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Home > impact on women / resistance > US elections 2020 ’This is our moment … I love you’: Cori Bush’s electrifying (...)

US elections 2020 ’This is our moment … I love you’: Cori Bush’s electrifying victory speech

Friday 6 November 2020, by siawi3

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/05/cori-bush-congresswoman-st-louis-missouri-speech?utm_term=dd5927d0ffc57c31e294b8943521e3bc&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayAUS&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTAU_email

US elections 2020
’This is our moment … I love you’: Cori Bush’s electrifying victory speech

She’s a single mom. She’s a nurse. She was a Covid patient. And now she’s the first Black woman from Missouri to be elected to Congress. This is what she said on election night

Photo: Cori Bush

Thu 5 Nov 2020 17.57 GMT
Last modified on Fri 6 Nov 2020 01.07 GMT

Cori Bush delivers electrifying victory speech: ’This is our moment … I love you’ – video here 5:26

I was running … I was that person running for my life across a parking lot, running from an abuser. I remember hearing bullets whizz past my head and at that moment I wondered: “How do I make it out of this life?”
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I was uninsured. I’ve been that uninsured person, hoping my healthcare provider wouldn’t embarrass me by asking me if I had insurance. I wondered: “How will I bear it?”

I was a single parent. I’ve been that single parent struggling paycheck to paycheck, sitting outside the payday loan office, wondering “how much more will I have to sacrifice?”

I was that Covid patient. I’ve been that Covid patient gasping for breath, wondering, “How long will it be until I can breathe freely again?”

I’m still that same person. I’m proud to stand before you today knowing it was this person, with these experiences, that moved the voters of St Louis to do something historic. St Louis: my city, my home, my community. We have been surviving and grinding and just scraping by for so long, and now this is our moment to finally, finally start living and growing and thriving. So, as the first Black woman, nurse, and single mother to have the honor to represent Missouri in the United States Congress, let me just say this. To the Black women. The Black girls. The nurses. The single mothers. The essential workers. This. Is. OUR. Moment.

Six years ago, St Louis captured the eyes and ears of the entire world during the Ferguson uprising. We could not stand the injustice any longer, so – in the tradition of every one of our ancestors who fought for a better world – we organized for Michael Brown, Jr. We organized for 400 days, side by side, arm in arm, St Louis strong. And now in the face of a global pandemic and relentless attacks on our right to vote, we organized all the way to the ballot box. We mailed in our ballots, we voted absentee, we reached our families, friends, neighbors, and peers – and we showed up … St Louis strong.

For years, we’ve lived under leadership that shut us out of our own government. For years, we’ve been left out in the cold: protesting in the streets, sleeping in our cars or tents, working three part-time jobs just to pay the bills. And today, today, we, all of us, are headed to Congress - St Louis strong!

My message today is to every Black, Brown, immigrant, queer, and trans person, and to every person locked out of opportunities to thrive because of oppressive systems; I’m here to serve you. To every person who knows what it’s like to give a loved one that “just make it home safely baby” talk; I love you.

We’ll meet the challenges of this moment as a movement: side by side, arm in arm, with our fists in the air

To every parent facing a choice between putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their head; I’m here to serve you. To every precious child in our failing foster system: I love you.

To every teacher doing the impossible to teach through this pandemic; I’m here to serve you. To every student struggling to the finish line; I love you.

To every differently abled person denied equal access; I love you.

To every person living unhoused on the streets; I love you.

To every family that’s lost someone to gun violence; I love you.

To every person who’s lost a job, or a home, or healthcare, or hope; I love you.

It is the greatest honor of my life to accept the responsibility to serve every single person across Missouri’s first congressional district, as your first-ever Black congresswoman-elect. This is our moment.

Tonight, we the people are victorious. We, we the people are going to Congress. Because we the people have committed to a vision of America that works for all of us. An America that treats every person with respect. That recognizes healthcare as a human right. That believes every person deserves food to eat, a home to live in, and a dignified life. Our America will be led not by the small-mindedness of a powerful few, but the imagination of a mass movement that includes all of us. That is the America we are fighting for.

Everything I do begins with those who have the least, who’ve suffered the worst, and who have the greatest to offer. Why? Because I myself have lived paycheck to paycheck. I struggled for years under the burden of student debt. I’ve been evicted by landlords. I’ve worried about how I was going to put food on the table for my two kids. I’ve been underinsured and uninsured. And for every one of those stories that I can tell you about my life, I know there are thousands more in our community. And those are the stories that I am carrying with me and will uplift in the People’s House as your congresswoman.

It is my job now to serve you – not just lead, not just demand, but serve you.

This moment is brought to us by us – by our movement for social, racial and economic justice. Now, our movement is going to Congress. And we will meet the challenges of this moment as a movement: side by side, arm in arm, and with our fists in the air – ready to serve each other until every single one of us is free.

This is a written version of the victory speech Cori Bush gave on 3 November