This is the speech by Deb Ossi that Tim Howard read at our meeting yesterday. We had requests to share it with the group, so we are posting it below:

 

WE ARE THE PARTY OF “WE THE PEOPLE.”

WE BELIEVE AMERICA isn’t a piece of paper. It can’t be printed on dollar bills — no matter how much the lobbyists and CEOs pay. It can’t be treated like a hotel chain or a game show.

WE BELIEVE AMERICA is its people. And when the Republicans forgot that, they betrayed us.

We are the party of mothers and fathers who will FIGHT for our children.

We are the party of farmers, veterans, autoworkers.

We are the party of ministers, rabbis, imams, scientists, students, grandparents.

WE ARE THE PARTY OF CONSCIENCE. WE ARE THE PARTY OF FAMILY VALUES.

WE STAND UP for our children. And for our neighbor’s children.

WE STAND UP for education. WE STAND UP for teachers.

WE STAND UP for a living wage and for feeding our children and elderly.

WE STAND UP for the health of families. And for those who are all alone.

WE STAND UP for our daughters, sisters, and mothers. We will FIGHT until they get equal pay. Until their bodies are their own. Until they no longer have to say “ME TOO.”

When our Republican president dances at a lavish party while parents in Parkland bury their dead, the Republicans show their lack of values. Their disgusting ignorance of THE PEOPLE’S pain.

When the Republicans spread lies about the children who survive mass shootings, they show their lack of humanity.

When the Republicans shrug at women being beaten and harassed, they show their brutality.

When the Republicans use DREAMERS as a bargaining chip to get money for their wall, they show that our DEMOCRACY is a game to them.

When they forgot that we are the LAND OF THE FREE and the HOME OF THE BRAVE and acted like we are the land and the people who can be bought and sold, tricked and deceived, they betrayed us.

We will NEVER FORGET, and we will STAND UP FOR AMERICA.

We are the party of of WE THE PEOPLE. We are the party of FAMILY VALUES.

We are the party of AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL. We believe THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND, AND THIS LAND IS MY LAND. We don’t believe it’s the Koch Brothers’ land. Or Scott Pruitt’s land. To be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

It belongs to our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren.

WE STAND UP to those who seek to ruin and destroy it.

WE ARE THE PARTY OF WE THE PEOPLE. WE ARE THE PARTY OF FAMILY VALUES.

WE BELIEVE that the president’s office should be one of dignity and humility. We do not believe in sending photos of teenagers who have been shot to raise money for our campaign bank accounts. We do not believe in threatening the death of millions through nuclear war because of vain responses to personal insults.

WE BELIEVE THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION should proclaim who we are. Not crass twitter rants in the middle of the night. We believe in the dignity and humility, the power and responsibility of holding office in AMERICA.

WE ARE A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS. And we are PROUD of our country. And of who we are.

WE BELIEVE in the example of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln and Emma Gonzales.

So we will STAND UP for ourselves and for our neighbors.

Because WE ARE THE PARTY OF FAMILY VALUES. And we know that all families don’t look alike. That’s not what humanity is. Some of our families have two moms. Some of them have two dads. Many of them have single moms. Our families struggle to put food on the table. Our families say a prayer when they send their kids to school each day. Our families accept and support our children regardless of how they identify as human beings or who they love.

Our families are of every race and color. Every religion. Our families are Mexican, Syrian, Black, White, Asian, Native American. And we STAND UP for our families when Republicans try to hurt them.

WE BELIEVE that America is exceptional because of WE THE PEOPLE, and WE THE PEOPLE are diverse. Out of the many, WE ARE ONE. That is why we are strong, and innovative, and tear down the walls that are put in front of us.

WE ARE THE PARTY OF WE THE PEOPLE. WE ARE THE PARTY OF FAMILY VALUES.

WE STAND UP for our veterans and our military. WE BELIEVE in caring for the minds and bodies of our soldiers. WE STAND UP for those with PTSD, those who have lost their limbs and their former lives to STAND UP for our FREEDOM. We are PROUD of our military.

WE BELIEVE in AMERICA’S strength on the world stage, and WE STAND UP FOR FREEDOM. We will not be brought down by dictators through powerful instruments of war or petty online insults. We are too STRONG for that.

We are angry about interference in our elections and outraged that the Republicans have ignored the sanctity and value of our votes.

We BELIEVE in diplomacy. Because we are not wealthy enough to buy deferments for our children in times of war. And we think that those who have and who dare to use our soldiers as pawns in a battle of egos have committed the worst betrayal against our military.

The Republicans say “Give us your hard-earned money to build a wall.” “Give us schools and gathering places that are war zones.” “Give us your campaign contributions in exchange for the blood of our children.”

We say, “GIVE US YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES YEARNING TO BREATHE FREE.”

WE ARE THE PARTY OF WE THE PEOPLE. INDIVISIBLE. WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.