FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, February 24, 2018
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Kevin de León spoke to thousands of delegates at the California Democratic Party convention, sharing his vision to expand the California Dream.
My name is Kevin de Leon, and I am the President of the most progressive legislative house in America.
I am running for the United States Senate because the days of Democrats biding our time, biting our tongue, and triangulating at the margins are over.
I’m running because California’s greatness comes from acts of human audacity, not congressional seniority.
I saw this in the tireless devotion of my mother, an immigrant who chased a better life for her three kids across the border against a current of ethnic bigotry, to a neighborhood where I grew up two miles from where we stand today.
I’m not just a proponent for the California Dream, but a product of it.
My mother worked her fingers to the bone for everything she had, and I’m here today because she refused to “wait her turn” or to “know her place.” I’m here because she made a place of her own in California. I followed a path of public service because I believe every Californian deserves a place of their own.
It has been my great honor to lead the State Senate, where we’ve passed the most progressive laws in America.
The highest minimum wage and the toughest pay equity, the most ambitious clean air and climate protections, a secure retirement plan for millions of workers who don’t have one, and the strongest gun control laws in the nation.
We carved it in stone: no matter the place of your birth or the hue of your skin, you can live in California in safety, dignity and, yes, sanctuary.
In your State Senate – Democrats act like Democrats. We demand passion, not “patience.”
We speak truth to power, and we’ve never been fooled into believing Donald Trump “can be a good President.” California Democrats – we fight on the frontlines – we don’t equivocate on the sidelines.
Now, some will have you believe this Senate race is about Congressional seniority, not ideas or values; that being good sometimes is good enough.
I want to be clear – I respect my opponent’s service. This race isn’t personal, but the values we are fighting for – California values, Democratic values, fundamental human rights values – are as personal as it gets.
Democrats, you will never have to guess where I stand: I stand for organized labor. I would never oppose card check, and will never vote for school vouchers.
You won’t have to wonder, because I would never vote to allow federal agents to SPY on American citizens without warrants. I would never vote to prosecute 13-year-olds as adults in a criminal justice system propped up by institutional racism. We must crush the school-to-prison pipeline once and for all.
I would call our country “the welfare system for Mexico.” And I will always stand up for our Dreamers and never treat them as a bargaining chip.
I would never vote for two different wars lasting 17 years, costing countless American lives and more than five trillion dollars; five trillion dollars that should have been spent on healthcare, affordable housing, and debt-free college.
I will demand 100% clean energy and freedom from fossil-fuel dependency, and make no mistake: I will be your champion on Medicare-for-All.
My friends, real leadership - moral clarity - is always doing the right thing EVEN when no one is watching. It should never take a primary challenge for California’s leadership to stand up for California values.
It’s time to move our nation’s Capital to California. It’s time to export California values to Washington, not the other way around.
Who do you trust to have the courage of your convictions? Who do you trust to take the tough vote for public school teachers, for criminal justice reform, for organized labor, for single-payer health care, for more jobs and less wars, and never, ever, ever a wall?
Who do you trust to stand up for every dreamer and every person with a dream who has been told that they aren’t old enough, that their skin isn’t light enough, that they’re not rich enough or straight enough or don’t speak English well enough?
This is a new day – and we need a new direction.
I got your back, California Democrats. I’ve always had your back, and when you vote today I ask that you have mine.
Que Dios Bendiga California! God bless the state we love, California!