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Remarks By Representative Joe Hoeffel (D-PA) at the Democratic National Convention

Location: Boston, MA

Federal News Service July 28, 2004 Wednesday



REP. HOEFFEL: Thank you. Thank you all. I'm Joe Hoeffel. And let me tell you why Pennsylvania is ready to make a change in Washington.

My parents and grandparents came from Idaho, Missouri and Wisconsin. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania with Midwestern Republican values: Pay your bills on time. Stay out of debt. Live and let live. Don't go looking for trouble, but always be ready to defend yourself and your family and your country.

For 30 years, as a Pennsylvania Democrat, those are the values that have guided me in serving my state and my country. And do you know what? When my parents were in their 80s they had the courage of their convictions and switched their registration and joined you and me in this Democratic Party. (Cheers, applause.)

Today, so many Americans feel the same way, because what's missing in Washington is a sense of urgency that responds to the reality of people's lives. Martin Luther King called it "the fierce urgency of now."

The fierce urgency of now demands that we respond to the genocide, rape and murder in the Sudan. (Cheers.) The fierce urgency of now demands that we respond right now to the real terror threat. When our own government says something big is coming at us from Afghanistan, we have to send something big at them and do the job that should have been done in the first place-capture bin Laden and destroy al Qaeda. (Cheers.) The fierce urgency of now demands that Congress end its vacation, start a special session next week, and work through August to take action on the 9/11 commission recommendations. (Cheers.)

Now, we need to bring that same urgency to the economic challenges working families face here at home. We have to start building a future that works for America because we're all in this together. We're not just taxpayers and consumers looking for the best deal, we're citizens, friends and neighbors who take care of each other. That's the kind of America we want to build -- (cheers, applause); an America that invests in our children and takes care of our seniors; that creates good jobs and provides health care for everyone; an America that's admired in the world for our commitment to personal liberty, social justice and human rights.

And so I ask you, build that America with me. Build that America with John Kerry and John Edwards. (Cheers.) And together we can make November 2nd the first day of a future that works for Pennsylvanians and for all Americans. (Cheers, applause.)

May God bless America. (Cheers, applause.)

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