What a beautiful sight I see. What do my eyes behold? This is an extraordinary day and we all should be extremely proud.
So here’s the deal. I believe we are at an inflection point in the history of our country. I believe this is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. I think of this as being a moment in time similar to when my parents met when they were active in the civil rights movement as students at the University of California Berkeley in the 1960s.
It’s a moment in time that many of us have experienced in our personal lives. You know, when that circumstance and situation required us to look in the mirror and, with furrowed brow, we ask the question: “Who are we?” This is that moment in time for our country, where we are collectively looking in a mirror and, with furrowed brow, ask this question: “Who are we?” And ladies and gentlemen, I believe the answer is a good one. Imperfect though we may be, I believe we are a great country.
And part of what makes us great is we are a nation that was founded on certain ideals. Founded on ideals that were spoken in 1776 that we are all, and should be, treated as equals. Founded on the ideals that guarantee every person’s right to worship freely without intrusion. Founded on the ideals where our immigrant communities represent the heart and soul of what it means to be an American.
And when I look out at this incredible crowd today, I know one thing. Even if you’re not sitting in the White House, even if you are not a member of the United States Congress, even if you don’t run a big corporate super PAC—you have the power. And we the people have the power. And there is nothing more powerful than a group of determined sisters marching alongside their partners and their determined sons and fathers standing up for what we know is right.
And here’s the thing. We know that it is right for this nation to prioritize women’s issues.
Now here’s what I’m talking about in terms of women’s issues. When I was first elected District Attorney of San Francisco, Attorney General of California, and a United States Senator from the State of California—in each of those positions, I was elected as the first woman or the first woman of color. And folks would come up to me and they’d say, “Kamala, talk to us about women’s issues.”
And I’d look at them and I’d say, “I’m so glad you want to talk about the economy.” I’d say, “Great, let’s talk about the economy because that’s a women’s issue. You want to talk about women’s issues? Let’s talk about national security. You want to talk about women’s issues? That’s fantastic. Let’s talk about health care. Let’s talk about education. Let’s talk about criminal justice reform. Let’s talk about climate change.”
Because we all know the truth. If you are a woman trying to raise a family, you know that a good paying job is a women’s issue. If you’re a woman who is an immigrant who does not want her family torn apart, you know that immigration reform is a women’s issue.
If you are a woman working off student loans, you know the crushing debt of student loans is a women’s issue. If you are black mother trying to raise a son, you know black lives is a women’s issue. And if you are a woman period, you know we deserve a country with equal pay and access to health care, including a safe and legal abortion protected as a fundamental and constitutional right.
So, all of this is to say, my sisters and brothers, that we are tired as women to simply being relegated to being a particular constituency or demographic. We together are powerful, and we are a force that cannot be dismissed or written off to the sidelines. But I’ve got to tell you, we’ve got our work cut out for us. And it’s going to get harder before it gets easier.
I know we will rise to the challenge, and I know we will keep fighting no matter what because we’ve got the power. And I promise that I, along with my sisters and brothers on this stage, will be fighting for you every single day. And I know, fight we will do and fight we will win, especially when they say it’s unwinnable. Especially when they say we might be the only one like you in that room. We know we will always be in that room together.
So, in closing, here’s how I think we should be thinking about today. This was a day for all of us to come together in our nation’s capital to be seen, to be heard, to be felt. Today is also a day we must recommit our power and our purpose.
Let’s make today a beginning. Let’s buckle in because it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and then let’s go back to Ohio, and New York and Florida and California. Let’s get to work.