Friday, July 16, 2004

Kerry Pledges to Lift Up America's Families at NAACP and on Front Porch Tour; Begins Effort for a Stronger America;u=/usnw/20040715/pl_usnw/kerry_pledges_to_lift_up_america_s_families_at_naacp_and_on_front_porch_tour__begins_effort_for_a_stronger_america109_xml


PHILADELPHIA, July 15 /U.S. Newswire/-- Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) Thursday addressed the 95th annual NAACP convention and kicked off an election long effort to take his vision to front porches across America.

At both events, Kerry pledged to make us stronger at home by standing up for our values, expanding the middle class and growing opportunity for all Americans. "I will be a President who talks with everyone -- those who agree with me and those who don't," Kerry said. "I will be a President who truly is a uniter, not one who seeks to divide our nation by race, riches or any other label. I will be a President who shares the values of people of all colors who get up and go to work every day, try to raise their families in dignity and want to leave this world a better place for their children. I will be a President who when he is invited into your home, will always say yes."

Kerry's NAACP speech came hours before he and his running mate John Edwards (news - web sites) kicked off their campaign long "Front Porch Tour: Hometown Values for a Stronger America." Over the next four months, Kerry and Edwards will visit front porches across America, speaking with families and neighbors about their plan to restore responsible leadership in Washington and help middle- class families get ahead. While Kerry visited a family in Lansdowne, PA, Edwards today shared the Kerry plan to lift up the middle class on a front porch in New Orleans, Louisiana. "Today John Edwards and I will embark on a series of front porch tours.

We will be going to the homes of ordinary citizens across this nation and talking with them about the values that matter most to them -- values you live by every day: Family. "What better way to kick off our front porch tour than to be here in Philadelphia, on the front porch of American democracy. What better neighbors to visit with first than the NAACP." Middle-class families have been squeezed by the Bush economy.

Under George Bush, America has lost 1.8 million private-sector jobs. Wages have not been keeping up with inflation, and new jobs that are being created are primarily in low-wage industries. At the same time families are making less, the costs of college tuition, health care and college have all soared. "Today we have an administration in Washington that looks at the challenges we face here at home and around the world and says this is the best we can do. They say this is the best economy of our lifetimes.

"John Edwards and I have the vision and values to bring out country together again and build stronger communities."
Focusing on values like opportunity, responsibility and fairness, Kerry said at both events today that a Kerry-Edwards administration will fight for good paying jobs and an economy that lifts up middle-class families.

"Let me tell you what values mean to me and John Edwards," Kerry said. "Values mean creating opportunity and fighting for good paying jobs that let American families actually get ahead. It means building an America where the middle class is doing better, not being squeezed." Kerry and Edwards have a comprehensive plan to create 10 million new, better paying jobs.

They will put an end to tax breaks that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas and create the jobs of the future by strengthening America's commitment to technology and innovation. Kerry and Edwards will also make our tax code reflect our moral code. Under George Bush, the tax burden has shifted unmistakably from those most blessed by the American economy to those struggling to make ends meet.

Kerry has proposed more than twice as much tax relief for middle-class families as George W. Bush, including extending and making permanent the middle-class tax cut as part of a fiscally responsible plan that rolls back the tax cuts for families making over $200,000, invests in healthcare and cuts the deficit in half in four years.

In addition, Kerry has proposed additional tax relief, including $50 billion in tax cuts for college tuition, $177 billion in tax cuts to make health care affordable and an increase and expansion of the childcare tax credit.

Abroad, the Kerry-Edwards ticket will restore America's leadership in the world, reaching out to our allies so America once again leads mighty alliances.

"This is the most important election of our lifetime. Our health care is on the line. Our children's future is on the line.
America's role in the world is on the line," Kerry said. "My friends, the America we believe in is calling us to service once again, and we must answer.

With your help, in 2004, we can...we must...we will...bring back our mighty dream again."

The Kerry-Edwards "Front Porch Tour: Hometown Values for a Stronger America" will continue right up until Election Day.

John Kerry and John Edwards will increase the number and quality of jobs, cut taxes for middle-class families to help them live the American dream, fully fund No Child Left Behind, help more students attend and pay for college, make sure all Americans have access to quality health care, and enforce our civil rights laws.

A college degree is increasingly important to success in today's economy, but increasingly hard for average Americans to afford.

The Kerry-Edwards plan will provide tax credits to make health insurance more affordable for people and small businesses buying into the new Congressional Health Plan.

Support At-Risk Youth and Serve 2 Million Children Through GEAR UP: GEAR UP links universities and high-poverty schools to provide mentoring and counseling to encourage more kids to go to college.

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