This weekend California Democrats are gathered in Los Angeles for their annual party convention. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the faithful, "Democrats are for protecting the peoples' interest; Republicans are protecting the special interests."
The following is the transcript of her Saturday speech:
Thank you California Democrats for taking action for victory in November 2010.
There are many reasons why I’m truly happy to be with you for this convention. Two are historic:
Nearly 50 years ago in this great city, a young inspirational leader – John F. Kennedy called on Democrats to be pioneers in his new frontier. Like millions of Americans, I was inspired by John F. Kennedy’s vision and optimism. Like a few of us in this room, I had the privilege of being at that Democratic Convention in Los Angeles as a student where President Kennedy issued his call. He said on that day, “I believe these times demand new invention, innovation, imagination, and decision.”
Today, nearly 50 years later and under the leadership of another inspiring young President, Barack Obama, Democrats are once again taking the country in a New Direction and building a future of prosperity for all. Central to that New Direction is providing quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Today, we celebrate that historic achievement.
Others before us passed legislation establishing Social Security, and Medicare. Together, we have established health care for all Americans as a right, not as a privilege. That is reason to celebrate.
We did this by using invention, innovation, imagination and decision, in the words of President Kennedy. Another great Kennedy – Senator Ted Kennedy – called health care reform, “the great unfinished business of our society.”
The special interests had limitless resources working against us. But we had you.
We drew strength from the overwhelming support of consumers, health care providers, community leaders, faith-based organizations and our friends in the Labor Movement for whom this has been a priority. Most of all, we received strength from you and the millions of Americans who shared their stories. […] Millions of families turned personal tragedies into political action. We read your letters. We heard your stories. And we were sustained by your courage.
In the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers wrote that we are “endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” With health insurance reform, we honor their vows. Health care reform is about healthier lives and more liberty to pursue your hopes and dreams – the pursuit of happiness.
There is reason to celebrate because health insurance reform will:
And, yes, thanks to this new law, being a woman in America is no longer a pre-existing condition.
I am pleased to celebrate this historic achievement with so many powerful leaders in the California Democratic Party.
Chairman John Burton, who has spent his life fighting for social justice. He is leading the California Democratic Party with strength and conviction.
Jerry Brown, for his four decades of strong leadership. Together, we will elect Jerry as our next Governor this year.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a leader with a vision as big as this great city of Los Angeles.
My fellow members of the San Francisco delegation and my own Mayor, Gavin Newsom, a leader who is making vital progress on issues such as civil rights, education, and health care.
And our fabulous Senator for California. A champion for creating jobs, protecting our environment, and educating our children, someone whom it is our top priority to re-elect this year –Senator Barbara Boxer.