HYATTSVILLE, MD -- Today, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) hosted his 16th annual Women's Equality Day Luncheon, with keynote speaker Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. Below are his opening remarks as prepared for delivery.
“Good morning. The Fifth District Women’s Equality Luncheon is one of my favorite events of the year. And in 2018, we are coming together to celebrate the anniversary of women’s suffrage at a moment when women across Maryland and America are stepping up in record numbers to run for public office. Already, 2018 is being called the ‘Year of the Woman’ with regard to the upcoming elections. And that’s a good thing. A very good thing.
“Because when women step up and serve, our communities and our country benefit from women’s perspectives and experience. In my capacity as a leader of House Democrats, I’ve been traveling across the country this year to campaign for dozens of extraordinary women running for Congress. They are state and local elected officials, business leaders, educators, military veterans, mothers, and concerned citizens. Many of them are running this year because they’ve seen the challenges facing our country not being adequately addressed by the Trump Administration or the Republican Congress.
“Challenges like gun violence, a broken immigration system, a lack of jobs and opportunities, and sabotage of the Affordable Care Act. They’re running for safer schools, more affordable health care and child care, equality in the workplace, and equal pay for equal work. And I hope to welcome all of them to Congress next year.
“Because the only way America is going to change – the only way we can strengthen our communities and our country – is if we elect more Democratic women to office. The time for a new direction for our country is now. The time for a new majority in Congress that will stand up to President Trump is now. And the time for a Democratic firewall against overturning Roe v. Wade and efforts to take away rights from immigrant women, working women, and LGBT women is now.
“Friends, the time is now to take the energy of the women’s marches and the student-led march for our lives and other grassroots efforts and transform it into an all-out effort to register voters and turn out the vote. Women are on the ballot in record numbers – to help them win, we need to make sure women go to the polls in record numbers and volunteer in record numbers too. I’ve been so proud to work alongside you over the years to protect women’s access to affordable health care, to combat domestic violence, and to fight for equal pay and to end discrimination.
“All of these victories are now under attack, and the time is now to push back and defend what we’ve achieved and keep moving the ball forward together. And together we will stand up to defend that right that our foremothers fought so hard to secure – the right of every American to vote.
“As we mark this anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, let us find comfort and strength in the lesson that when our people come together to demand change, change happens. The power is in our hands. The time is now. Thank you!”