued were traits like honesty and hard work, kindness, courtesy, humility, responsibility, helping each other out. That’s what they believed in.  True things.  Things that last.  The things we try to teach our kids.


And what my grandparents understood was that these values weren’t limited to Kansas.  They weren’t limited to small towns. These values could travel to Hawaii.  (Applause.)  They could travel even to the other side of the world, where my mother would end up working to help poor women get a better life; trying to apply those values.  My grandparents knew these values weren’t reserved for one race.  They could be passed down to a half-Kenyan grandson, or a half-Asian granddaughter.  In fact, they were the same values Michelle’s parents, the descendants of slaves, taught their own kids, living in a bungalow on the South Side of Chicago.  (Applause.)  They knew these values were exactly what drew immigrants here, and they believed that the children of those immigrants were just as American as their own, whether they wore a cowboy hat or a yarmulke, a baseball cap or a hijab.  (Applause.)


America has changed over the years.  But these values that my grandparents taught me — they haven’t gone anywhere.  They’re as strong as ever, still cherished by people of every party, every race, every faith.  They live on in each of us.  What makes us American, what makes us patriots is what’s in here.  That’s what matters.  (Applause.)


And that’s why we can take the food and music and holidays and styles of other countries, and blend it into something uniquely our own.  That’s why we can attract strivers and entrepreneurs from around the globe to build new factories and create new industries here.  That’s why our military can look the way it does — every shade of humanity, forged into common service.  (Applause.)  That’s why anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end.  (Applause.)


That is America.  That is America.  Those bonds of affection; that common creed.  We don’t fear the future; we shape it.  We embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own.  That’s what Hillary Clinton understands — this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot — that’s the America she’s fighting for.  (Applause.)


And that is why I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands.  My time in this office, it hasn’t fixed everything.  As much as we’ve done, there’s still so much I want to do.  But for all the tough lessons I’ve had to learn, for all the places where I’ve fallen short — I’ve told Hillary, and I’ll tell you, what’s picked me back up every single time:  It’s been you.  The American people. (Applause.)


It’s the letter I keep on my wall from a survivor in Ohio who twice almost lost everything to cancer, but urged me to keep fighting for health care reform, even when the battle seemed lost.  Do not quit.


It’s the painting I keep in my private office, a big-eyed, green owl with blue wings, made by a seven year-old girl who was taken from us in Newtown, given to me by her parents so I wouldn’t forget — a reminder of all the parents who have turned their grief into action.  (Applause.)


It’s the small business owner in Colorado who cut most of his own salary so he wouldn’t have to lay off any of his workers in the recession — because, he said, “that wouldn’t have been in the spirit of America.”


It’s the conservative in Texas who said he disagreed with me on everything, but he appreciated that, like him, I try to be a good dad.  (Applause.)


It’s the courage of the young soldier from Arizona who nearly died on the battlefield in Afghanistan, but who has learned to speak again and walk again — and earlier this year, stepped through the door of the Oval Office on his own power, to salute and shake my hand.  (Applause.)


It is every American who believed we could change this country for the better, so many of you who’d never been involved in politics, who picked up phones and hit the streets, and used the Internet in amazing new ways that I didn’t really understand, but made change happen.  You are the best organizers on the planet, and I am so proud of all the change that you made possible.  (Applause.)


Time and again, you’ve picked me up.  And I hope, sometimes, I picked you up, too.  (Applause.)  And tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me.  (Applause.)  I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me.  Because you’re who I was talking about 12 years ago when I talked about hope.  It’s been you who fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds were great; even when the road is long.  Hope in the face of difficulty.  Hope in the face of uncertainty.  The audacity of hope.  (Applause.)


America, you’ve vindicated that hope these past eight years. And now I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen.  So this year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me — to reject cynicism and reject fear, and to summon what is best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.  (Applause.)


Thank you for this incredible journey.  Let’s keep it going. God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Asian-Pacific American Caucus at DNC podium

Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus stepped to the podium at the Democratic National Convention July 27 to endorse Hillary Clinton for president and talk about issues important to the AAPI community.

U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California is the chair of the Congressional APA Caucus.

She led the group on the stage.

“Standing with me are my fellow Asian-American and Pacific Islander – or AAPI – Members of Congress,” she said. “Many of them, too, are trailblazers in their own right. And we are all proud to support Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.”

Her remarks continue:

“It wasn’t too long ago that if you saw an Asian Pacific American walking in the U.S. Capitol, you had to stop and do a double-take. But how things have changed. We now have a record number of AAPI Members of Congress – and most importantly, we are organizing and making our voices heard. We have gone from being marginalized to becoming the margin of victory in key swing states and districts all across our nation.

America needs a president who will fight for all of us – someone who rejects the hateful rhetoric that is too often used to divide us and believes that America’s diversity is our greatest strength. That’s why we’ve got to elect Hillary Clinton as our next President of the United States! When it comes to the issues most important to us, Hillary Clinton gets it.

On immigration reform, she gets it. So many families have been kept apart for decades by an incredibly long family visa backlog. Hillary will fight to clear that backlog so that millions of American families can finally be reunited with their loved ones. We’re with Hillary because she is committed to comprehensive immigration reform!

On education, she gets it. So many of our parents and grandparents sacrificed to come to the United States because they wanted their children to get a better education and live the American Dream. We’re with Hillary because she’ll make debt-free college available for all Americans.

On voting rights, she gets it. Today, almost 70 percent of AAPI adults are foreign born. Access to translated and absentee ballots is critical. We’re with Hillary because she will work with Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act and ensure fair access to the ballot box.

On making sure we have a diverse federal government, she gets it. We’re with Hillary because she will appoint an administration that looks like America.

And on safeguarding our civil liberties, she gets it. I am proud to have Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Congressman Mike Honda as members of our caucus. During World War II, both Doris and Mike were imprisoned in internment camps for no other reason than their ethnicity. Donald Trump doesn’t seem to see a problem with this part of our history. With Hillary Clinton, we know the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans will be protected!

Tonight, we are also grieving for our dear friend and colleague, Congressman Mark Takai from Hawai’i, who passed away last week at the age of 49 after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. Mark truly had the aloha spirit, and was deeply committed to advancing the priorities of the people of Hawai’i and our veterans. I will never forget the tears in his eyes when he learned about the Cancer Moonshot initiative. It gave him and millions of Americans hope that we will finally find a cure for cancer. In his memory, we’ve got to keep hoping – and fighting.

Hillary Clinton is the best choice for all Americans to move our country forward. Our caucus members reflect the diversity of America. And that is why we are proud to stand with her.

Delegates also heard from:

Sen. Mazie Hirono: I am Senator Mazie Hirono from Hawai’i, an immigrant and the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. I support Hillary Clinton because she is a lifelong champion for women, children, and families. With our help, she’ll fight for all families – including immigrant families – in the White House.

Rep. Madeleine Bordallo:  Hafa Adai. I am Congresswoman Bordallo from Guam, and I support Hillary Clinton because she understands the unique needs of the territories, and is committed to the Asia-Pacific rebalance. She is the strong leader we need to move forward as a nation.

Rep. Mark Takano : I am Congressman Mark Takano from California, the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress. As a proud “gaysian,” I support Hillary Clinton because she is a strong champion for LGBT rights. She will to fight to end employment discrimination against LGBT Americans.

Rep. Ami Bera: I am Congressman Ami Bera from California. As the only South Asian member of Congress, and as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I support Hillary Clinton because she is the only candidate that understands the complexity of the world and is prepared from day one to lead America.

Rep. Bobby Scott: I’m Congressman Bobby Scott from Virginia, the first Filipino-American voting member of Congress, and I support Hillary Clinton because she believes that each and every child deserves a quality, affordable education so that they can reach their full potential.

Rep. Ted Lieu:   I am Congressman Ted Lieu from California and a colonel in the U.S. Air Force reserve. I support Hillary Clinton because she’ll fight for our military personnel, veterans, and families. She will make sure that those who risked their lives for our country get the health care and the resources that they need.

Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan: I am Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan from the Northern Mariana Islands. I support Hillary Clinton because she believes that all Americans – including those in the Pacific Island territories – should have access to quality, affordable health care.

Rep. Grace Meng: I am Congresswoman Grace Meng from New York, the first Asian-American elected to Congress from the East Coast, and I support Hillary Clinton because she is the best candidate to bring Americans together and move our country forward! This election is so important, and Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders can make the difference. Our voting power has doubled over the last decade – we are now the swing vote in swing states like Virginia, Nevada, and also right here in Pennsylvania! And I call upon my fellow AAPIs to organize, to campaign, and to vote, so that we will be the margin of victory in 2016 and beyond! As our community continues to grow – and as we begin to see more AAPI candidates like Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois and Stephanie Murphy from Florida begin to run for higher office – it is critical that we elect a person who will make history for America and build a brighter future for generations to come. And that person is Hillary Clinton!

Earlier in the day, delegates had gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for an AAPI council meeting.