For an economy built to last we must invest in what will fuel us for generations to come. This is our history - from the Transcontinental Railroad to the Hoover Dam, to the dredging of our ports and building of our most historic bridges - our American ancestors prioritized growth and investment in our nation's infrastructure.
You have to understand the Newark Riots - a lot of people understand that the pain was the initial explosion of anger and alienation, but after that, the response, sending the National Guard troops - a lot of violence was carried out and perpetrated by those who were allegedly coming here to protect residents.
If you look at great human civilizations, from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union, you will see that most do not fail simply due to external threats but because of internal weakness, corruption, or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse.
We choose forward. We choose inclusion. We choose growing together. We choose American economic might and muscle, standing strong on the bedrock of the American ideal: a strong, empowered and ever-growing middle class.
I'm a person that's grounded in faith and believe that my core values, motivation, inspiration, draw from a conception of the world in that way.
In America we have a Declaration of Independence, but our history, our advancements, our global strength all point to an American declaration of interdependence.
There is too much disagreement for disagreement's sake. In a time of persistent challenges that still call into question our most sacred aspirations as a country, we cannot afford shallow callous divisiveness in our public debate.
This is our history - from the Transcontinental Railroad to the Hoover Dam, to the dredging of our ports and building of our most historic bridges - our American ancestors prioritized growth and investment in our nation's infrastructure.
No matter who you are, no matter what your color, creed, how you choose to pray or who you choose to love, that if you are an American - first generation or fifth - one who is willing to work hard, play by the rules and apply your God-given talents - that you should be able to find a job that pays the bills.
You should be able to afford health care for your family. You should be able to retire with dignity and respect. And you should be able to give your children the kind of education that allows them to dream even bigger, go even farther and accomplish even more than you could ever imagine.
I'm going to have setbacks and failures; I'm not going to see change right away all of the time or most of the time. But everybody I've ever respected has failed at one thing or another. I've definitely fallen on my face. But I've also had a comparatively easy life.
Our platform calls for a balanced deficit reduction plan where the wealthy pay their fair share. And when your country is in a costly war, with our soldiers sacrificing abroad and our nation facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn't class warfare - it's patriotism.
May we all, as a nation of believers, fight for the achievement of America; may we make sacrifices worthy of those proud men and women who fought for us, labored for us, bled soil from the beaches of Normandy to the fields of Gettysburg for us.
Cities can be places that represent the best of our ideals: where Americans of all different backgrounds can come together and, through their interactions, and even through their unity, spawn true American greatness.
My generation of Americans, the scions of daring dreamers, the children of the fearlessly faithful and the offspring of many of history's most audacious actors - we, together, drink deeply from wells of freedom, liberty and opportunity that we did not dig.
When your country is in a costly war, with our soldiers sacrificing abroad and our nation facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn't class warfare - it's patriotism.
In college, I was a fiercely committed Democrat - a meeting with Jack Kemp, then Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, challenged my blind partisanship.
When I was just a twenty-something, I came to Newark, and I found a connection to the city in a spiritual way. I found a connection here and people here that reminded me so much of my roots and my own family.
If we cannot provide excellent educational opportunities to all children, safe communities, quality health coverage, or robust and fair avenues towards wealth creation, then our nation will increasingly be in peril.
This November, with the re-election of President Barack Obama, this generation of Americans will ever expand upon the hope, the truth and the promise of America.