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The Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Member of the US House of Representatives, Florida

The 46th Quadrennial National Convention of the Democratic Party will now come to order.

Welcome delegates, alternates, standing committee members, special guests, friends, members of the news media, guests from around the world and fellow Americans to our deliberations.

Over the next three days, we will hold the most open and accessible political convention in history. Viewers from across the country and around the world can watch the entire convention gavel-to-gavel live-streamed on the democratic convention's website and through our mobile app. In addition, the entire program is also being streamed simultaneously in Spanish.

During our National convention we will clearly demonstrate why we need to keep Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the White House!

But this convention is about more than re-nominating President Obama. It's about Americans coming together to build one economy—not from the top down, but from the middle class out and the bottom up.

This convention's success will be based on engaging the American spirit and involving people who want to put their shoulders to the wheel and change our country for the better.

We have the largest number of delegates ever assembled at a Democratic National Convention.

And as I look out from the podium, I see a diverse assembly of Democrats who represent the strength and unity of our party.

The Democratic Party is the oldest continuing party in the world and your participation in this convention is a testament to the fact that we are also the most vibrant, inclusive and energized political party.

Now, for some housekeeping: at this time, let me remind delegates that presidential nominating petitions must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary no later than 6:00 p.m. today. Vice-presidential nominating petitions must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary no later than 9:00 a.m. Wednesday. Petitions should be delivered to the secretary's office which is located on the floor-level concourse.

Delegates, alternates and guests, please give a round of applause to the DJ for the convention, DJ Cassidy. Let's also express our appreciation to the dedicated men and women who have worked tirelessly to get the arena and the stadium ready for our convention.

And now, I am pleased to introduce His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit to lead the invocation.

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