Thursday, August 28, 2008

Governor David Paterson's Address to the DNC

David Paterson
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 03:45 PM

Let me express my profound gratitude for the magnificent privilege of addressing this convention. I was born in Brooklyn, and I grew up in Harlem and on Long Island. I graduated from Hempstead High School, Columbia University, and Hofstra Law School. In 1985, I was elected to the New York State Senate. In 2006, I was elected Lieutenant Governor. And today, I am deeply honored to address this majestic assembly as Governor of New York State.

My story may be unique in its particular facts and events. But, in a fundamental way, it is not. For it is part of the promise of a glorious nation where anyone who works hard enough can make the most of their God-given potential. This is the promise of America.

What has become of this promise under President Bush? Since last summer, more than 1 million Americans have lost their homes. Wages are declining, while inflation is at a 17-year high. And, this year alone, 463,000 Americans have lost their jobs.

The promise of America has also diminished for people with disabilities. Only 37 percent of Americans with disabilities are employed. Only 30 percent of blind people are employed. And, over the past 8 years, the employment gap between people with disabilities and the general population has increased.

There is only one question in this race: which candidate offers the change we need to restore the promise of America? Is it John McCain? He claims that, under President Bush, we made “great progress economically.” In 2007, he voted with the Bush Administration 95 percent of the time.

Only one candidate in this race offers the change we need to restore the promise of America: a person of integrity, honesty, and love for his country, Barack Obama. Barack Obama has the right strategy—from middle class tax cuts, to fair trade policies, to investment in infrastructure-to get our economy moving again.

And just as he fought for people with disabilities as a civil rights lawyer, Barack Obama will fight for us as president. For example, he has pledged to work with Congress to overturn Supreme Court decisions that wrongly narrowed the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Here is the choice America faces in 2008. John McCain offers us four more years of the broken politics, broken policies, and broken promises of the past.

I have a better idea. Let’s give them four more months—and then elect Barack Obama, who will restore prosperity; deliver the change we need; and write a new chapter in the promise of America.

Special thanks to the DNC for posting this text.

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