Cory Booker: Liberty, justice and opportunity for everyone, equally


In the last three years alone, Donald Trump has instituted a discriminatory, un-American ban on transgender Americans from serving the country they love, his Justice Department has actively fought against protections from employment discrimination for LGBTQ Americans and his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has endangered the safety of transgender students all while Republicans in state legislatures have put forward hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills.

I’m running for president because our LGBTQ community here in Nevada, our immigrant communities and communities like the one I go home to — majority Black and Brown, majority low-income — can’t take four more years of Donald Trump. We must beat him, and if I am your nominee, together, we will.

But we also know that at this moral moment in America, beating Trump is the floor, not the ceiling, of what we must achieve.

If I am your president, we will start by reversing the damage Donald Trump has done — reversing the immoral ban on transgender Americans serving in the military and building a cabinet, from attorney general to secretary of education, who will prosecute hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law and protect all of our children no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.

But we won’t stop there. There is much more work to do.

Everything my administration will do — from judicial nominees to my legislative agenda — will center around the ideals of equality and justice for all. I will work to ensure that LGBTQ people are treated equally at work, in school, and at their doctors’ offices and have equal access to opportunity. In my administration, LGBTQ people will be represented in the rooms where policy decisions are being made.

Together, we will build an immigration system that recognizes the dignity of all people and affirms the rights of LGBTQ asylum seekers. We will build a health care system that ensures that all people can access the health care they need and remove barriers to access to care for LGBTQ Americans.

I will work with Congress to pass the Equality Act into law to ensure that all people are protected by federal civil rights nondiscrimination law. I will work to ensure that the Federal Trade Commission treats so-called “conversion therapy” for what it is — a fraudulent and illegal practice.

And I will treat the epidemic of hate crimes and rising violence against transgender people as the crises they are. As of mid-December, at least 24 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed this year, the vast majority of them transgender women of color. My administration will create the first-ever White House Office on Hate Crimes and White Supremacist Violence, which will focus its efforts on coordinating federal agencies to combat hate crimes and provide support to communities and victims.

I know I can’t do all of this alone, none of us can. The truth is the only way we’ve overcome injustice and beaten bullies before — from Selma, Alabama to the Stonewall Inn — is by joining together, standing together and working together.

And I know that from personal experience — I was raised by parents who had to fight discrimination and work with civil rights activists just to move into the neighborhood and home I grew up in.

My parents always wanted my brother and me to understand that those activists weren’t just fighting for our family’s housing rights, they were fighting for the very ideals of justice and equality in America. They wanted us to know that every fight for justice must be an interdependent one — that we need each other if we’re going to make it and that we are better when we help each other.

With your help, I am building a campaign to beat Donald Trump the only way we ever have — by joining together in common cause and through collective action.

And with your help, we will do more than win an election, we will build a country where liberty, justice and opportunity are finally and fully real for everyone.