The following is a transcript of a speech, as prepared for delivery, by Alice Germond, secretary of the Democratic National Committee at the Democratic National Convention.
As secretary of this convention, it is my job tonight to establish that all 56 delegations are in the hall. Please sign in and vote present as I continue to speak.
We are a convention that looks like America—every race and every ethnic background. We are veterans and small-business owners, nurses, farmers and teachers, artists and inventors, and firefighters and factory workers.
We fight for the middle class and the American dream. And that is why we support President Barack Obama: because time and again, he has made the tough decisions to move our country forward.
When President Obama took office our economy was in free-fall, losing 800,000 jobs a month. Since then we have added 4.5 million private-sector jobs. We've had 29 straight months of job growth. And President Obama has passed 18 tax cuts for small businesses, helping them grow and hire unemployed workers, especially our veterans.
When others said it couldn't be done, President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act, which is already preventing the worst insurance company abuses. For the first time, it will be illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions or to cancel your coverage if you get really sick and need it the most.
And when Mitt Romney said, "Let Detroit go bankrupt," President Obama refused to give up on America's heartland and saved over a million jobs in our auto industry. Now, our auto companies are posting record sales and hiring back American workers.
As we gather as one convention, we stand together—men and women, the young and the young at heart, gay and straight, of all faiths and creeds, from small towns, big cities and everything in between, united by our love for America, determined to fight for the middle class and create an economy from the middle out and not from the top down.
There is much work left to be done. But working together with President Barack Obama's leadership, we can look toward an America whose future will shine brightly for generations to come.
Our system has now completed the tally, and all 56 delegations are present. I am proud to report we now have a quorum for this, the 46th Democratic National Convention.
Thank you. It is an honor to serve as your secretary.