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    LB Area Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald Addresses Dems' Convention; We Post Her Speech

    (July 29, 2004) -- LB area Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., LB-Carson), a vice chair of the 2004 Democrats' National Convention, has addressed the final evening of the event preceding the acceptance speech of presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry.

    Cong. Millender-McDonald's speech began at 7:25 p.m. ET (4:25 PT) and ran 5 minutes, 18 seconds. It was interrupted several times by applause. posts the text of Congresswoman Millender-McDonald's speech verbatim as delivered below (monitored by us via C-SPAN).

    Cong. Millender-McDonald @ Dem Convention, July 29/04
    Photo credit: Democratic National Convention Committee

    My fellow Democrats, my fellow Californians, fellow Americans. [cheers]

    The families in my district, like families across America, want leaders who undestand their struggles, who not only speak about their values but who actually share their values.

    And nothing reveals the value of a nation more than how it treats its children.

    I am here tonight to reaffirm John Kerry's commitment to our children [applause] as Democrats, that's strong Americans again with strong families, with healthy and safe children, and we believe that when it comes to our children, America can and must do better. [applause]

    Tonight, nearly 8.5 million American children are without health insurance. We can and we must do better.

    Tonight, more than 12 million American children are living in poverty. We can and we must do better.

    Tonight, 25 million American children are living in areas with unhealthy air, increasing their risk for diseases such as asthma. We can and we must do better. [applause]

    Tonight, 35 million American children suffer from hunger. We can and we must do better. [audience states phrase with her]

    For the past four years, these children have been neither seen nor heard, but tonight Democrats say to America's children and their parents, "We see you, we hear you and help is on the way." [loud cheers]

    We believe that in the richest, most powerful nation on earth, that every child deserves the chance to live the American dream, that every child deserves quality health care, that every child deserves clean water to drink and clean air to breathe, and that no child -- no child -- should ever go to bed hungry in America. [loud cheers]

    In the Senate, John Kerry fought to pass the largest investment in childrens' health care in three decades. His fight led to the creation of the Safe Childrens Health Insurance Program that provides health care for 5 million children.

    As husbands and as fathers, John Kerry and John Edwards know that children are a blessing. And they have the plan to keep all of America's children healthy and safe.

    John Kerry and John Edwards have the plan to expand health coverage to all America's children.

    John Kerry and John Edwards have the education plan that protects Head Start and gives our most vulnerable children the nutrition they need.

    John Kerry and John Edwards have the plan to strengthen and enforce the environmental laws that protect our children from pollutants and disease.

    And John Kerry and John Edwards know that children are healthier when their parents have jobs. So they have the plan to help small businesses, that create most of the jobs in America, by cutting their taxes and reforming health care so small businesses can prosper. [applause]

    John Kerry and John Edwards have the vision, the values and the plan to build a stronger America, with strong families and healthy children. [applause]

    We must speak up for the children who cannot speak for themselves. We must stand up and vote for the children who cannot.

    Are you ready, with President John Kerry and Vice President John Edwards, to build an America that once again values our children? [applause, continuing]

    Then let's go out and vote to bring America an administration who will embody these values, that will build strong families and healthy children!

    God bless you all, God bless our children, God bless America. Thank you.

    As previously reported by, Congresswoman Millender-McDonald was an early supporter of Senator Kerry and among the members of Kerry campaign's national steering committee. As first reported by, Cong. Millender-McDonald wrapped up a Jan. 10 LB town meeting and left before dawn the next day to campaign for Sen. Kerry in Iowa. Sen. Kerry scored an upset victory over former VT Gov. Howard Dean in the Iowa caucuses, followed a week later by a decisive ballot victory in New Hampshire.

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