Transcript: Remarks by Steve Westly at the Democratic National Convention
Transcript of remarks by Steve Westly, former State Controller and Chief Financial Officer of California, at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, September 5, 2012:
Good evening, fellow Democrats. I’m proud to be from Silicon Valley, California, a place built on ideas, innovation and daring, home to Oracle and Apple, Google and Facebook–and a small, online flea market I helped build, called eBay. EBay is the perfect place for vintage items, heirlooms, historical relics–you know, like the Republican Party platform.
Where I’m from, we dream big. We think different. And we invest in a future filled with possibility. President Obama understands that future. He knows that this election is about creating jobs today. That’s why he’s helped create 4.5 million of them, growing the economy from the middle out, not the top down. But he also knows that it’s about supporting the jobs of tomorrow. It’s about making sure kids in Charlotte can compete with kids in Shanghai. As a businessperson from the most dynamic and entrepreneurial place in the world, I can tell you this: no one has done more to help America win that competition than President Obama.
He understands that creating the jobs of the future is about making education, especially math and science, a top priority. That means setting higher standards, providing more support to teachers and schools, and challenging states to innovate. Because when it comes to education, we should be beating the rest of the world, not beating up on teachers. It’s about investing in research and development, so that from the dorm room to the boardroom, America can lead the world in developing new technologies. That’s why the president has committed to accelerating research and proposed making the R&D tax credit permanent.
It’s about championing the exports of our entrepreneurs, because good jobs at home come from selling more goods abroad. Four years ago, President Obama pledged to double American exports by 2015. Today, we’re more than 60 percent of the way there. In Olney, Texas, a small company that sells firefighting and crop-dusting airplanes has increased their exports by 50 percent. As their CFO said, “If we can do it in a town that has three stoplights and one Dairy Queen, we can do it anywhere.” And I promise you, thanks to this president, we will.
And creating good jobs means training and retraining workers to succeed in a new century. That’s why the president has proposed supporting partnerships between community colleges and businesses to expand training for workers in high-growth sectors. Mitt Romney and his Republican friends don’t understand this 21st century economy. We open source. They outsource. We welcome the immigrants who build our businesses. Romney demands they “self-deport.” We’re building an economy to last. They’re chasing the last bubble.
Today, over 300,000 Americans earn a living designing computer and smartphone apps. Once upon a time, if you had suggested playing a game where you sling birds at pigs, they might have put you in an institution. Now you might become successful enough to endow an institution. So in the public school district where my two children go to school, we wanted to offer a grade school course on designing apps. But none of the teachers knew how. So two seventh graders created their own class–and they’ve been oversubscribed ever since.
Our kids are leading the way. It’s up to us to match their creativity with our commitment. We need a President who understands how to make their dreams a reality and build a brighter future for us all. That’s why America needs Barack Obama.