Since 1987, Nancy Pelosi has represented California's Eighth District in the House of Representatives. The Eighth District includes most of the City of San Francisco including Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, and many of the diverse neighborhoods that make San Francisco a vibrant and prosperous community. Overwhelmingly elected by her colleagues in the fall of 2002 as Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi is the first woman in American history to lead a major party in the U.S. Congress.
Before being elected Leader, she served as House Democratic Whip for one year and was responsible for the party's legislative strategy in the House. On January 4, 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She has been a proponent of increased investments in health research and authored legislation to create an independent national commission to assess the overall performance of the federal government before, during, and after the September 11 attacks.
Nancy Pelosi: Oh yes. Democrats have for a long time been prepared to govern, ready to lead and determined to make the American people proud. We have been working on our issues for a long time, to think in a big way.
You hear the campaign debates and people talk about specifics of policy and the rest. Here in Congress, we've been talking about a bigger vision, a vision that goes back to our founders. They were, again, entrepreneurial thinkers, big thinkers about the future.
So if we're talking about the creation of jobs, we talk about innovation; they were entrepreneurs, our founders. They believed in public/private partnerships, and we, in that spirit, do as well. It's absolutely essential if our economy is going to grow that that private sector is in the lead on that.
Next we talk about the issue of healthcare. Everybody talks about access to healthcare. Democrats talk about access to what? Democrats in the Congress are talking about a bigger vision, not just healthcare but a healthier America. It's about diet, not diabetes. It's about prevention, not amputation. It's about thinking about how we raise our children and their lifestyle, and how we prevent them from falling victim to dispositions because of bad habits early on. It's about, again, major investments in science, in terms of basic biomedical research and technology, to make sure that every person in America has the customized personalized care he or she needs.
When we talk about building the infrastructure of America, back to our founders--Thomas Jefferson--he had a plan for building the infrastructure, the Erie Canal, the Cumberland Road into the Louisiana Purchase and following the Lewis and Clark expedition. He tasked for that to his Secretary of the Treasury.
A hundred years later, in honor of the centennial, Theodore Roosevelt--another great leader of our country, a Republican--as part of his infrastructure agenda, he established the National Park Service.
A hundred years later, in that tradition, building the infrastructure in a green way takes us to preserving our planet. Again, science and technology and engineering--all of it--coming together to preserve the planet for reasons that relate to our security, our economy, our environmental health and our moral responsibility.
I say it in four words: science, science, science and science.
It's absolutely essential that we have these investments in health sciences and hard sciences so that we can think in a big way about how we go forward. So we're ready. Again, we have the foundation, we have the vision, we have the knowledge, we have the judgment and we have the plan.
And I believe that the American people are with us. And when they learn more about our agenda, more will be with us. And we have the leadership, and when we have a Democratic President, yes we'll be able to lead, govern and make people proud. And we'll do so in a way that lives up to the highest ethical standard, that is fiscally responsible--no new deficit spending--and we'll do so with the most civility and bipartisanship. That's our responsibility to our founders, to the American people and to our future.
Recorded on June 24, 2008
Image via Flickr user Leader Nancy Pelosi.