U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
California Democratic Party State Convention
San Francisco, CA
June 1, 2019


...California Democrats.

We're here today because we believe that the ideals of this country—opportunity, equality, compassion and justice—are worth fighting for.

We're here today because we know that when we join together and fight for our values, brave wins.

But the truth is, brave hasn't always won and it isn't winning right now.

Brave doesn't spread fear and hate or bully the vulnerable. Brave doesn't put greed and self interest over millions of lives. That's what President Trump does.

He's tearing apart the moral fabric of this country and turning our most cherished principles inside out.

He does all of this because he wants you to believe he is strong. He is not.

Our president is a coward.

That's not what you deserve. Americans and Californians display more bravery every single day than President Trump has shown in his entire life.

The fire fighters who risk their lives to protect us and save our homes and our communities. That is brave.

The Dreamers, who defiantly tell their stories and stand up for their right to call this country home. That is brave.

The high school students who responded to unimaginable tragedy by organizing to end the epidemic of gun violence. That is brave.

The workers who are fighting to earn their way into the middle class, to collectively bargain for their wages and benefits, and the right to unionize. That is brave.

The formerly well-behaved women who organized, ran for office, voted in record numbers and flipped the House of Representatives with amazing candidates like Josh Harder, TJ Cox, Katie Hill, Gil Cisneros, Katie Porter and Mike Levin, that is brave too.

You, California, deserve a president whose bravery and courage matches yours every single day.

That's why I'm running for president of the United States.

Throughout my life, I have learned that bravery means standing up to the powerful and summoning the courage to confront them head on.

That's what I did when I first ran for Congress in a red, red, red district that no one thought I could win. Except of course from my mother, and that tells you a lot about her. But I took on those long odds and won. And the next election. I won again, but that time by a 24 point margin.

And in the last election, I flipped 18 counties that went to Trump in 2016.

Why? Because I never forgot that I serve the people, and no one else. That's why I stood up to the greed and voted against Wall Street bailouts that would have left taxpayers holding the bag.

It's why I stood up to the corruption, by making insider trading illegal by members of Congress.

And it's why I've stood up to the Pentagon and Congress and colleges, on behalf of survivors of sexual assault and harassment.

And it's why I am proud to have stood up to Donald Trump more than anyone else in the U.S. Senate.

I will go toe to toe with anyone to do the right thing. And I'm fighting for an America where power truly belongs to the people.

To combat political corruption and greed, we need to get the money out of politics. Show me any supposedly unsolvable problem in Washington, and I will point you to the corruption and greed standing in our way.

My proposal for Clean Elections would allow every voter in the country, to receive $200 in democracy dollars for a federal candidate of their choosing. The best part, candidates can only opt into the program after swearing off donations larger than $200.

If you get money out of politics, everything changes. You can then begin to make progress on the big issues that impact our lives.

It's how you take on the insurance companies, and the drug companies and achieve Medicare for All. So healthcare is a right and not a privilege. 

It's how you take on the polluters and big oil to pass a green New Deal.

And it's how you end gun violence by taking on the NRA and the gun manufacturers.

And it's how we are going to start valuing women.

When you get money out of politics, more women and minorities will have a seat at the table, and their voices will become as loud as the Koch brothers, and it changes everything.

I can tell you that this war on women would end overnight if we got money out of politics. This President has launched an all out assault on women's reproductive freedom since day one.

He has emboldened 30 legislatures in 30 states to criminalize women's reproductive decisions and criminalize the doctors who give women reproductive care.

All of this is intended solely to overturn Roe v Wade, to deny women in America their basic reproductive constitutional human rights.

I am the leading presidential candidate on women's rights today, and have been fighting for those issues for over a decade.

Last month I traveled to the Georgia State House where Republican legislators had just voted to essentially criminalize abortion care. While there I made clear, I will only nominate judges who support Roe v Wade, I will codify Roe into law, I will repeal the Hyde Amendment, and I will ensure that every woman in every state has access to a full slate of reproductive care, including abortion.

With a woman in charge, we can prioritize my family Bill of Rights, which I will pass in my first hundred days... [Music]

Ed. notes:  Gillibrand started her remarks on her "brave wins" theme, then addressed the role of money in politics ("If you get money out of politics, everything changes."), and concluded with a focus on women's rights.

Harris  |  Booker  |  O'Rourke  |  Warren  ||  Gillibrand   |  Gabbard  |  Buttigieg  |  Swalwell  |   Klobuchar  |  Hickenlooper  |  Inslee  ||  Sanders  |  Castro  |  Delaney