Photo of Cory Booker

Address to the Democratic National Convention

August 20, 2020

I'm here because a union job lifted my family out of poverty and into the middle class.

My grandfather left the Jim Crow South for Detroit, joined the UAW and got a job on the assembly lines during World War II. That union job enabled him to support his family, raise my mom, and send her to Fisk University.

That's the American dream. Together we work; together we rise.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris know the dignity of all working Americans; they know the urgency and the demand of our dream.

But working people are under attack, the wealth gap grows, our middle class shrinks, and poverty persists. Last week, Donald Trump said "our economy is doing good," while 40 million Americans are at risk of losing their homes. Thirty million aren't getting enough food to eat and 5.4 million people have lost their health care because of this crisis.

He has failed us.

But still, I believe in the dream of our ancestors.

Together, with Joe and Kamala in the White House, we'll raise the minimum wage so no one who works a full-time job lives in poverty.

Together, we'll fight for those who keep us healthy; who keep us safe; who teach our kids.

We'll stand for those who cook, and serve, and clean; who plant and harvest; who pack and always deliver, whose hands are thick with calluses, like my grandad's who held mine when I was a boy. If he was alive, Joe and Kamala, he would be so proud of you—and he'd tell us, take another by the hand, and another, and let's get to work, this dream ain't free, you gotta work for it.

So like his generation, up out of the Depression; let's now work together and stand together and America, together, we will rise.

Cory Booker, Address to the Democratic National Convention Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project