transcript of mike honda's dnc speech

The following is a transcript of a speech, as prepared for delivery, by The Honorable Mike Honda yesterday at the Democratic National Convention:
My name is Mike Honda. I am a proud Sansei Democrat and a Silicon Valley Congressman. But above all, I'm a teacher.

One of my proudest moments was when I received keys to my first classroom. It was high quality public education that allowed this son of strawberry sharecroppers, raised in the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, to grow up to become a Peace Corps volunteer, a Vice Chair of the DNC, and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Education is the gateway to the American dream. Barack knows first-hand that immigrant families – Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, African and others – can attain the American dream through a quality, equitable education, and hard work. Barack's story of promise and opportunity proves that education can be the great equalizer. Sadly, over the past eight years, the misguided Bush/McCain priorities have bled our schools' resources dry, shutting down that gateway to success, and hijacking our children's capacity to achieve the American dream.

We are now at a crossroads. We can either continue on a path of failed policies with John McCain, or, for the change we need, we can elect Barack Obama president. America is in dire need of leadership. Barack knows that education leads to innovation, a critical engine of our economy. His ability and his vision will help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to obtain a quality education. Barack will fight for our children's future.

Rather than burning through billions of dollars on failed foreign policies and an open-ended war, Barack knows that the real war to be fought is for the education of our children, the future of America's economic health. He is committed to developing the teachers of tomorrow from among the brightest in our classrooms today and preparing, retaining and rewarding every teacher in America for their service.

In 1965, President Kennedy's call to service led me to build schools in El Salvador. Now, though my hair is gray, I am inspired again. With Barack Obama and Joe Biden as our ticket - yes, there is hope for the change we need!

Thank you, Senator Obama, for unlocking the imagination and idealism of all generations of Americans, including our Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Thank you for inspiring us to be a critical part of your journey to victory this November. And thank you for your commitment to education, for knowing the strength of America's tomorrow lies in the classrooms of today.
The call him "The Godfather." Here's also video (fuzzy audio) of the Congressman speaking at the DNC AAPI Caucus. More convention coverage to come...

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