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US Senate Victory Speech

Kirsten Gillibrand

November 2, 2010 – New York City 


Thank you, Chairman Jay Jacobs, for your leadership, your kind introduction, and all you’ve done for our great state.

This election is all about who we fight for. 

Over these last two years, I’ve spent time with our families all across our great state. I know how families are struggling. I’ve seen hard-working New Yorkers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and I’ve heard how small businesses are struggling. I understand how working parents are worried about the economy and what kind of state this will be in the future.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. New York has always been first. We can lead a new economic revolution in high tech, biotech, and green energy. 

I want to see “Made in America” again, right here in New York State! 

And we need to start by cutting taxes for small businesses so they can get loans, so they can grow. We need to invest in infrastructure, like high-speed rail and new electric grid and rural broadband.

We need a new commitment for research and development for renewable energy and New York-based technologies to unleash the entrepreneurial, innovative spirit of New Yorkers.

And we need to end policies that ship our good American jobs overseas. 

I haven’t been in Washington very long, but I can tell you – it’s broken. And the challenges we face have never, ever been greater.

We need a new vision for New York. A greater promise for solutions that help for the middle class. And that vision starts with helping the middle class, with tax cuts for middle class families.

We need more transparency, more accountability. We need to eliminate the corrosive influence of the special interests.

And we need to create equal opportunity, so that every child has access to a quality education, after-school programs, and [unintelligible] summer.

We need to protect – no privatize – Social Security so that our seniors will be financially secure.

And we have to fight for our military families and our veterans, including incentivizing to hire young veterans, who 1 out of 5 are unemployed right now.

And we must protect civil rights for all Americans. That means full marriage equality, and men and women can serve in our military and not be dismissed for who they love.

It’s time for a new approach, time to end business as usual, and put middle class New Yorkers ahead of special interests. And focus on solutions, not partisan politics.

Renewing America cannot be done by one person, or even one party. It will take leaders of good faith, ready to work together as Democrats, Republicans, and independents, who set politics and ideology aside, to fight for families as they represent a bright future for all.

I want to thank my opponent, Joe DioGuardi. He is a true New Yorker who wants what’s best for his state. I wish him and his family well.

I have great appreciation for all of the New Yorkers in every part of this state who made their voices heard on this election.

I’m grateful for the trust and the opportunity that you have given me, because I will fight for your families as hard as I fight for my own. 

Many thanks to all the friends and volunteers who worked so hard, knocking on doors, stuffing envelopes, and waving signs for our cause. YOU made the difference in this election.

And I want to give special love and gratitude to my family, who are all here, and to my wonderful husband, Jonathan, and my six-year-old son, Theo, and to my little boy, Henry, who better be in bed.

So I want to thank you all, for everything you’ve done.

And a special thank you to someone who’s in my heart, and that’s my grandmother, Polly Noonan. She was a trailblazer among women, who inspired a generation of women to care about politics and to be heard and to fight for their values and their priorities.

I’m also reminded of all those who came before me, who served this state in this Senate seat, and made such a difference in the lives of so many New Yorkers. From Senator Robert F. Kennedy to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, to my role model and mentor, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It was Secretary Clinton who first inspired me to enter public service, and I’m so thankful to her for her extraordinary leadership. We only have 17 percent women in Congress, and so we need more women to serve, building consensus and taking this country forward.

And a most important and special thank you to Governor Patterson, who gave me this opportunity to serve these last two years.

We have a lot of work to do, and it will not be easy. But if we’ve learned anything from the last two years in Washington, we know that we can make the difference. Yes, we can. 

But together, with my partner and extraordinary friend, Senator Chuck Schumer, and our soon-to-be, new great governor, Andrew Cuomo, we can rebuild New York and renew America’s promise for freedom, opportunity and prosperity for all.

God bless you. Thank you, New York!