Assembly Speaker John Perez’s DNC speech

Fresh from the end of a contentious legislative session, California Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, addressed the 2012 Democratic National Convention tonight in Charlotte, N.C.


Good evening Democrats! I am so honored to join you tonight.

Certainly, this close to the election much of our attention is focused on the nuts and bolts of victory—how we’ll prevail in the swing districts and battleground states. But this convention gives us the chance to discuss something much more important than how or where we fight. It gives us the chance to reflect on the question of why we fight.
And the answer to that fundamental question can be summed up in one word — opportunity.

Opportunity is why we fight. Across the country, there are parents who want nothing more than the opportunity to have a job, and the ability to put food on the family table. We fight for them.

In too many states, even some folks who have a job wake up every morning in fear that they will lose that job simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. We fight for them.

On our nation’s campuses, students are seeking the opportunity to go to college, earn a degree, and find a career that will unleash their potential. We fight for them.

Women are fighting for the opportunity that comes with equal pay for equal work, and the respect that comes with having control of their medical decisions. We fight for them.

Inmigrantes de todo el mundo llegan a los Estados Unidos buscando una oportunidad para darles una mejor vida a sus hijos. Nosotros luchamos por ellos.

Read the rest of Perez’s speech, after the jump…

Yes, we fight for them. And we fight for President Obama. And we know President Obama fights for us. President Obama has fought to renew opportunities for Americans every moment of his time in office, to protect the opportunities that already exist, and create new opportunities for all Americans.

When the jobs of autoworkers, were threatened in 2009, some said “Let Detroit fail.” But president Obama said failure is not an option. And today, American autoworkers can sleep securely, knowing their jobs and the opportunities for a brighter future exist because the president fought for them.

President Obama has reformed student loans, cut out the banks and lowered the cost of education for millions of students. And he’s fighting for new investments to extend that opportunity to millions more.

He repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell,” giving LGBT Americans the opportunity to proudly and openly serve our nation in uniform. And he’s standing up for the right of LGBT Americans to say, “I do.”

He has fought for policies to unleash the opportunities that come with 21st century jobs that will remake our economy and restore prosperity for the middle class. President Obama is leading us through a challenging era by recognizing that the strength of America is measured in the opportunities everyone has to work hard and succeed.

That is the spirit of our party, and the guiding principle of President Obama. This election is our opportunity to rededicate ourselves to that commitment. Our pathway to victory is to fight for everyone to have the opportunity to live for their American dream. To fight for our proud national tradition of ensuring that our children will always enjoy more opportunities than their parents had. To fight to ensure that every person has the opportunities that come with being treated with dignity, respect, and equality in the eyes of the law. We fight to restore opportunity across this country, because as Democrats, we understand the poignancy, the power and the truth of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s observation that “America is another name for opportunity.”

Opportunity is why we fight for our country. Opportunity is what our president fights for. And in 61 days, opportunity is why President Obama will win a second term. But we have a lot of work to do between now and then, so let’s get to work! Thank you.

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.

  • GV Haste

    Is this the same Jack-arse who has endorsed Mary Hayashi in her bid to replace the infamous Nadia Lockyer on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 2 ?

    Yes I think it is him. He don’t care Jack about the people of Alameda County.
    At best he wants to get some of Mary Hayashi’s $850,000 in campaign funds, because he knows she is limited to “directly” use more than $20,000 of those funds for the supervisors race.

    Hence, Mary can funnel multiple donations to those that Perez supports, while he gets others to donate a portion of that to Mary’s campaign for supervisor.

    AS you know, Mary dropped her “brain tumor” excuse for her crime and is now relying on the “absentminded error” excuse. She says she was on 2 cell phones, texting on one, and talking on the other when she stepped outside of Neiman Marcus with $2,500 of unpaid for merchandise in her bag. (Oh, she does forget to tell the public that she brought THAT bag, empty, with her into the store.)
    As SF Dist. Attorney said, they went with the felony charge, because the crime had all the elements of a felony. He specifically include the element of “intent” in that list.

    So much for Mary’s claim of absentminded error.