Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Washington State Democrats Dinner
February 17, 2003

Good eveningóitís great to be here.

I want to start by saying that I am proud to be here. I am proud to be a Democrat. Are you proud to be a Democrat?

I am proud to be a member of the party that knows our diversity is our strength. The party that cares about everyone and excludes no one. The party that gives people a chance and doesnít believe in giving up on people.

I am proud to be a member of the party that looks beyond self-interest and beyond the privileged. The party that serves all of the people all of the time. The party that is determined to build a brighter future for all of our children through world-class education, universal opportunity, a vibrant economy, a healthy environment and affordable and quality health care.

I am proud to be a member of the party that is committed to equal rights and equal opportunities and believes in a womanís right to choose!

The party that helps the helpless; gives hope to the hopeless; works hard for those without work; respects and protects our elders; and knows that strong and caring communities are the core of a healthy and compassionate society.

The greatest difference between Democrats and Republicans can be seen in President Bushís tax cut for the wealthy:

∑ Almost $700 billion by eliminating the income tax on stock dividends;
∑ The top 1 percent (those making more than $300,000) would get more relief than the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined.

Itís wrong and irresponsible and doesnít create jobs, or tackle the problems of our state and nation.

Democrats in Washington, D.C., and our state want to help everyone, not just the wealthy.

Democrats in Washington state have a public works program to create over 13,000 family wage construction jobs building schools and remodeling and expanding our colleges and universities.

Democrats say letís take part of that $700 billion and give tax relief to low- and middle-income earners. We say use some of that $700 billion to help businesses invest and create jobs.

We say use some of that $700 billion to help states pay for police, education and health care.

We say use some of that $700 billion for thousands of families that have exhausted their unemployment and are still struggling to feed their families.

We say letís use some of that $700 billion for a real prescription drug benefit for all seniors on Medicare Ė NOT the presidentís plan that requires seniors to give up their choice of doctors in order to get prescription drugs.

We donít want to wait for the President and the Republican Congress!

We canít wait!

Thatís why Iím working with Democrats in the Washington State Legislature to pass on Ė to extend Ė the low cost of prescription drugs that the state buys on behalf of state employees and low-income families to cover seniors!

Thereís a real difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are working on behalf of all families and people in our state. Thatís why Iím proud to be a Democrat!

Thank you.

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