tv Road to the White House 2020 Sen. Bookers Official Campaign Announcement CSPAN April 15, 2019 1:05pm-1:48pm EDT
youtube stars are now a thing, but c-span's big idea is more relevant today than ever. no government money support c-span. it was funded as a service by your cable and satellite provider. television and online, c-span is your unfiltered view of government, so you can make up your own mind. senator cory booker officially kicked off his presidential campaign with a rally in his hometown of newark, new jersey, where he once served as mayor. this is about 45 minutes. >> ♪ people all over the world inn start a love train i love train ♪
>> well, good afternoon. [cheers and applause] >> oh, come on now. -- i havesin went cousins and i were watching. let them hear you in iowa. [cheering] better.is so much for those of you who do not know, i am carolyn booker. i am cory booker's mom. oh, and i am just so excited to be here. kickoff ofometown cory's campaign for the presidency of the united states. wow. it is so special.
now, cory, there is a joke that he always tells that says behind every accomplished child is an astonished parent. [laughter] ok? and i just want you to know that i am indeed astonished. but i am thrilled and exceedingly proud of cory. [cheers and applause] that is right. absolutely. you know, almost six years ago, cory was elected to the united states senate as the fourth ever elected african-american in our country's history. and this historic election to the senate, it came less than a week after cory's father, my husband, who many of you know, had passed away.
for over 25 years, cory's father fought parkinson's disease, and during that time, our family became primary caregivers, so it was our honor and it was a great labor of love, and i think that is part of what drives cory's commitment to affordable health care and supporting families who are in the caregiving cycle. [cheering] right, so when cory was getting sworn into the u.s. senate, i knew that i needed to represent both myself and my husband. he might never have imagined this day. i also wanted to include the ancestors were not with us today, but on whose shoulders we stand. so just minutes before cory was
sworn into the u.s. senate, we were standing waiting in the beautiful chamber just outside the senate floor in the capital building. it was an emotional and thrilling moment, and i turned to him then and reminded him of the old saying, "it is not title that honored people, but people that honor titles." [cheers and applause] now, i can tell by all that he has done as a senator that the significance of that phrase struck with him. i have watched cory fight for this community. i have watched cory fight for this state, and i've watched cory fight alongside americans across this country who are fighting for a better life for themselves and their country. [cheers and applause] now, throughout his entire life,
i have watched cory dedicate himself to service. he is a servant leader. when he graduated from law school, he could've gone anywhere. he came here to newark to work as a tenants' rights lawyer. he served as a city councilman, been mayor, and now senator. i am so proud of all that he has achieved and more importantly, of all of the good that he has done and the many lives that he has changed. [cheers and applause] i really, when i say it, i say it with great sincerity, i am so proud that cory will spend the next two weeks traveling across the country to talk to americans about the issues he has fought for his entire life and how we can work together to build a
more just country for all. [cheers and applause] i know that corey will be the kind of president whose leadership will bring our country together in the face of difficult challenges. corey will be the kind of president who doesn't just lead people, but who will listen to the people. [cheers and applause] and corey will be the kind of president whose character makes us all proud of him and of our country. [cheers and applause] now, i have had the honor of witnessing and participating in historic moments in my own life. two attending fisk university during the civil rights era where diane nash and john lewis were my classmates, and participating in protests and
sit ins in both nashville and charlottesville, which has been back in the news recently. in the 1960's, we did these things and i was also forced to men enough to help plan the march on washington in 1963. [cheers and applause] yeah. and hear dr. king tells the world about his dream, which is now our dream. i am honored to play a small part in this historic moment on this day. when i tell cory for the second time, before a big moment in his life, on behalf of myself and my husband, his father, that indeed it is not titles that honor people, but people that honor titles. [cheers and applause] so here is the cory. i know he will honor the title
all right, new jersey. [cheers and applause] >> cory, cory, cory. sen. booker: all right! thank you. thank you. [cheers and applause] thank you. thank you. all right. i want to start off -- didn't my mom do a great job? [cheers and applause] i want to thank my mother. it was her example all my life, her example of grace and courage, and service. it was her love which is the reason why i am here today. i wish my dad could be here and in my heart, i believe he is here, as you said.
we are here today to seek justice. we are here today because we are impatient for that justice. and our sense of moral urgency, our inpatience comes from the demanding of all values. it comes from love. [cheers and applause] love of our families, love of our communities, love of our country, and love of each other. you know, the mayor was right. newark, brick city. this community -- [cheers and applause] this community taught me all about that love. it is not that feel good, easy-going love. it is strong, courageous love. it is defiant love. the kind of love that works through heart break and pain and betrayal. it is the kind of love that keeps on going.
it is the kind of love that sacrifices. it is the kind of love that is essential to achieving justice. [cheers and applause] i learned right here on the streets that you can't make progress by dividing people. you can't make progress by stoking fear or setting us one against the other. i learned that the only way to overcome the really tough challenges is by extending grace, finding common ground, and working together. and we know this, that today so many of us are hurting. so many of us are understandably angry. so many of us are feeling afraid for our futures and our families. too many people believe the forces tearing us apart are stronger than the bonds that hold us together.
well, i don't believe that. i believe we will bring our country together. i believe we will achieve things that other people say are impossible. i believe we will make justice real for all people. and that is why i am running for president of the united states of america. [cheers and applause] >> let me tell you. [crowd chanting 'cory'] let me tell you. we are a great nation because of all of our people and to the not speak english as their first language.
i want to say to many of you [speaking spanish] [cheers and applause] sen. booker: i will be a president for all people in america. [cheers and applause] when i arrived here in newark over 20 years ago to work as a tenant rights lawyer, i found a city with challenges that some folks said were intractable. but we in newark refused to believe that any problem is too hard to solve if we attack it together. we were a community inpatient for justice. new work has always been a community inpatient for justice, a community that knew in the
words of dr. king, wait has almost always meant never. in communities like ours, wait still, too frequently, means never. wait for clean water. wait for decent paying jobs. wait for better schools. wait your turn. wait. well, here in newark, we refuse to wait. [cheers and applause] when this incredible city took a chance on me as their mayor, the chief executive of this city, new jersey's largest city, i did not wait to start bringing people together. we did not just talk about the injustice of families not having heat in the coldest months of the year. we took on the slumlords and doubled the rate of affordable housing production right here. [cheers and applause] we did not just talk about the
injustice. we did not just wait and talk about the injustice of people not being able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. we opened grocery stores in food deserts. we got people to invest here. we open new businesses here. we created thousands of jobs here together. and after 60 years of decline, after 60 years of decline, look around you. newark is growing again. [cheers and applause] and new jersey, when you sent me to washington as your senator, i brought those lessons with me. politics in washington, d.c. are broken, but we still found ways to bring people together and get
things done. after decades of criminal justice system moving in the wrong direction, i led a bipartisan effort to write and pass the first meaningful reform in a generation, and i worked with republicans and democrats to write and then pass a law that is bringing billions of dollars of investment to low-income, urban, and rural communities that have for too long been left out and left behind. there are so many places like that across america, not just cities like this one. farm communities and factory towns, that like us here in newark, that have been given up on and talked down to, counted out, and underestimated. and they can't wait for change.
none of us can. we are here today to say, we can't wait. [cheers and applause] [crowd chanting 'we cant wait'] sen. booker: we can't wait when powerful forces are turning their prejudice into policy, and rolling back the rights that generations of americans fought for and heroes died for. we can't wait when this administration is throwing children fleeing violence into cages. banning muslims from entering the nation founded on religious liberty. and preventing brave transgender americans from serving the country they love.
[cheers and applause] and we cannot wait because many of our most serious challenges as a nation were with us long before donald trump entered the white house. we can't wait because we have a criminal justice system that in the words of my friend brian stevenson, treat you better than if you are rich and guilty then if you are poor and innocent. a system, a system so deeply baked with bias, that it ruthlessly discriminates against black people, and brown people, and low income people, and folks with addictions. we can't wait when we have an economy where people pick up extra shifts where they can and they still cannot pay the bills. profits are soaring while wages for most americans have barely budged.
massive corporations have taken over entire industries, killing competition, driving out innovation, squeezing out small businesses. and american family farmers, our first entrepreneurs, are disappearing at a disturbing rate. we have had decades of unjust policies that have destroyed our economy and extracted money from our commonwealth and plowed into tax cuts for the wealthy and wars overseas we didn't have to fight, instead of investing in things we all know grow our economy and create more opportunity for all, like education and infrastructure. [cheers and applause] and that is why when i am president of the united states -- [cheers and applause]
we won't wait. we won't wait for criminal justice reform. we will end the system of mass incarceration in america. [cheers and applause] we will invest in people, their education, their mental health, treating addiction. we will end the school to prison pipeline. [cheers and applause] and we will empower the formerly incarcerated with jobs and opportunity, not a slippery slope back to jail and prison. and we won't wait to legalize marijuana at the federal level. [cheers and applause] but that is not enough. we will push states to do the same. invest in the communities that have been devastated by the decades-long failed war on drugs. and we will expunge the records of those who have already been convicted. [cheers and applause] we won't wait for more thoughts and prayers. for communities that have been shattered by gun violence. from pittsburgh to parkland to charleston to communities where kids fear the fireworks of fourth of july because to them, they sound like gunshots.
we will pass universal background checks. [cheers and applause] we will ban assault weapons and close the loophole that allows people who should never have a gun to get one. and folks, we will bring a fight to the nra like they have never, ever seen before. and we will win. [cheers and applause] we won't wait to meet the challenge and the crisis of climate change because we have no other choice. we will build a clean energy economy. we will hold polluters accountable, and ensure that every child can drink the water from their sink and breathe the air in their neighborhood without getting sick.
[applause] we won't wait for inclusive criminal -- excuse me, for inclusive economic justice. we will fight against the onslaught of attacks on workers rights in america, and it was my grandfather's union job that helped my mom and family move from poverty into the middle class. and we will protect that pathway for workers who are now seeing their rights eroded. we will build an opportunity economy where there are good paying jobs and fair wages in every neighborhood, and where the dignity of work is respected. where benefits are secure and portable. so you can change jobs or start a new business with confidence, and where small businesses can be as they always have been -- the main engines of job growth and economic growth in america.
[cheers and applause] and we will change, we will close, we will close the racial wealth gap in america. because we can't to be blind to the impact of generations of racism and white supremacy that were written into our laws over centuries. that's why we will create a federally funded savings account for every child born in america that starts at birth. and as they grow up, it will give the lowest income kids in our country up to $50,000 to pay for college, put a down payment on a home, or jumpstart a small business. [cheers and applause] we won't wait to deliver a great education to every child.
we will fully fund public schools. [cheers and applause] and that especially includes special needs education. [cheers and applause] and we will ensure that the most valuable profession in any democracy, we will make sure that public school teachers get the pay increases they deserve. the resources they need. and their student loan debt is forgiven. [cheers and applause] we won't wait to expand pathways to opportunity for all young
people. we will make college affordable. we will invest in and strengthen our hbcu's, and we will create the world's greatest system of apprenticeship and training programs right here in america. [cheers and applause] we won't wait. to fix our broken health care system because in america, health care is a right. [cheers and applause] i will fight for medicare for all and i will start with lowering the age of medicare eligibility and giving americans a real public option. i will use the government's bargaining power to once and for all, bring down the cost of prescription drugs. and i will once and for all end the sabotage of the affordable care act. [cheers and applause] we won't wait to fix our broken immigration system.
because in america, immigration is and always has been a source of strength. we will pass comprehensive immigration reform. we will create a pathway to citizenship for all those living in the united states, and we will protect our dreamers and make them what they already are -- citizens of the united states of america. [cheers and applause] we will end the moral vandalism of family separation and have an immigration system that affirms our values. we won't wait to stop the dangerous assault on women's rights. [cheers and applause] women will have reproductive justice.
[cheers and applause] we are americans. women must have the freedom to make decisions about their own body and economic futures. as your president, i will appoint supreme court justices who will defend roe v. wade. [cheers and applause] and we will take on the systemic challenges that disproportionately affect women and hold back our entire country. we will fight for equal pay, affordable childcare, and finally establish a national paid family and medical leave program for our country. [cheers and applause] and we will build in our country, starting with the highest office in the land and all across our nation -- we will
build a culture where men respect women. where sexual assault and harassment are no longer swept under the rug. and future generations do not have to raise their hands to say, 'me too.' we will not wait any longer for equal justice under the law. we will pass the equality act and ensure that lgbtq americans are protected under federal, civil rights law. [cheers and applause] we will pursue a new voting rights act, end gerrymandering, and get the dark money out of politics once and for all. [cheers and applause] and unlike this president, i won't ignore or give license to white supremacy. [cheers and applause] i will put more resources towards protecting our country from it. and we will no longer wait for america to stand up for justice
around the world. we will strengthen our alliances and defend human rights, not coddle dictators or squander america's moral authority. as commander-in-chief, there is nothing i will take more seriously than the responsibility to protect our nation. and keep faith with the people who wear our uniform. we call ourselves the home of the brave. but when our brave veterans come home, we need to make sure they have a home.
we will in and veterans homelessness. theyans deserve everything fought so bravely for. health care, education, and good paying jobs. the only way we build a nation with liberty and justice for all is by doing it together. whether wedecide will choose division and blame or if we will do the hard work of conquering fear with faith. action, and hatred with love. but we know the challenges. at workthere are forces a home -- at home and abroad
trying to get us to fight the wrong way and on their terms. from 1600 pennsylvania avenue to the kremlin, we know what their strategy is. it is to hit us against each against it is to pit us each other. to make a suspicious of one another, to make us fear each other. to make us dislike each other. that is how they win. critics are going to tell you and tell all of us a campaign powered by grace and love and a deep faith in each other can't beat that. but i say it's the only way we win. see, the president wants a race to the gutter and to fight us in the gutter. , we have to fight
from higher ground to bring this country to higher ground. so, we cannot allow them to divide us. must also resist the urge to divide ourselves. because the people on my block, the people gathered here and across the country cannot wait. they cannot afford a politics of division that sacrifices progress for. he, that can't afford this election to become just an politicaln competition that is completely divorced from the realities of so many people who are struggling and hurting. i am the only senator who comes a low income, inner-city, beautiful community.
and i know and you know that we don't have the privilege to wait for what fits into someone else's narrow view of what it means to be a progressive. our first priority must be to make people's lives better. right now. to move the ball forward how best we can, as fast as we can, those folkse closest to the pain and closest to the struggle have an active hand in defining and how we confronted. movementogressive refuses to stall out in righteous indignation. it channels that indignation into the work that actually improves people's lives. movement doessive
people hostage for promises of perfection that will come tomorrow. inheritors of those kinds of movements. movements of committed americans who are gathering like we are right now. this is been the truth for generations who in moments of some andal challenge great moral imagination. they did not surrender to the seduction of a trade. they fought with a defiant love and when they rose, our nation rose with them. i am here today. we are here today because of those kinds of movements. as many of you know, i was not
born here in newark. my mom anda baby, dad tried to move into a neighborhood in harrington park, new jersey. he moved there, attracted by the schools. but real estate agents refuse to sell as a whole because of the color of our skin. what would have been denied housing did not happen because of a group of activists that came together. of white volunteers and lawyers who were inspired by the courage of civil rights marchers -- they worked to help black families in their community come together and they stood up against the illegal housing discrimination my parents faced, and they won. and they changed the course of my entire life. so, when you grow up with a mom
like mine, they made sure my brother and i never forgot what it took to get us to where we are. they said, like all of us in this generation, that we could never pay back what has been done for us, but we could and we had to pay it forward. parents wanted us to do was understand the urgency of the work still left to be done in this country. they wanted us to understand in the face of injustice, there is no weight. there must be work -- there is no wait. there must be struggle. all ofs no wait because us stand on the shoulders of giants, generations who came before who did not wait. and so, here we are, d6 years ago this very morning a young
preacher woke up in a jail cell in alabama because he and so many other young people had theed together to take on toughest challenges of their day, a fight others called impossible to win. they joined with local activists and eventually folks all around the country to confront a city where in justice and division were literally written into the law. he was arrested on good friday morning while demonstrating and on thisegation, very date, this very date, ,aturday, april 13 in 1963 martin luther king woke up in that jail cell in birmingham. that same jail cell where he wrote on the margins of a newspaper that had been smuggled into him, he wrote this letter, these words. "for years now, i have heard the
word wait. this weight has almost always meant never. come to see that justice too long delayed is justice denied. king on this date he spoke to the possibility of what we can achieve when we realize our own power and when we refuse to wait . refused to king wait. they brought down segregation in their city. america. america, we know our history. it is a perpetual testimony to
impatient, demanding unrelenting people who, in every generation, for justice.ood up generations of americans have shown us what is possible when you refuse to wait and now it is our turn and we have worked to do. can't wait. america, we will not wait. together we will run at the top challenges. we will do the things that others say are impossible. to bel fulfill our pledge a nation of liberty and justice for all. , we will rise.