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The Honorable Barbara Lee

I am so pleased I had a role in drafting this remarkable document. It embodies the values we hold dear as Democrats and as Americans, and it sets forth our great president's vision for our future where together we will reignite the American Dream for all. Because the reality is: Four years ago, the American Dream had slipped out of reach for too many, and it had turned into a nightmare for millions.

President Obama changed our course. He invested in our future and put men and women back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges. He raised educational standards, invested in early childhood education, and worked to make higher education more affordable for everyone. He invested in clean energy and enacted the broadest tax cut in history, reducing taxes on the middle class to near-historic lows. He saved the American auto industry. He produced historic health reform. And he put forward a balanced deficit reduction plan that will put us on sound fiscal footing. Today, our economy is growing again.

Our platform states that America faces a clear choice: move forward as a nation where everyone has the chance to get ahead, or go back to the same failed ideas that created the crisis in the first place. We will move forward, not backward. Republicans will raise taxes on low-income and the middle class to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. They'll end the fundamental guarantee of Medicare that people have earned. They'll let Wall Street write its own rules again. They'll allow the secret and unlimited special interest money in campaigns to advance its dangerous assault on our democracy. They'll shred the safety net and gut vital investments in education, innovation and infrastructure in order to help the wealthiest avoid doing their fair share. And they'll allow insurance companies to once again deny health care to working families and interfere with women's health care decisions.

President Obama and Democrats will not let this happen. We will move forward, not backward. We believe we are bound together by a shared set of ideals and values rooted in the notion that together we can overcome the greatest challenges that come our way. We stand for an economy that's built not from the top down but from the middle out and that provides opportunity for those aspiring to join the middle class. And we make ending poverty a national priority.

We are a big tent party of inclusion, and our platform speaks to the aspirations of all. Our platform ensures that the opportunity to live the American Dream not only survives but thrives for generations to come.

We can't afford to go back or abandon the change we've fought so hard for. We will not turn back the clock.

We can move forward. We must move forward. And under the leadership of President Obama, we will move forward.

Thank you.

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