As Prepared for Delivery
Our power and strength as Americans lives in our hard work and our belief in more.
My family understood firsthand that while success is not guaranteed, we live in a nation where opportunity is possible.
But we do not succeed alone – in these United States, when times are tough, we can persevere because our friends and neighbors will come for us.
Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks.
Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace.
The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people - but our values.
For seven years, I led the Democratic Party in the Georgia House of Representatives. I didn’t always agree with the Republican Speaker or Governor, but I understood that our constituents didn’t care about our political parties – they cared about their lives.
So, when we had to negotiate criminal justice reform or transportation or foster care improvements, the leaders of our state didn’t shut down – we came together. And we kept our word.
It should be no different in our nation’s capital.
We may come from different sides of the political aisle; but, our joint commitment to the ideals of this nation cannot be negotiable.
In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security.
But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it.
This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country.
We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a “power grab.”
Americans understand that these are the values our brave men and women in uniform and our veterans risk their lives to defend.
The foundation of our moral leadership around the globe is free and fair elections, where voters pick their leaders – not where politicians pick their voters.