Delaine Eastin Speech at the Democratic Convention
Thank you Maha, my dear friend, for your wonderful introduction. As a new mom, I know you are not alone in struggling to make it here today --work, childcare, accessibility, cost...I know it isn’t easy. So I want to thank everyone for making the effort to be here so we can create a better California.
California is a state overwhelmingly run by Democrats. We are the leaders of the resistance to Trump. We are also the state that has the highest number and percentage of poor people and homeless individuals in the country.
If Democrats can’t protect and grow the middle class in the richest state in the richest country on earth, what good are we?
I am running for Governor of California because this country runs on other people’s children and we are failing far too many of them.
Ninety percent of my generation, the baby boomers, ended up doing better financially than our parents. But the Millennials only have a 50-50 chance of doing better than their parents despite being the best-educated generation in our history.
The high costs of childcare, housing, healthcare and education, coupled with the decline in jobs that pay a living wage are crushing our families.
You need a visionary governor with a brass backbone, who isn’t afraid of bullies and will not kowtow to the rich and powerful. That is who I am, what I have always done, and what I will do as Governor.
I know that the decline of the middle class is directly tied to the decline of the labor movement in our country. When I was a kid, 30% of the country was unionized and the middle class thrived. Now, labor is down to 10% and the Janus case is threatening to lower it further. The future of the middle class depends on giving more power to labor, and I promise you as governor, I will not just say this to your face, I will say it in corporate boardrooms.
I am not afraid to take on the greed that has hurt the middle class, be it through falling wages or rising costs.
As Governor, I will not compromise with the insurance or pharmaceutical companies when it comes to your health. I will fight to create universal, single payer healthcare for ALL Californians.
As Governor, I will ban fracking and stand up to polluters because every resident of our state has a fundamental right to breathe clean air and drink clean water.
As Governor I will build more affordable housing and I will repeal Costa Hawkins.
As Governor, I will not be afraid of the infamous third rail of California politics. We will reform Prop 13 as it applies to Commercial/Industrial Properties and put that money back into education.
Budgets are statements of values.I am ashamed to tell you that California is number 41 in the country in per pupil investment, but we are number one in per prisoner expenditure.
We must reform the criminal justice system and stop criminalizing poverty, skin color and mental health conditions.
We must invest in our children and families, from cradle to career. This means fully paid maternity and paternity leave, affordable childcare, universal preschool, lifting k-12 from the bottom ten into the top ten in per pupil funding, and it most definitely means we must make college tuition free again!
Finally, it was Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman in Congress, who said, “At present, our country needs women's idealism and determination, perhaps more in politics than anywhere else.”
I am the only candidate who has served in local government, in the state legislature, and as a Constitutional Officer, where I was the first and only woman elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
California has never had a woman governor. The bigger the state, the harder it is to elect women.
I am not rich, but I still went corporate free. Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Banks, the gig economy that exploits workers, will never own me.
The Democratic Party was the most successful when we were a party of the people instead of a party of corporate and special interests. We didn’t need the most money, we just needed enough, because we had the trust of the American people.
It is time to take back the Democratic Party so that it returns to progressive values that used to be the heart and soul of who we were.
Today is a day to vote for the person you truly believe will be the best Governor for our state. I promise you, I have the courage, the vision and the heart to lead this state forward. I would be honored to have your vote.