We want to recognize Congressman Bobby Rush for his efforts for the last two years, and I think we owe him a round of applause for a vigorous campaign. As everyone in this room knows, you don't succeed without a lot of people. As I look around here, there are so many people in this room who worked so hard, who went door-to-door, made countless calls. Where is Josie? Josie, how many calls were made today? 67,000 phone calls today.
We need to make sure that we are investing in education not cutting education. And then the seniors; this district is loaded with seniors. I see a few in the room tonight who just might be on Social Security and Medicare. You are a spirited group tonight. That's why we are doing this. I will tell you, I will fight as hard as I can possibly fight to make sure Social Security is not privatized. I will make sure that Medicare does not turn into a voucher program where the Medicare guaranteed benefit ends. We need to do that for all the seniors in this room and for the future generation. That is also what I want to make sure we fight for together.
We do not want anything special. People just want to succeed, that's all. Government can be a help. Government is not the bad guy.
The other thing that I just hear about every place that I have gone—and I don't care what town it was, I don't care what county it was—it is about this gridlock. Anybody notice this gridlock that we have in Congress? We will reach across the aisle. On the border of the 17th congressional district, we have the 16th district where Adam Kinzinger was. He is a Republican. In the 18th district, Aaron Schock won three elections so we got two Republicans that border this district. We got to work together. We've got to work together for what's good for Illinois and what is good for the country. I have every intention of doing that. I know that the new Democrats who were elected this evening, I can tell you they will do the same thing.
We in this room understand how important it is to have representation in Congress that will look out for working men and women and families who might need a hand up and just doing the right thing. I think those of you in this room who have worked so hard, you understand that, and I am grateful to every single one of you.
This campaign started 18 months ago, and we have been all over this district, literally from Pecatonica to Pekin, from Little York to Biggsville—I mean, all over this place. But I will tell you this, the pace that I will keep as your congresswoman will not let up. And you know why? Because change can't wait.