The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - SOURCE: James Cly­burn

“Dear Demo­cratic Col­league: Con­grat­u­la­tions on your elec­tion to the 116th Congress!

Last night, the Amer­i­can peo­ple sent a clear and pow­er­ful mes­sage, elect­ing a Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity with a man­date to re­store the fun­da­men­tal good­ness of our govern­ment. The pri­mary goal of our new ma­jor­ity is to make Amer­ica’s great­ness ap­ply fairly and eq­ui­tably to all Amer­i­cans. With this sin­gu­lar goal in mind, I am declar­ing my can­di­dacy for Ma­jor­ity Whip and ask­ing for your sup­port.

The Mem­bers of the Demo­cratic Cau­cus are up to this chal­lenge. We will stop the as­sault on our demo­cratic norms, our in­sti­tu­tions and the rule of law. We will faith­fully ex­e­cute our Con­sti­tu­tional du­ties and re­store the sys­tem of checks and bal­ances that the Founders de­signed and that our Repub­lic re­quires.

The men and women of the 116th Congress will be the most di­verse ever, with more women, peo­ple of color and LGBTQ col­leagues tak­ing the oath of of­fice than ever be­fore. The tal­ents and life ex­pe­ri­ences that you bring to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives will build a rep­re­sen­ta­tive govern­ment that is of the peo­ple, by the peo­ple and for the peo­ple.

Through­out my life, I have been fight­ing for an Amer­ica that lives up to its found­ing ideals. Through­out this cy­cle, I have in­voked the words of Alexis de Toc­queville, who wrote in his great work, Democ­racy in Amer­ica; “The great­ness of Amer­ica lies not in be­ing more en­light­ened than any other na­tion, but rather in her abil­ity to re­pair her faults.”

Through­out this cam­paign, I have had con­ver­sa­tions with our col­leagues, as well as with nearly all of the newly elected Fresh­man class. In these dis­cus­sions I have heard a strong de­sire for bold, de­ci­sive lead­er­ship to “re­pair our na­tion’s faults:”

End the cor­ro­sive in­flu

ence of money and spe­cial in­ter­ests on our democ­racy

Break the grid­lock in

Congress, make the Rules of the House more open, trans­par­ent and in­clu­sive for all Mem­bers and to build bi­par­ti­san sup­port for our agenda when pos­si­ble

Em­power Chair­women,

Chair­men, Fresh­men and ev­ery­one in be­tween to be leg­is­la­tors and change agents, rather than sim­ply vot­ers

Op­pose the Pres­i­dent

when he is wrong, and work with him when we can find com­mon ground to strengthen our coun­try

and Most im­por­tantly,

im­ple­ment a strong, com­pelling Demo­cratic agenda that res­onates with all Amer­i­cans.

I am pre­pared to work with ev­ery cor­ner of our di­verse Cau­cus to shape poli­cies that al­low us to achieve con­sen­sus. As the only mem­ber of lead­er­ship from a red state and a largely ru­ral dis­trict, I am uniquely po­si­tioned to help bring our cau­cus to­gether, to marry strong pro­gres­sive val­ues with prag­matic so­lu­tions that can cross our ide­o­log­i­cal, geo­graphic and cul­tural di­vides.

The Amer­i­can peo­ple are de­mand­ing so­lu­tions on health­care, an in­clu­sive econ­omy, stu­dent debt and many other press­ing chal­lenges. How­ever, the over­rid­ing con­cern I have heard on the cam­paign trail is that the fun­da­men­tal good­ness and de­cency of Amer­ica is un­der threat.

Our vic­tory on Tues­day night was about restor­ing the good­ness of Amer­ica to our govern­ment. The good­ness of Amer­ica is her great­ness. This is our charge, and my chal­lenge to you. I look for­ward to speak­ing with you about my can­di­dacy and re­ceiv­ing your per­spec­tives on the op­por­tu­ni­ties that lie ahead.

But for now, en­joy and sa­vor this tremen­dous vic­tory! Wel­come to the 116th Congress. Let’s make his­tory to­gether.

With kind­est re­gards, I am


James E. Cly­burn”

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