The following is the text of a speech given by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, July 29, 2004:
Good evening, Democrats. Hello, California.
I am honored to stand before you as the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.
I am proud of my Democratic colleagues for bringing our nation closer to the ideal of equality that is both our heritage and our hope.
Centuries ago, the first settlers came here to realize their dreams for their families, their faith and their freedom.
This week, Democrats come to Boston to renew that dream, to reclaim a better future for our families, to express our faith in God and country, and to preserve the freedom we cherish.
Tonight, we will hear from the next president of the United States.
John Kerry is an exceptional leader, and he will make an outstanding president. John Kerry has brought Democrats together with optimism, with strength and with determination to restore the values that have always made America strong at home and respected in the world.
But let us be very clear: Our work will not be complete unless we elect a Democratic Congress.
When I was elected leader, I pledged to my colleagues that never again would Democrats go into an election without telling the American people who we are, what we stand for, how different we are from the Republicans and what we are willing to fight for.
Now hear this: Every day, in every debate, in every vote, House Democrats are fighting to bring prosperity, opportunity and security to every corner of America.
First and foremost, we are fighting for those who wear America's uniform so that our military is second to none.
Republicans have sent our troops into battle in Iraq without a plan and have cut veterans' benefits without remorse.
Democrats have it right: Protect our troops and honor our veterans.
And Democrats have put forth a positive agenda to grow the economy, create millions of good jobs here at home and promote small businesses. Republicans offer tax loopholes to outsource American jobs.
Democrats have it right: Invest in America and in our people.
Democrats are dedicated to expanding access to quality affordable health care. Republicans stand by while millions of everyday Americans lose their health insurance.
Democrats have it right: Health care is not a privilege, health care is a right.
Democrats will keep our promise to our children for safe, fully funded schools, with well-paid teachers. And we will provide every child the opportunity to go to college without going deeply into debt.
Republicans have broken their promises on education from pre- school to college.
Democrats have it right. Every student deserves a world class education.
And Democrats honor our historic commitment to seniors so they can retire with security and dignity. Republicans raided the Social Security trust fund to pay for tax cuts for the richest Americans and created the biggest deficits in our history.
Democrats have it right: Social Security must be protected with responsible budgets that pay as you go.
And Democrats are committed to a healthy environment to keep our air and our water safe. Republicans continue their assault on bipartisan environmental protection.
Democrats have it right: Polluters should pay for the messes they make.
My fellow Americans, you are the people we work for.
These are the values we stand for. These are the priorities we fight for: prosperity, opportunity and security.
With our clear message, Democrats in the House are more united than any time in the last 40 years.
With our clear message, we have already taken two House seats from the Republicans in special elections this year in South Dakota and in Kentucky.
And with our third straight win last week in North Carolina, Democrats are leading the way in turning red states into blue.
We will win, because our house is the party that embodies the values and hopes of our great country.
The American people have wisely rejected the cynical tactic of fear in the time of war and time of economic downturn and in the ongoing struggle against all forms of discrimination.
Democrats do not exploit fear to divide and distract the nation.
In November, the American people will choose hope and unity.
In this fight for the future of our country, we are fortunate to be led by John Kerry, a patriot of vision and courage.
John Kerry loves America. He was willing to sacrifice his life for our country.
As president, he will build a future worthy of the vision of our founding fathers, worthy of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform and worthy of the aspirations of our children.
John Kerry has already shown great judgment in choosing John Edwards, a tireless fighter for the hopes and dreams of America's families.
The story of John Edwards is the story of the American dream. With John Kerry as president, John Edwards as vice president, and a Democratic majority in Congress, hope really is on the way.
My friends, we can win for the American people. We can do it. We can do it.
And on November 2nd, we will do it.
Working together, we will win the House of Representatives and elect the first woman speaker of the House.
Working together, we will win the Senate and make Tom Daschle the majority leader once again.
And working together, we will win the White House by electing John Kerry and John Edwards president and vice president of the United States.
We can do it. We can do it. And working together, we will do it.
Thank you very much. God bless you. God bless America.