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April 1, 2019 - U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) declared that, "As long as we stay together and we organize and we beat out that organized hate with organized people, we will win in 2020 together."
Amy Klobuchar—Transcript of Opening Remarks

Hey everyone. I wore my Planned Parenthood pink. But I could have worn purple for SEIU, also the color of Minnesota's Prince right? It is so wonderful to be here with all of you. They say that the arc of the moral universe is long. Well you are the welders that are shortening it every day. So thank you for that.

So you probably saw that I announced my candidacy for presidency in the middle of a blizzard, right, like a foot of snow coming on my head. And after I did that, the president took me on on climate change, in one of his tweets, and he actually called me snow woman. And you know what I said to him?  I wrote back, I'd like to see how your hair would fare in a blizzard. Mr. Umbrella, man.

So I chose that place to announce my candidacy on that Mississippi River because I want to make the point that it is time for us to cross the river of our divides, to take something that you take care of every day, a sturdy bridge of our democracy to a higher plane in our politics. And we have someone in the White House right now that's trying to fracture our sense of community every single day. He somehow thinks that organized hate is more powerful than unorganized love.

Well, maybe he's right. But how do we respond to that? We organize, right? We organize and that is how we win.

So here is my background; it's actually kind of an organizing background. So my grandpa, as was mentioned, worked 1,500 feet underground in the mines up in Ely, Minnesota, the iron ore mines, his whole life. He never got to graduate from high school. He helped raise his younger brothers and sisters, he married my grandma They had two boys. One was my dad and my grandpa saved money in a coffee can to send my dad to a two-year community college. From there, my dad got his journalism degree at the University of Minnesota and went on to get to go all over the world, because of that degree.

My mom grew up in Milwaukee, the site of our convention in 2020, and she got a teacher's degree and she moved to Minnesota why? Because they had strong teachers unions. And she ended up teaching second grade until she was seventy years old. And I still have people come up to me and tell me that she was their favorite teacher. So I stand before you today as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, as the daughter of a teacher and a newspaperman, as the first woman elected to the United States Senate from the state of Minnesota, and as a candidate for president of the United States.

That is what shared dreams in this country are all about. No matter where you come from, no matter who you know, no matter what you look like, and no matter who you love, you can get ahead in this country, and that's why I'm running for president.

So, what I have seen in this White House, to me, is a tear-down every day of our democracy. And I know one of the things that unites all of you is this work to make sure that we have a strong democracy. When you look at what's been going on, this is what I think we need to do.

Number one, restore the Voting Rights Act, right. And make sure inaud. (? people have the vote).

Number two, pass my bill to register every eligible voter when they turn 18. Okay. That would like fix all this stuff.

Number three, stand up for civil liberties right. We've got a president in the White House that literally tweets whatever he wants every single day, but doesn't respect the amendment that allows him it to do it. We don't just tolerate the First Amendment,we embrace it.

Stand up for an independent judiciary and stop these judges that are trying to take us back to 1972, when women didn't have a right to choose what to do with our bodies. That means funding Planned Parenthood and that means standing up against someone— I mean this guy thinks the doctor shouldn't be making your decisions and working with you. He thinks he should. We stand up against that.

We also stand up against racial inequality and for civil liberties in this country. And that means not just the First Step Act, but the Second Step Act.

And finally, immigration reform. I am so tired of hearing him talk about immigration the way he does because to me immigrants don't diminsh America. They are America.

So one of the things that we have seen this president do, is he tries to talk the game, right. But instead what do we see is more and more dark money coming into our politics, and I'm someone that thoroughly believes we need to judge people on the merits. We need to allow people to run no matter they're from.

Actually, in my life when I first ran for Senate no one could pronounce my name, and I ended up giving up calling people all over the country because no one would call me back. And I finally ended up just calling everyone I knew in my life, and I raised what is still an all time Senate record—I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends. I did that. And as my husband has pointed out, it is not an expanding base.

So if we want a real democracy, we need to pass aggressive campaign finance reform and get the dark money out of these politics. Alright.

And guess what, we can do two things at once, we can maintain our democracy and have an optimistic economical agenda for this country.

That means supporting unions and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour right.

That means making sure that we take on and get to universal health care and take on those big pharma companies to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.

I want you to remember that we can do this. I'm someone that has gotten everywhere I got when I was running against someone who actually had a lot more money than me, and a lot more connections than me, and I did it because I've got grit and I know you have that too.

You look at what you have done since [inaud.] president's got sworn in to office.

The next day, millions of people marched all over this world right. We marched peacefully and we marched.

The next day, 6,000 women signed up for office and now we're up to 30,000.

On day 10, on day 10 after that mean-spirited muslim ban, that horrible refugee order got issued by the White House. What happened? People spontaneously showed up at the airports all around the country and protested. Who does that on a Saturday night? You did it and they did it. You did it.

On day 100 my favorite march, march for science; my favorite sign: What do we want? Science. When do we want it? After peer review. Okay, we marched for science and we marched to do something about climate change, and as your president I'll get us back into that international climate change agreement on day one.

You go through the summer when we stood up against that mean-spirited repeal of the Affordable Care Act; every single Democrat stood together in the United States Senate and said no, you're not going to kick off little toddlers with Downs Syndrome off of their parents' insurance for a pre-existing condition. We took them on and we won.

You go through the Fall in that incredible, incredible victory against racism and for decency and for dignity, Doug Jones won that race in the state of Alabama; that happened. Or my favorite legislative races that Fall in Virginia and New Jersey, where a woman actually won and she beat a guy who at the day of the Women's March had said, "I hope they'll be home in time to make dinner." He got beaten by a woman.

Then you go forward into the rest of the year where you saw those students march in unity, those Parkland students, joined by kids all across the country that said, No, we're not going to take this anymore. The moms tried after Sandy Hook, law enforcement tried, everyone's tried, and guess what guys. After those kids marched; they didn't just march, they voted, and we get bested by a bunch of 17 year olds to get common sense gun legislation in place. That's the right thing to do. That's what's happened in this country.

And then you go to 2018, where all of you stood and we worked together. I was leading our ticket in Minnesota, in a state Donald Trump almost won. Well you know what we did? I went to every single county. I went to every single congressional district. I led that ticket of two Senate seats, a governor's seat. And guess what, I won for the third time in a row from rural to urban, every single congressional district, including Michele Bachmann's.

Then you look at what we did. We won the governor's race together in the state of Kansas and beat Kris Kobach. We did that. We won in Wisconsin and beat Scott Walker, that anti-union activist. We did that.

So you look at this march, you look at the arc of the moral universe where we are headed. As long as we stay together and we organize and we beat out that organized hate with organized people, we will win in 2020 together.

Thank you, everyone.

Douglass Sloan. A lifelong Washingtonian, Douglass currently serves as first vice-president of the DC NAACP chapter: "...what will you do to ensure that statehood and self-determination for the citizens of the District of Columbia happens during your tenure if yo are elected president?"

David Tucker, SEIU 32 BJ members and skycap at Reagan National Airport: "...What will you do to stop these powerful abusers from attacking American workers and American jobs all while undermining our democracy?"

Valencia Gunder, the criminal justice program manager at the New Florida Majority Vision and Founder of the Smile Trust Inc.: "...As president what will you do to restore the rights of formerly incarcerated people and how will you ensure that everyone is able to cast a ballot regardless of a past felony conviction?"
Douglass Sloan.
Valencia Gunder.
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