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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Andrew Gillum addresses Democratic convention

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum addresses the DNC

Alex Leary | Times

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum addresses the DNC

27

July

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum addressed the Democratic National Convention this afternoon. His prepared remarks:

As I prepared for tonight, I thought back on the path that led me to this moment. Born the fifth of seven kids in Miami to my daddy, a construction worker, and my mama, a school bus driver. My parents worked their entire lives to provide me and my siblings with greater opportunities than they had ever been afforded. 

They dared us to fly higher than they could see – and to always pay it forward. I can still hear my grandmother's voice telling me to "go to school, mind my teachers, get my lesson, and bring that education home – for my brothers, my baby sister, and the kids down the street."

It was a reminder that if we were going to get anywhere, we would get there together. My friends, this is the story of our party. And it's what drives our nominee.

Hillary Clinton has shown us her heart, her strength, and her passion for this country's future. A future which means more to me now than ever before. Because in addition to being Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, the capital city of our nation's third largest state, I'm also a father. Along with my wife R. Jai, we are raising two-year-old twins, Jackson and Caroline.

So when I head to the voting booth, they are coming with me. Because I want them to know that I'm not just casting my vote for Hillary Clinton and my fellow Democrats, I am casting my vote for them. 

Ensuring the future they deserve will require leadership that can unify and inspire us. That can build on this country's best instincts for inclusion and optimism. The world can feel scary enough – without so-called leaders inciting fear for political gain.

Every day, black parents send their sons out with a deep sense of anxiety, hoping they will return safely. And every day, police officers kiss their loved ones heading to work – holding that same hope and fear in their hearts. 

In these times of anger and fear, we can't afford retreat to our respective corners. We can't let this animosity grow. And we've seen examples of communities and law enforcement coming together during a crisis to grieve together and help each other heal. That is how it is supposed to work – and it's on all of us to make that a reality in our communities.

Because in the end, we all want the same things. Our fates are inextricably tied together. And with the right leadership, we can renew our trust in one another once more. 

I believe with every fiber of my being that Hillary Clinton is the leader we need.

So on that Inauguration Day – I look forward to holding my babies tight – watching history unfold before their eyes and shouting with you toward the stage, "Congratulations, Madam President!"

Thank you, and God bless!

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5:21pm]

    

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