Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended the Congressional Black Caucus swearing-in ceremony today in recognition of the opening day of the 111th Congress. Below are her remarks as prepared.
“What an exciting time. Congratulations to all of the Members of our Congressional Black Caucus. Congratulations to the new Chair of the Caucus, Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California.
“Chairwoman Lee, I know you will continue the good work of your formidable predecessor, Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan. While you have a great model ahead of you, I know that you will make your own mark and carry on the great tradition of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Congresswoman Kilpatrick, I am grateful for your leadership in taking America in a New Direction - whether in ensuring aid for the Gulf Coast, or expanding Pell Grants.
“At the same time, I would also like to congratulate Congressman Kendrick Meek of Florida for his leadership and characteristic enthusiasm at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation for the past two years, particularly in the area of reaching out to young people by strengthening the internship and scholarship program.
“Dr. Johnnetta Cole, thank you for your work on behalf of justice and equality for all people, educating our children, and economically empowering women.
“Terri Rouse, thank you for your tremendous leadership with the Capitol Visitors Center.
“It is a special honor for us to be joined today by Martin L. King, III. Together, we will continue to work until your father's dream is fully realized.
“Two weeks from now, when Barack Obama takes the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol, he will look down the long stretch of the National Mall and see the steps of the Lincoln Memorial from which Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called us to the deepest truth of our founding dream. We will celebrate that moment, but it is only a beginning.
“With the CBC in the lead, we will immediately get to work on - as you say - changing course, confronting crises, and continuing the Legacy.
“Thank you, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Because of you - yes we can.”