We choose both

By Rep. Joe Kennedy III, MA-4

January 30, 2018

When I gave my response last night to the State of the Union, I did so from Fall River, Massachusetts — a proud American city, built by immigrants and hard work.

It was a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects .

Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid. We feel the fault lines of a fractured country, and experience that nagging feeling, no matter our political beliefs: This is not right. This is not who we are.

It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics. But it’s bigger than that. This administration has turned American life into a zero-sum game — where, in order for one to win, another must lose. Where we can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them on families tomorrow. Where we can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice DREAMers.

We are bombarded with one false choice after another: Coal miners or single moms. Rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland.

Here is our answer: We choose both. We fight for both. We work every day to make sure the strongest, richest, greatest nation in the world doesn’t leave anyone behind.

We choose a living wage, paid leave, and affordable child care. We choose pensions that are solvent, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, and good education you can afford.

We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices and brave enough to admit that CEOs making 300 times the average worker is not right.

We choose a health care system that shows mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction.

We choose Fall River, and the thousands of communities across the country whose roads aren’t paved with power or privilege, but with honest effort, good faith, and the resolve to build something better for their kids.

We choose the highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal, and we all count.

That is our choice. That is who we are. And it’s time to fight for it.

We don’t have a day to waste. Let’s get to work.

Thank you.

Congressman Joe Kennedy III