Kamala Harris paid tribute to the women who paved the way for her to become the first female, black, Indian-American Vice President of the United States when she addressed the nation in Delaware.
Here is her prepared victory speech in full:
Before his death, Congressman John Lewis wrote: “Democracy is not a state. It is an act. “
And by that he meant that America’s democracy is not guaranteed.
It is only as strong as our willingness to fight to guard it and never take it for granted.
And the protection of our democracy requires struggle.
It takes sacrifices. There is joy and there is progress.
Because we, the people, have the strength to build a better future.
And when our democracy was on the ballot in that election and the soul of America was at stake and the world was watching, you ushered in a new day for America.
To our campaign staff and volunteers, this extraordinary team – thank you for engaging more people than ever before in the democratic process and making this victory possible.
To the election workers and officials in our country who have worked tirelessly to ensure that every vote is counted, our nation owes you a debt for protecting the integrity of our democracy.
And to the Americans who make up our beautiful country – thank you for setting record numbers to get your voices heard.
I know times have been challenging, especially in the last few months.
The grief, the grief and the pain. The worries and the struggles.
But we also saw your courage, your resilience and the generosity of your spirit.
You have marched and organized for four years for equality and justice, for our lives and for our planet.
And then you voted. You sent a clear message.
You chose hope, unity, decency, science and, yes, truth.
You have elected Joe Biden as the next President of the United States of America.
Joe is a healer. A uniter. A tested and steady hand.
A person whose own experience of loss gives them meaning that helps us as a nation regain our own meaning.
And a man with a big heart who loves with devotion.
It is his love for Jill who will be an incredible first lady.
It’s his love for Hunter, Ashley, his grandchildren, and the entire Biden family.
And when I first met Joe as Vice President, I really got to know him as the father who loved Beau, my dear friend, whom we remember here today.
To my husband Doug, our children Cole and Ella, my sister Maya, and all of our family – I love you all more than I can say.
We are so grateful to Joe and Jill for welcoming our family into their families on this incredible journey.
And the woman most responsible for my presence here today – my mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who is always in our hearts.
When she came here from India at the age of 19, she may not have fully imagined this moment.
But she believed so deeply in an America where such a moment is possible.
So I think of them and the generations of women – black women. Asian, White, Latin American, and Native American women in our nation’s history who paved the way for this moment tonight.
Women who have fought and sacrificed so much for equality, freedom and justice for all, including black women who are too often overlooked but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy.
All women who have worked for over a century to secure and protect the right to vote: 100 years ago with the 19th Amendment, 55 years ago with the Suffrage Act and now, in 2020, with a new generation of women in our country cast their ballots and continued the struggle for their fundamental right to vote and be heard.
Tonight I reflect on her struggle, her determination and the strength of her vision – to see what cannot be weighed down by what was – I stand on her shoulders.
And what evidence of Joe’s character is that he had the audacity to break one of the greatest barriers in our country and choose a woman to be his vice president.
But while I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last.
Because every little girl who watches tonight sees that this is a land of opportunity.
And for the children of our country, regardless of their gender, our country has sent you a clear message: dream with ambition, lead with conviction and see yourself in a way that others may not see you simply because they have never seen it have it before.
And we will greet you every step of the way.
To the American people, no matter who you voted for, I will strive to be the Vice President Joe was to President Obama – loyal, honest, and prepared, and waking up every day thinking of you and your families. Because now the real work begins.
The hard work. The necessary work. The good work.
The essential work to save lives and beat this pandemic.
To rebuild our economy so that it works for the working people.
Eradicate systemic racism in our justice system and in our society.
Fight the climate crisis.
Unite our land and heal the soul of our nation.
The road ahead will not be easy.
But America is ready. And Joe and me too.
We have elected a president who represents the best in us.
A leader that the world will respect and that our children can look up to.
A commander in chief who respects our troops and protects our country.
And a president for all Americans.