Eight years ago, a junior senator from Illinois told America that he had what it took to change our nation for the better. And he did. President Obama has fulfilled many of the tasks that he set out to do since 2008. Under his presidency, we saw universal healthcare finally become a reality in the United States and the first Iran nuclear deal in more than decade. But it’s not enough. We can do better.

He has yet to close oil and gas tax loopholes. He’s yet to repair our roads and bridges. He’s yet to reduce the backlog of hundreds of thousands of Veteran Benefits Administration claims. We can do better.

Americans have yet to see the implementation of low carbon fuel standards or a cap-and-trade program. We can do better.

A woman’s reproductive rights are still restricted depending on where she lives. Americans in the LGBT community are still unprotected from workplace discrimination by federal law. We can do better.

Immigration has gotten nowhere, and Guantanamo remains open to this day. We can do better.

Congress has actually managed to become even less productive in the past six years than in the previous six. We can definitely do much better.

No country cherishes the values of hard work, determination and perseverance the way America does. The basic bargain of America has always been that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can always get to a better place than before. And that’s why I’m here today to say I’m in it to win. I’m ready to work harder than ever, to build on top of all that this great nation has accomplished. And I hope you’ll stand with me in the journey ahead for a better America.

Let’s make a college education more affordable to the middle class. Let’s demand equal pay for all Americans regardless of background. Let’s bring more jobs back into America — and not just manufacturing jobs; we need low-skill jobs, high-skill jobs and everything in between to fuel the engine of our economy.

But let’s hear your ideas, too. As I travel the around country in the coming months, tell me your stories. In person, online or via phone — I want to connect with the heart of America and find the answer to the question “What can we do better here in America?”

Because this isn’t a campaign to elect just me to the White House; this is also a campaign to elect you. And your family, your friends and your communities — all of us united in the common cause of America. Because together, we can do better.


Jessie’s note: I’m a pretty big fan of Hillary Clinton. I think she’s a great public figure and a role model for me when it comes to navigating a life in politics. I also love politics, so I try to weave Hillary and politics into my work as much as possible (like in my first web project for university). For a school project last December I did what I’ve always only done in my head: Pretend to be the director of communications for a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016. This is my campaign announcement speech for the project. Please feel free to steal this speech Hillary.