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Remarks to the Community in Homestead, Florida

September 06, 1993

Ladies and gentlemen, I have had a great tour of Florida City and Homestead today, and we just had a wonderful community meeting where I heard from a lot of people who have been through the last year and who have suffered, but who triumphed.

I want to give you just one message on this Labor Day. This is a day where we honor the men and women of our country who work and keep this country going. What we have proved is that the Government and the people in their own lives can work together as partners, can labor together to pull this community together and rebuild this community and come back. And I want you to know that I am very proud of the work that all of you have done. I'm very grateful for the presence here today of several members of the Florida congressional delegation, several House Members and Senator Graham, for your Lieutenant Governor, for the people here on the Dade County Commission, and all the local leadership, but also for the citizens here.

I ran for President because I really believed we could make Government work again. I believed that things could happen that could change the lives of people. And I knew that a lot of it would have to be done by people at the local level, by the State legislators that are here in large numbers, by people who have actually lost their homes and seen things go away here. But I also knew the National Government had a responsibility. I asked Henry Cisneros, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to coordinate our long-term commitment to helping people here deal with the aftermath of the hurricane. We hired Otis Pitts, who's done a terrific job down here as the Deputy Under Secretary of HUD, to work with all of you. And I just want to say to all of you, we are in this for the long run. I heard today about some things that still need to be done. And we will not have our work done until everybody in this part of our country who wants a job has one, until people are back in their homes, until these communities are rebuilt.

One other thing I want to say to you is that, as you know, huge numbers of people in the Middle West have been displaced by what amounted to a 500-year flood on the Mississippi River. And I want those people to see you on television tonight. I want them to read about you in their newspapers tomorrow. And I want them to believe that you really can bring an area back if you work together and stay together and rebuild a sense of community and give people a chance to take responsibility for themselves. We'll be there with you. I'm glad to be here today, and I thank you for spending a little time with your President on Labor Day.

Hillary and I both are delighted to be back. It was almost exactly a year ago—it was a year ago this week that I came down here, and you have done very well. I'm glad we could be your partners for a year, and we will be until the job is done.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:45 a.m. at the intersection of 17th and Krome. In his remarks, he referred to Otis Pitts, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Relief—South Dade County. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Remarks to the Community in Homestead, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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