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Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party, Susan Montee (center left) and Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor (right) at the pre-dinner reception for the Missouri Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner in St. Louis on Friday night.

Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor (D), one of the fourteen, was a featured speaker at the Missouri Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner in St. Louis on Friday night.


Video by hotflash.

The transcript:

Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor (D):  [applause] [cheers] Hello Missouri!  [cheers] Oh my goodness, it is good to be with friends. Thank you so much. [voice: “Solidarity!”] That’s what I’m talking about. Solidarity, man. Power to the people. [applause] [voice: “Yeah!”] I have to tell you Democrats it’s wonderful to be with you. I have been at ground zero. I have been right in the midst of the fight. And it is good to be among friends. Thank you for having me. [applause]

I’m here to remind you, Missouri, I’m here to remind you Democrat, Democrats that this is our wakeup call. Bzzzzzzzzzzzz. [applause] Hear me! Hear the clarion call that this is our wakeup call. This is our moment to stand, to lead, to act. Forty plus years ago Martin Luther King was fighting for workers’ rights. He was fighting for access for people. He died in that fight, in that struggle. And today, in twenty eleven we fight the same fights. This is a fight for our nation. This is a fight for America, for her Democracy, and for the American dream. Not as individuals, but as brothers and sisters of a party, of a party that must stand up and heed the call of a nation that must fight for what is right. Access to education, access to health care, access to resources, access to jobs, access to Democracy, yes, Democracy in the workplace [applause] for workers’ rights.[cheers] We need access in America not just for the CEO but for the average Joe.[applause] My governor picked up the phone thought he was talking to the Koch brothers, he’s a really smart guy. Twenty minutes he talked to the Koch brothers but he didn’t have time for the average person from our state to talk to him. He revealed that this is a national agenda for the GOP, corporations over people, profits over people, budget cuts over the needy, of our constituents, of the people, the ordinary, average Joe. Tax credits for corporations while we give tax increases to our constituents and cuts to services. This is a national fight, but it doesn’t just end with what you saw in the Spring.

They’re the party that says we can’t. We can’t believe in it, we can’t sustain it, we can’t build it, we can’t, we can’t, we can’t fund education, we can’t fund health care. They’re the party of we can’t. But, Missouri, I’m here to say, this is our wakeup call. We need all hands on deck. Or maybe I should say, like Sarah Palin, except I actually know who Paul Revere is [laughter][inaudible]. The Republicans are coming! The Republicans are coming! [cheers][applause]

We must stand, we must lead, we must vote, we must act. America doesn’t need a we can’t attitude, we need a we can do it kind of thinkers. People who’ll say we can have clean energy, we can educate every child in a quality way [applause]. We can keep peace without creating war, we can care about the poor without creating dependency, and yes, we can honor the dignity of work and the right to negotiate [applause][cheers] in the workplace.

Wisconsin got in the spotlight as fourteen senators left. And let me tell you, they said we left on a bus. We didn’t. We drove in our cars, but I drove with Senator Carpenter. And I just need to digress for one moment and say, ladies, I didn’t believe, and gentlemen, I didn’t believe the stereotype that guys don’t know directions, [laughter] they don’t know, they won’t stop. I didn’t believe the stereotypes. But since I was later, when I never made it to Rockford, but I was in Illinois, I turned to Senator Carpenter and I said, I think you need some help. [laughter] We finally got to Illinois and it was our haven. It was the place the place we went so we could slow the bill down so the nation, we didn’t know at the time, but so Wisconsinites could know what was happening. But in time Wisconsinites stood up and they made a movement. And the nation responded.

And now I need to say to you we need to have more individuals who have the kind of values that governors like Governor [Jay] Nixon [voice: “Yeah!”] [applause][cheers]. Yes. Like Governor Gaylord Nelson or Governor Bob La Follette or Governor Francis Perkins or how about President Roosevelt or President Clinton or, I know, Missouri’s all time favorite, President Truman. [cheers][applause] We [inaudible].

I came today Missouri to say that this is our time to act. I want to paraphrase Ghandi for a second and say, we can, we must be the change we wish to see in our world, in our states, in our cities, in our communities. [Wisconsin] Governor [Scott] Walker [R], Governor Walker from my state has championed Robin Hood in the reverse, and I mean to say to you that we can do better. We must. And together [applause] we can, Democrats.

Do you see the need that I speak to? Will you be a part of that effort? Will you stand up with Wisconsin? Will you give another dollar to your party? Will you make more calls? Will you find some time to do a little more, to stand, to lead, to act? Will you help save America? ‘Cause this is our moment. You do realize that they’re watching what happens in ground zero in Wisconsin? And if they win there, they’ll use it as a template everywhere coming to a place near you. And I’m saying, bzzzzzzzz, this is our wakeup call [applause], Democrats.

In the midst of this entire battle Reverend [Jesse] Jackson came to Wisconsin. And he told us about the sanitation workers that Martin Luther King worked with. And I was really taken by that. But he said a small thing kind of in passing that really touched me. He said, you know, people don’t die in deep water because the water is deeper, they die because they stop kicking. Wisconsin, Missouri, I’ve come to report, has not stopped kicking. [cheers][applause]

I need you to know just yesterday in the middle of the budget hearing that we had people who actually locked themselves to the banisters. One by their, both by their neck, they locked themselves so that they could continue to chant in the chambers. Now, that was extreme. But I just want you to know that that’s what the people of Wisconsin are doing. That they are saying that they will not go easy, that they will kick all the way. And I’m coming to tell you that we need your help. Missouri, will you say it, with Wisconsin, to help us keep kicking? [applause][cheers] Will you say it with us? I hope the answer is yes. I believe that Democrats are the only way we can take it back. So when I say Demo, you say crats.

[Demo-crats cheer]

Who’s going to take America back?

[Demo-crats cheer]

Who’s going to take America back?

[Demo-crats cheer]

Thank you, so much Missouri. [applause][cheers]

Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor (D).