7:06 P.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good evening, everyone. Good evening. Good evening. Thank you, Jaime.
And I want to thank the Speaker for her extraordinary leadership. As you all know, she has been fighting the good fight as the Speaker, as a historic Speaker. And, every day, she’s been there, up until today.
And I also want to, as a point of personal privilege, thank her for mentioning Steph Curry. (Applause.) (Laughs.) As a daughter of Oakland, I particularly appreciate that, among her many roles of leadership, to acknowledge him.
Jaime, thank you again for your kind words and for your leadership as our Party chair.
The DNC is probably, for our administration, one of the many important partners that we have. And the support that you all give to the DNC is the support of partners, with the agenda that we all care about.
It is a special honor, therefore, to be with so many friends tonight, so many supporters — so many of you who have given so much over so many years, not without personal sacrifice, but always with a deep, personal commitment to the issues that we care about as Democrats. So I want to thank you for that.
You know, in the months leading up to the 2020 election, there were some who — you all remember — you weren’t the ones, but there were some who thought the odds were against us. There were some who said it could not be done. But the people in this room: You did not doubt. You have always been fueled by optimism, knowing what is possible and what can be, unburdened by what has been. That’s who you all are.
And part of the reason we are here today is to remind you of how grateful we are for your endless ability to know what is possible and to work to achieve that.
And you did the work then, as you continue to do. You put your time and resources toward a cause that is no less important than the soul of America.
Because of your work, Democrats held on to the House of Representatives. (Applause.) Right.
Because of your work, Democrats took back the United States Senate. (Applause.)
And on Inauguration Day, among the many joys that I experienced — first of all, watching the President be sworn in, and then, of course, being sworn in myself — was getting — was getting to swear in Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. (Applause.) Indeed it was a joyful day.
And finally, friends, because of your hard work, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is now the residence of President Joe Biden
and First Lady Jill Biden. Doctor — Doctor Jill Biden. (Applause.)
And I have thanked many of you directly and so has the Second Gentleman. And I wanted to say that, gathered here in person, I really — I feel very thankful for being around so many extraordinary supporters.
In a minute, the President will talk about the progress that we have made over the past year. But before we welcome him, I want to touch on the work that is ahead, both for our party and for our country — and most importantly for our country.
As the historic laws that the President has signed are being implemented, they are transforming lives. You know, I met with a group of folks earlier today, and they said, “What are you particularly proud of in terms of what you all have done over the course of this last year?” And I have a long list, which I will not share with you at this moment, but I’ll share with you one of those things: that we, because of the Child Tax Credit — think about this for a moment. Just really think about this: Because of the Child Tax Credit, as of now, we have — “have,” as a in past tense — lifted 40 percent of America’s children out of poverty. (Applause.) Let’s reflect on that. Let’s reflect on what that means for generations. Talk about transformative. Talk about return on the investment.
Extraordinary work has been happening. And again, because you all know — there’s so many veterans of many elections here — you all know elections have consequence. Elections matter. And it’s not about a victory celebration. It’s not about a pat on the back. It’s about, then, what can we achieve, with the time that we have, that directly impacts so many people that must be seen and must be heard and treated with dignity.
So, moving forward, we must ensure that the tangible impact of this work — of all this work — reaches every American.
And we must never tire of talking about that impact: about every lead pipe that will be replaced; about every good union job that is created; about every EV — that’s electric vehicle — (laughter) — charger that is installed; and, again, every Child Tax Credit check that is distributed.
We must collectively restore trust in government. And one way — probably the most effective and meaningful way to do that is to show the American people what their government has, yes, a responsibility to do and an ability to do in delivering for them.
And at the same time, we must show the American people what we as Democrats stand for.
When I was out on the trail earlier this year with Terry McAuliffe, with Phil Murphy, with Gavin Newsom, I reminded voters about what these elections are about.
The elections were about Texas. The elections were about Georgia. The elections were about attacks on workers’ rights, and women’s rights, and voting rights that are happening across our country. (Applause.)
We must make it clear: Democrats stand for workers’ rights. We stand for women’s rights. And we believe that the right of a woman to make a decision about her own body is non-negotiable. (Applause.) Non-negotiable.
Democrats stand for voting rights — (applause) — and we are fighting and we will continue to fight to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. (Applause.)
We stand for DREAMers. We stand for farmworkers. We stand for our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. We stand for people with disabilities. We stand for our children and the planet they will inherit. (Applause.)
In short, as Nancy Pelosi said, as Democrats, we stand for the people. We stand for the people. And we will fight for the people — all the people.
So, as we look to 2022, we know that the stakes are as high as they’ve ever been. And, yeah, you know, Nancy — our Speaker said it, right? Every election, we say, “This is the most important one,” and it’s because every election is.
You know, many of you have heard me paraphrase the great Coretta Scott King, who said, you know, the fight for equality, the fight for justice, the fight for civil rights — well, it must be fought and won with each generation.
And her admonition was based on the fact that whatever gains we make on any of these issues, they will never be permanent. They just won’t. It’s the nature of it all.
So, knowing that is the nature of it — that we must be vigilant, that we can take nothing for granted — then let us, with each cycle of life and election, not tire, not be overwhelmed, but recommit ourselves to what we know we must do to uphold a democracy and uphold the rights of all people.
So, the mountain to climb, then, in ’22, is as steep as it’s ever been. But as you all did in 2020, we must not doubt. We cannot doubt. We just got to do the work. And that is why your support is so important.
With your support, the DNC will be able to continue to build the infrastructure we need to protect our majorities. With your support, the DNC will be able to continue to think creatively and bring new supporters into our party. With your support, the DNC will also be able to expand our I Will Vote initiative and help ensure that voters everywhere, voters from every party, are able to cast their vote — because that’s how we roll — (applause) — and have it counted.
So, it’s simple: Our democracy is stronger when everyone participates, and it’s weaker when anyone is left out.
And in conclusion then, I will say, again: Thank you all for everything you have done and continue to do.
And now it is my great honor and pleasure to introduce two leaders who will never stop fighting for the people, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. (Applause.)
END 7:17 P.M. EST