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Barbara Lee’s statement on the inauguration

This just in from Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus:

The inauguration of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States is a transformative chapter in American history, signaling a dramatic shift in our nation’s politics and priorities. It is an extraordinary event that illustrates to our neighbors abroad that America has made tremendous progress in breaking down racial barriers that have historically paralyzed our nation.

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke a generation ago of the dream he held for America, he envisioned exactly this type of moment, where a man was judged by his character, his intellect and his hard work — and not by the color of his skin or his race or his ancestry. Now, children of color everywhere can truly dream without limitations and actualize the true promise of this great land. When a young child of color aspires to one day be the President of the United States, we can assure them, “Yes, you can!”

Let us celebrate this historic achievement, but understand that we have much work to do to bring about the change that this country so desperately needs. I pledge to do everything within my power to help President Obama reverse the damaging policies of the last eight years, and to positively move our nation into its remarkable third century – one that begins to unshackle the burdens of our past and is limited only by our capacity to dream a new future.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.