Election Night Remarks as Delivered by Susan Wild, Congresswoman-Elect for Pennsylvania's 7th District

11/9/2018

Thank you all for being here, thank you for your patience in staying. It’s been a long night, it’s been a long year, it’s been a long day, and I’m just so happy to be here with all of you. It is just such an incredibly exciting moment for me personally, and for all of us here in the 7th District.

Before we get too carried away with the excitement and all of that good stuff, I just want to mention something that happened today that really has me distressed. Many of you may not know this, but an 83-year old woman in Forks Township, who had just cast her ballot, was struck by a vehicle as she went back to her car, and passed away. And my heart breaks, my heart breaks for her and for her family, and the idea that she was just performing her civic duty, that so many people in this district and across the country did today. So, I want us all just for 30 seconds, a moment, to think about Marlene Raub, an 83-year-old woman from Forks Township, and her family who have lost her, as she just completed the most important privilege and right we have as Americans. So if we could just have a few moments to think about her.

Thank you all, my fellow Pennsylvanians, my fellow residents of the 7th District…

Votes are still being counted, but it’s pretty clear that here and across the country we’ve made history. The turnout in this midterm election is on track to be the highest ever recorded. We can’t let this be a one-off, this cannot be a one-off. This has to be a trend that continues in two years and beyond.

Before I say anything further, I want to thank my incredible team, and I am not going to name anyone because you all know what happens when you do that.

I’m just going to say this, thank you to my campaign team, my paid staff, my volunteers, the people who came in from across the country to help us win this election. We have had the most amazing outpouring. I never dreamed when I got into this that this many people would come together to work on this race, and that it mattered so much to so many people. And all I can say to all of you, every single person in this room and every single person who worked on this race: thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tonight is not about one candidate and it’s not about one party. It’s about our entire community rising up and demanding representation that will fight for all of us. With your votes and your shoe leather, and your phone calls and all of the work that you’ve done, you have carried that message throughout our district, and tonight it’s resonating all the way to Washington. From one side of our state to the other -- from one end of our country to the other—a wave of hope is spreading.

It’s hope that we can move away from a profit-driven healthcare system toward a society where high-quality, affordable healthcare is the birthright of every child, woman, and man in our country.

It’s hope that our next Congress will defend the right to organize a union and fight for a decent wage, guarantee our seniors can retire with the dignity they’ve earned, adequately fund our public schools, and ensure that every young person can obtain a higher education—whether it’s college, or the types of community college and apprenticeship programs that we are so known for right here in the 7th District.

It’s about hope that those suffering from opioid addiction will finally see the same kind of support from Washington that we provide to our friends and our neighbors here at home when they need help.

It’s hope that Washington will finally hear the voices of this extraordinary young generation—my kids’ generation, your kids’ generation, your grandchildren's generation. That’s why I got in this race, that’s why I’ve continued in this race, that’s what’s so important to me, that our future generations are left a country that they are deserving of. These next generations are the most diverse, the most inclusive in our history and we should follow their lead toward the future they demand. It’s a future that recognizes the full and unequivocal equality of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. It’s a future where students from Parkland, Florida to Parkland in Pennsylvania can go to school knowing that they are going to be safe. It’s a future of permanent protection for Dreamers; a future in which we will never again separate families or put children in cages or tents. It’s a future that guarantees women the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions. It’s a future that calls upon us to rejoin the rest of the world in protecting our planet from the existential threat of climate change. And it’s a future that says we cannot afford to wait for justice to come to this country: The forces of systemic racism and income inequality will not be easily fought back, but tonight reminds us of the extraordinary power that we have. We need to use that power to stand together, because that’s the only way this democracy works.

In the long months since I got into this race, I’ve been saying, and I’ve said all along, that I was getting in it for my kids and staying in it for yours. That’s the spirit that binds our community—the knowledge that our futures are interconnected. That’s the spirit I want to bring to Congress when I’m sworn in and take this seat.

We need to bring to Congress the same solidarity that unites this community—a spirit that says that we are bound together by something greater than narrow self-interest.

And that’s why right away, we are going to be building a constituent services operation that will be second-to-none in responding to constituents’ needs. Whether you identify as a Republican, an independent, or a Democrat, or none of the above; whether you voted for me, or you did not, I will work as hard as I can to earn your trust, to deliver results for you, and to carry your voice and to represent you.

Tonight, I also want to ask you to join me in another effort that transcends parties, differences of party and politics: and it is this, I want us all to commit to rooting out the prejudice, the bigotry, the hatred that has spread devastation and fear in communities across this country, including just recently with the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue on the other side of our state. Hate has no home here. This is not a partisan issue, it’s not about partisanship, it’s about affirming the inherent dignity and humanity of every single person—no matter how we worship, who we are or who we love, what country our family comes from, or the color of our skin. That’s what we’re going to do.

There’s so much more that brings us together than separates us. There really is, there’s so much more, think about that, there really is more that brings us together than separates us. And we can have rational, respectful debates on issues where we disagree. After all, as a district, this district, the 7th district, we’ve never defined ourselves by lurching reflexively toward hyper-partisanship or cults of personality. We don’t distort or ignore facts to confirm what we already believe—we are pragmatists and we form our views based on evidence. We find strength and purpose in shared values, but we are also, here in the 7th district, independent-minded and we’re skeptical of entrenched power and the status quo. Our independence helps explain why our district has voted for both Republicans and Democrats over the years, and I am convinced it’s one of our greatest strengths.

I want us to draw on that common strength. And I want you to become even more engaged, even more engaged in the process of self-governance that binds our country and our community together. Our community understands that democracy has never been just about voting in elections. It’s about taking care of our own and looking out for our veterans, our seniors, our disabled, our children. It’s about protecting Medicare and Social Security—programs that bind each generation together.

As a community and as a country, I call upon us to stand shoulder-to-shoulder. The work starts right now. Right here and right now. It falls on all of us. And if we pull together and remember that in this community and this country—at our core—we are all bound together by a promise of solidarity, I have no doubt that we can make life better for all of us. With common effort and common purpose, we can shape a future that brings us closer to our highest ideals—a future that we and the future generations can be proud of.

Thank you all so much.

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