Congresswoman-Elect Lori Trahan
I am so honored and humbled to stand before you as your next Congresswoman continuing the remarkable service of those before me — Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Marty Meehan, and The Honorable Chet Atkins.
I’ve gotten to know these three leaders over the course of my life, but their advice over this past year has been invaluable to me. You know, one of the gifts of spending a lifetime in this district is getting to see what exceptional representation looks like — what it means to be fiercely devoted to the people you are elected to serve. Your clear-eyed commitment to making government work for everyone has inspired me every step of the way in this campaign.
It’s often said that women can’t be what they don’t see. Niki, I hope that you are particularly proud of tonight’s results — both across the country, and here in Massachusetts. You took this leap 11 years ago — when there weren’t 237 women running nationwide — and became the first woman to represent Massachusetts in Washington in 25 years. On behalf of every woman elected tonight — and every woman who follows in your footsteps — I want to say THANK YOU! Your legacy goes far beyond the lines of this district.
I think about this moment in simple terms. It is the great privilege of my life to be given your vote. And in exchange for that vote, for that trust, I will fight for you and your families and your futures every single day.
· Ensuring health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes and MS;
· Fighting for universal, affordable health care; and affordable prescription drugs we can afford;
· Protecting social security and medicare at all costs, so that our seniors can retire with dignity;
· Creating good paying jobs and infrastructure investments that spur private investment in our cities and towns;
· Making college affordable and providing practical skill training for the jobs of today and tomorrow;
· Passing common sense gun safety laws that keep our children safe
· Funding real solutions to an opioid crisis that’s taking too many of our family members, friends and neighbors;
· Preserving our environment, combating climate change and making sure that future generations have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe;
· Getting to work on real immigration reform that protects Dreamers, extends DACA and provides a pathway to citizenship for law-abiding, tax-paying immigrants who want nothing more than to be a US citizen.
· And Equality — Making sure that everyone no matter their gender, sexual identity, orientation, color, faith, age or nationality feels valued, protected and proud to call America home.
Tonight we heard once again, that people want change. A Congress that works for them; not corporations or special interests; a Congress that prioritizes the economic anxiety affecting our families over partisan politics and gridlock. A Congress that’s committed to working together to get things done for the people it’s designed to serve.
Tonight is a victory for women, but also for working and middle class families, and for the values of hard work and community that have always defined us.
It is also a victory for anyone who believes that America is a place where we take care of each other. Where we have each other’s back. Where we’re in each other’s corner.
Growing up in Lowell, I learned what that meant. I learned how to show up and fight for our families and our values. I learned about grit and perseverance; hard work and fight; community and hope.
Those are the values I learned on Staples Street from my parents; the values that Dave and I pass on to our children and the values I will bring with me to Washington.
Speaking of family… I have some people to thank.
My parents who managed to surround my three sisters and me with so much love and support that we barely noticed living paycheck to paycheck. They taught us to work hard, stand up for what’s right and treat everyone with respect. I know that they’re proud tonight — and I’m proud of them.
My grandparents would also have been proud tonight. They both emigrated here from Portugal; my grandmother worked in the Lowell mills and my grandfather worked as a union carpenter. They would not have believed that their own granddaughter, just two generations later, would be the first woman with Portuguese roots to serve in the US House of Representatives.
My sisters Kim, Amy and Bria; their husbands and beautiful children — Jack, Ava, Ellie and Rosie who motivate me to do my part and then provide the village that makes it possible.
My husband, Dave. There is no section of your wedding vows that covers the demands of a year-long campaign. I am fortunate to have married up, as they say — to someone who truly believes that “the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;” who every day set the conditions for our family to thrive in the face of sacrifice and who so deeply believes in me.
Finally, to the people of this district, whether I’ve earned your vote yet or not. It’s not very fashionable in politics these days to spend much time caring about people who may think differently from you on some things.
But that’s not who I am — that’s not who we are — and when I say Washington needs to work for everyone, I mean everyone.
If you live here, then I have your back. I’m in your corner. The fight of our lives is just beginning, and it’s a great honor to get in the ring for you.
Thank you all.