READ: Maura's speech from the 2017 MDP Convention

06.08.2017

Remarks of Attorney General Maura Healey
State Democratic Convention
DCU Center, Worcester, MA
Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hello Democrats!
Thank you!

It’s an honor to be with you and I am so proud to be a democrat!

Thank you Bita for that introduction . . . and for being here as a first-time delegate! Let’s give it up for the first-time delegates!

Democrats, as I look around this room, I see the face of resistance!

But I see something else too -- I see the face of resolve – resolve to fight for values and the principles that truly make this country great.

Opportunity . . . equality . . . prosperity . . . and dignity for every man, woman, and child.

For all the uncertainty in our nation right now . . . for all the challenges that we face . . . one thing has always been clear: Massachusetts fights back!


When our values are threatened, that’s what we do.

We step up! We act! And we lead!

Ten years ago, we forced the Bush Administration to regulate greenhouse gases.

A few years after that, we put together the first successful challenge to DOMA.

And today, Massachusetts is on the front lines again.

The day after his inauguration, I warned Donald Trump that if he tried to follow through on his plans – Massachusetts had a message for him. You remember that message?

We’ll see you in court!

But I have to admit it – I didn’t know it would be so often or so soon!

In fact, just a week later, the President signed his discriminatory and illegal travel ban.

So we took him to court.

When he tried to rewrite the ban, we took him to court again.

And so far, the scoreboard reads: Massachusetts two, Donald Trump zero!

We didn’t stop there.

He put middle class families at risk by siding with the big banks.

So we took him to court.

He’s tried to roll back environmental protections;

So we take him to court.

And if the President thinks he can take away health care from millions of Americans . . . or defund Planned Parenthood . . . I’ve got some news for President Trump.

You better believe me: we’ll see you in court!

Now President Trump has backed out of the Paris Agreement and broken our commitments to the world and generations to come.

I don’t know what planet he’s living on – but for the rest of us there is no Planet B.

Democrats, we have a moral obligation to defend the one planet that we’ve got.

This is our moment, a moment here and across this country, to rise up! To fight! To lead on behalf of our children and our future!

Are you going to fight back with me? I know you will and that’s why I love you and that’s why I love the Democratic Party.

But Democrats, we know that being the first line of defense is not enough.

Playing basketball, I learned that playing defense, sometimes the best defense you can play, is a great offense. And that’s what we’re going to do.

We are going to keep working together . . . for a state and a country that works for all our families.

Because here in Massachusetts folks, good enough has never been good enough!

When times are tough, we dig deep.

We fight for equality, we take on injustice, we expand opportunities for the next generation.

We lead with our values and we never, ever let bullies push us around.

That’s our history!

That’s why we tossed tea into the harbor . . . why we fired the shot heard ‘round the world ... why we created public education . . . why we were the first to declare that love is love … and health care is a right for all.

These were not easy fights, we know.

But as one of Massachusetts’ greatest Democrats – a man whose 100th birthday we celebrated earlier this week – put it: “We do these things not because they are easy . . . but because they are hard.”

Democrats, now more than ever, we have to do the hard things and we will do the hard things.

And along the way, I’ve met thousands of people who are counting on us to do just that.

I think about Kathy Boluch, from Cohasset.

Because we need to do the hard work of fighting for our families.

A few years ago, Kathy was a single mom and she was driving her car while struck by a drunk driver.

She went to a dealership to find a replacement.

Instead, she got a subprime loan.
Within a couple of years, she owed $10 grand on a car worth $750 bucks.

Kathy wasn’t alone – there are 2,000 people like her in Massachusetts, who were victims of the same scheme.

This spring, we recovered $22 million for Kathy and for families like hers.

That’s what I’m talking about Democrats.

That’s what it means to find for people, fight for families and give them a fair shot.

I think about Danielle Ramos from Framingham.

Because we need to do the hard work of fighting for students and young people.

Danielle had dreams of becoming a medical assistant – she went to a for-profit school that promised to put her on the path to success.

But the school was a scam. One day, she showed up and the school had simply shut its doors.

She was left with nothing but $15,000 in loans.

So we took the school to court, and helped cancel $30 million in student loan debt --including Danielle’s.

Now, somehow, Betsy DeVos hasn’t heard about this, doesn’t think this is her problem.

Her only agenda we know is to privatize and profiteer off of American students and families.

But as I travel around our state, I meet people everywhere who are drowning in student loan debt, so Democrats we are not going to let this happen.

Massachusetts is the higher education capital of the world.

And we are going to fight, Democrats, for Danielle and for students and families everywhere.

And finally, I want to talk to you about my friend Andrew McCall, from Attleboro.

Because we need to do the hard work – the life-saving work – of beating the opioid epidemic.
Andrew is one of the thousands of people in our state impacted by this disease.

Like many, his drug use started early.

He spent his teenage years in detox multiple times and ended up living on the Boston Common.

Every single day, we hear stories like Andrew’s – of a promising young person caught up in addiction . . . maybe in our family, maybe among friends or coworkers or in our neighborhood.

That’s why, since day one, we’ve made tackling this epidemic our top priority.

We’re helping people get into treatment, expanding access to Narcan, and changing prescribing practices.

But our best strategy is also our simplest: to stop addiction before it starts.

That’s why my office is funding opioid education and prevention programs for young people across Massachusetts.

That is why this week Andrew and I stood together with the G.E. Foundation to expand those programs to every single middle school in Massachusetts.

Democrats, we are the party that gets it, that understands the need to take care of and to care for our brothers and sisters.

That’s why we fought for health care, that’s why I fight for Andrew, and that’s why together we are going to do right by families all across the state when it comes to dealing with real issues of substance use and mental health. Are you with me? I know you are!

And that is why, Democrats, it is shameful that President Trump and the House Republicans see fit to make those cuts in their budgets.

We are going to keep speaking out. We are going to keep standing up. And we are going to continue to be the party that cares about people and that invests in people.

As we gather today, we have some unprecedented challenges – I know it, we know it. We haven’t seen some of this stuff before.

We also have some choices to make.

We have to choose whether we are going to continue to do the hard things, as President Kennedy called on us to do.

Are you ready to do these hard things?

Are you ready to lead with our values?

Are you ready to fight for families and young people?

Are you ready to knock on those doors . . . make those phone calls . . . and get Democrats elected next this year and next up and down the ballot?

I know you are.

This is a time of consequence.

The actions that we take, the decisions that we make, will chart the course for the America we build and the world that we lead.

So let us remember that our state and our country were founded in times of strife and resistance.

And out of that struggle liberty and freedom were born.

Let’s remember when our house was most divided . . . the path to equality opened.

Let’s remember that America is great – not because we look back, but because we look forward.

That is the promise of the Democratic Party.

That is the promise of Massachusetts.

That is the promise of America.

That is why Democrats, now is our time!

God bless this party! God bless Massachusetts! And God bless the United States of America!

Thank you for all you do!


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