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Steve Kerrigan, Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee

Fellow Democrats, fellow Americans, good evening. On behalf of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, welcome to Charlotte and welcome to the 46th Democratic National Convention.

For over a year, we've been preparing to welcome you all here. It's been a journey marked by the devotion, grit and hard work of hundreds of people whose names you may never know but whose work will shape your entire experience this week. I speak for all of us when I say what a privilege it's been to work on this convention and how thrilled we are that you're here with us.

President Obama wanted this convention to be different—to be the most open, accessible gathering of its kind; to engage Americans in a conversation about moving our country forward and building an economy that creates opportunity for all.

I'm happy to report we've done just that. For the first time, this convention begins and ends with events open to the public. We've nearly 6,000 delegates—more than either party has ever welcomed—from across our nation. Thanks to our innovative use of digital media, Americans can follow and participate in most everything we do.

We do this because it's important, because we know that when people are engaged, we can together sow a stronger America.

This is our moment. It's our job to bear witness to the accomplishments of the last four years and the promise of four more. Many people in this hall will speak of our president, of his many successes at home and abroad and of his bold vision for our future.

As important as what you witness here in Charlotte will be what you do after you leave here. We all have a role to play in moving our country forward, and here is where we reaffirm our commitment to get that job done.

President Obama once remarked that my mentor and friend, Senator Ted Kennedy, was the soul of our party. The Senator can't add his clarion call to the voices you'll hear this week, but were he here he would remind us all that "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on."

So let the work of this convention go on, let the work of our party go on, and most importantly let the work of President Barack Obama go on. And with your help it will—for four more years.

Once again, welcome to Charlotte.


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