Thank you John Burton for your great leadership, for your tireless, tenacious, and effective leadership, of the California Democratic Party. Let's hear it for John Burton, our great chairman.
It's really wonderful to be here with all of you. Let us all welcome those of you who are here for the first time. How many are here for the first time? So many friends of many years, but wonderful for all of us to see new faces.
I'm proud to be here because this is like family to me. When I first came here as an officer the California government party, my daughter Christine, was the age of my granddaughter Bella, who is here now, aged 6. So Christine and her siblings were in that category. So many have you have demonstrated your dedication over the years, and we're all grateful to you for that.
On behalf of the House Democrats, all of the House Democrats across the country, I bring greetings, to the California Democrats. Many of my colleagues are attending the convention, we all thank you for your leadership role and great electoral successes in 2014. Great victories across the state, thank you for reelecting all of the house democrats from California, and adding Peter Aguilar, to our list.
I know that Loretta Sanchez is here, Janice Hahn is here, Eric Swalwell is here, with his future forum. My friends, my message to you today is that Democrats should be proud, should be very proud of our successes, and our fight to make the stark contrast between middle-income economics and republican trickle-down economics. Be proud of this, six years ago when President Obama took office, this is what what's happening. Six years after the President took office, with the work of congressional Democrats in Congress and the fruits of the Democratic middle-class, economics are clear. When the president took office, unemployment was near 10 percent, it is now around 5.4 percent. The stock market was under 7000, it's now over 18,000, an increase up to 10,000 points or more.
The deficit was 1.4 trillion dollars, it's now cut to $486 billion dollars, down by nearly a trillion dollars. The the auto industry was on its back, it was not only failing, it was near dead, and now it is thriving. More than 12 million jobs have been created, and the longest uninterrupted period of private-sector job creation in history and I'm especially proud to say that more than 16 million previously under underserved and uninsured Americans, over 16 million now have health insurance, under the historic Affordable Care Act. This would not have happened without a Democratic President, without President Obama in the White House.
This would not have happened without a democratic congress, a strong delegation from California, and a democratic woman Speaker of the House from California. But more importantly, this would not have happened without all of you. So I hope you take some satisfaction in your success.
But you know and I know that many of these successes economically, have not hit home yet for too many people in our country. Too many Americans are still feeling squeezed. Democrats know there is still more that must be done to build a bright and prosperous future for America's hard-working families. Democrats understand that the success of hard-working families, is the most important engine of economic growth. It's about bigger paychecks. When workers have the wages, and the confidence to consume, they generate demand, which in turn creates jobs, raises wages, and fuels growth. This is the way to an economy that works for everyone.
Yet Republicans are still trying to take us back to their failed trickle-down economics. The policies that caused the worst recession, since the Great Depression. Which burned our economy in 2008. Republicans just don't get it, but Democrats understand. One of the things Democrats understand, is that for an economy to succeed, we must unleash the power of women. Because when women succeed, America succeeds. Let's do that again. When women succeed, America succeeds. That is why we are fighting for Paycheck Fairness, for raising the minimum wage, for paid sick leave, and for affordable quality child care. That is why we want fair retirement for America’s women, because it affects our families.
Democrats understand that for an economy to succeed, we must unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of America, by lifting the burden of student loans from our families, and fighting budget freezes of federal grants in the Republican budget. Innovation begins classroom, and nothing brings more money to the Treasury than educating the American people. Early childhood, K-12, higher education, post-grad, lifetime learning. Education reduces the deficit, and keeps America number one.
The number one was important to our founders, they had a vision and a plan. From many one, “E pluribus unum,” that is still their call to action for us today. They could never have imagined how many we would become, how different we would be, states, ethnicities gender identity, ideas, newcomers, but they knew that we had to be one.
That despite our differences of opinion and politics, we are committed to being one nation. Devon began this convention, wasn’t he wonderful, with a pledge that ends, just a pledge that most of us take almost every day, we do in the congress and anyone whose serves children in school, across America, millions of people every day, pledge one nation, under God, indivisible, now this is the part I really love, with liberty and justice for all.
That was the basis for America’s democracy. That the vote and voices of all of the people, must guide our future. Not the pocketbooks of the privileged few. Therefore, we must reclaim our politics from those who would drown out our elections in a tidal wave of unlimited secret special interest money. We must lead, and we must act. We must overturn citizens united.
We must reform our campaign finance system. We must empower voters across the nation. Earlier this year our nation marked the fiftieth anniversary the legendary civil rights march, in Selma, Alabama. Fifty years ago, the Selma marchers faced discrimination and intimidation, they suffered bigotry and brutality. Still they marched, for justice, for equality, and for the opportunity to cast a ballot and shape the future our great country. Selma, the bridge to the ballot.
In his speeches, Doctor King talked about the ballot. The ballot, the ballot. Its connection to legislation, and therefore to people's lives. We house democrats have a plan, to use the inspiration on the fiftieth anniversary Selma, to reach out and reengage. To give people reason to register, reason to vote. We vote for bigger paychecks, we vote for better jobs, we vote for building stronger infrastructure, we vote for preserving our planet. Thank you Tom Steyer for your leadership on this subject. And we vote for comprehensive immigration reform. Because immigrants make America more American.
Our founders knew that would be the case. Democrats let us be proud, not only of our economic success under President Obama, but proud of how Democrats, through our activism, honor our founders. E pluribus unum, from many one. From many, let's be one. Let us carry forward the March that began in Selma, draw from our founder’s heroic faith in the shared and limited future of our nation.
Let's not subscribe to what 19 Republican candidates are out there running for president, with no vision, but just tearing down. Not from many one, but from a few of us, a little bit for everybody else. We have come far, but there is farther to go. In the words of President Kennedy, he said it so well, as he usually did. He said, now the time has come to make the most of our gains. To translate, the renewal of our national strength, into the achievement of our national purpose, liberty and justice for all.
Let us leave our convention proud in the progress that we have made, in the lives of the American people. Let us live with renewed strength and reawakened belief in the purpose and possibility of America. And with full confidence in our path to a democratic wave in the election of 2016.
It’s up to California to lead, and it's up to the people gathered here today. It is up to all of you. Thank you for your engagement, thank you for your activism, thank you for your leadership for the people of California, for the future are great state, and our great nation.
God bless you, god bless our men and women in uniform, our veterans and military families. God bless him United States of America, and all those aspiring to the American dream.
Let's leave here, very confident and very proud, thank you all very much.
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