Top 203 Tom Perez Quotes of 2020

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“My parents both came to the United States from the Dominican Republic, and they were deeply grateful for the opportunities this country provided. They raised my siblings and me to want to make a difference and give back. They taught us to work hard and aim high, but to also make sure the ladder was down to help others climb up.”

― Tom Perez

“Of all the tough decisions in life, choosing between the job you need and the family you love should not be one of them.”

― Tom Perez

“Raising the minimum wage isn’t just pro-worker; it’s pro-economic growth.”

― Tom Perez

“Each year, Labor Day gives us an opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions that working men and women make to our nation, our economy and our collective prosperity. It gives us a chance to show gratitude for workers’ grit, dedication, ingenuity and strength, which define our nation’s character.”

― Tom Perez

“Trust is not something that’s given because you win an election; it’s something you have to earn.”

― Tom Perez

“When we talk about the kind of folks whose lives will be made better by raising the minimum wage, we’re not talking about a couple teenagers earning extra spending money to supplement their allowance. We’re talking about providers and breadwinners. Working Americans with bills to pay and mouths to feed.”

― Tom Perez

“The King Holiday is a celebration of many things – his pursuit of racial justice, his commitment to non-violent resistance, his belief in service and doing for others. But you might also call it the other Labor Day.”

― Tom Perez

“My parents, fleeing a repressive regime in the Dominican Republic, were embraced by this country and taught us to love it in return. After my father served proudly in the U.S. Army, they settled in Buffalo, N.Y., and were able to live the American Dream.”

― Tom Perez

“With patience, persistence, and partnership, we can create economic opportunity for every person willing to work hard for it.”

― Tom Perez

“Clearly, apprenticeships are a win-win: They provide workers with sturdy rungs on that ladder of opportunity and employers with the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses. And yet in America, they’ve traditionally been an undervalued and underutilized tool in our nation’s workforce development arsenal.”

― Tom Perez

“When you work extra, you should be paid extra. That’s what the Fair Labor Standards Act said. And I’ve met so many people who are working 60-70 hours a week, and they are effectively working 20 hours for free because they are making a little bit above the minimum wage, because the 2004 regulation enables employers to do that. That’s not fair.”

― Tom Perez

“Community colleges provide higher education where people live, helping to build strong ladders of opportunity that allow people to secure a foothold in the middle class.”

― Tom Perez

“The Democratic Party and DNC have to be a very conspicuous face of the opposition to Donald Trump and all his divisiveness. At the same time, we have to communicate our, I think, positive and inclusive message to everyone.”

― Tom Perez

“Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one.”

― Tom Perez

“How do we make sure that rising tides lift all boats and not just the yachts?”

― Tom Perez

“Secretary Clinton is tough, smart, and understands better than any candidate the challenges that parents are talking about around dinner tables and keeping families up at night.”

― Tom Perez

“We need bold leadership to bring America back to its first principles of diversity inclusion and opportunity for everyone in every ZIP Code, and music is that vehicle to summon our better angels. Music is that vehicle and always has been a vehicle to challenge us to build a better America.”

― Tom Perez

“How can we say we’re for family values when so many women in the United States have to jeopardize their livelihood to take a few weeks off from work after giving birth? Should a man have to sacrifice his economic security to take care of his sick mother or his wife returning wounded from active duty?”

― Tom Perez

“Full-time workers earning the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 only earn about $14,500 a year in wages – below the poverty line for a family of two. That’s unacceptable.”

― Tom Perez

“When you put more money in the pockets of working families, they spend it on groceries, gas, school supplies, and other goods and services. And that helps businesses grow and create jobs.”

― Tom Perez

“The best way to promote and protect opportunity is through collaboration, consensus-building, and pragmatic problem-solving. Throughout nearly 30 years in public service, I have approached tough challenges by making room for as many people as possible around the table in search of common ground.”

― Tom Perez

“I’ve learned that it’s important to listen to employees at all levels, to engage them, to empower them. Whether you’re a first-line supervisor or the head of an entire agency, you should be asking career staffers, ‘What do you think?’”

― Tom Perez

“Responding to a natural disaster is a complex problem.”

― Tom Perez

“On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. Its enactment, following the longest continuous debate in the history of the U.S. Senate, enshrined into law the basic principle upon which our country was founded – that all people are created equal.”

― Tom Perez

“As long as we’re united, and as long as we continue to organize, invest, and lead with our values, we’ll be unstoppable.”

― Tom Perez

“The most important family value of all is time with your family.”

― Tom Perez

“It’s wrong that so many hardworking people – people working full-time, or even multiple jobs – need public assistance just to survive.”

― Tom Perez

“It stands to reason: Higher wages means higher loyalty and morale, which means higher productivity, which means a more profitable business.”

― Tom Perez

“The Labor Department’s Hall of Honor recognizes men and women – like Cesar Chavez, Helen Keller and the Workers of the Memphis Sanitation Strike – who have made invaluable contributions to the welfare of American workers.”

― Tom Perez

“There’s this notion out there – and it’s a categorically false notion – that the only business model in the service industry is the minimum-wage business model. I say phooey to that. You go to a Costco store, and you see people there who’ve been working there for years and years. They’re making $15, $20 an hour, plus health benefits.”

― Tom Perez

“We’re trying to make sure that financial advisers act like lawyers and doctors. When you go to a lawyer or doctor, they have an obligation to put your best interests first. Financial advisers don’t.”

― Tom Perez

“I think one of the most important things we can do for people is to expand opportunity – whether it’s the opportunity to live a life free of discrimination or the opportunity to get a good job that provides a gateway to the middle class. I’ve dedicated my career to expanding opportunity, and it’s proven incredibly rewarding.”

― Tom Perez

“My father earned his citizenship by serving in the Army during World War II. He devoted his life to caring for our nations veterans at a VA hospital in Buffalo, New York. That desire to serve fellow Americans propelled my four siblings into medical careers, too.”

― Tom Perez

“What you learn growing up in a place like Buffalo is that your job isn’t just your paycheck, it’s your identity. It doesn’t just give you dollars, it gives you dignity.”

― Tom Perez

“Budgets are moral documents. They reflect the values of any government and when you’re compromising clean air, clean water, and lead, you’re making a statement about communities you don’t care about.”

― Tom Perez

“Public service has allowed me to put values my parents taught me into action.”

― Tom Perez

“Everything has changed in recent decades – the economy, technology, cultural attitudes, the demographics of the workforce, the role of women in society and the structure of the American family. It’s about time our laws caught up. We watch ‘Modern Family’ on television, but we’re still living by ‘Leave It To Beaver’ rules.”

― Tom Perez

“We are indeed a nation of immigrants. People who choose to come to America have always been one of our greatest sources of national vitality. They keep our economy strong and our communities dynamic. They are some of our greatest patriots.”

― Tom Perez

“When you put more money in the pockets of working families, they spend it on groceries, gas, school supplies, and other goods and services. And that helps businesses grow and create jobs. So many forward-looking employers, large and small, understand this.”

― Tom Perez

“What we want to do is call attention to the fact that when workers and business work together, when you create a stakeholder model of corporate governance, where you understand that you can do well by your workers, you can do well by your shareholders and you can do well by your customers, that’s how we create a virtuous cycle.”

― Tom Perez

“There’s a myth out there that you have to genuflect at the altar of quarterly earnings. But it’s a false choice that you can either be a good fiduciary or promote values such as environmental sustainability.”

― Tom Perez

“The overtime rule was frankly diluted in 2004 by a regulation put in place by the Bush administration.”

― Tom Perez

“Discrimination is not a national defense strategy!”

― Tom Perez

“King had come to Memphis to lend his moral authority to the struggle of striking municipal sanitation workers who were overwhelmingly African-American. They earned poverty wages, endured degrading working conditions, and faced brutal beatings when they tried to organize.”

― Tom Perez

“Under the leadership of President Obama and a whole host of partners, including nonprofits, foundations, and advocates, the Department of Labor has made historic investments in community colleges, apprenticeships, coding boot camps, and summer jobs.”

― Tom Perez

“We need to do more to support working families, like guarantee access to paid sick and parental leave and make sure every parent has access to quality, affordable child care.”

― Tom Perez

“I believe the passage of a national paid family and medical leave law is not a question of if, but when. But as is so often the case on important public policy issues, we need states and localities to be the incubators of innovation.”

― Tom Perez

“Dr. King’s last campaign was a labor struggle. Many people are aware that King was assassinated in Memphis in the spring of 1968. Less well-known is what drew him there: solidarity with city sanitation workers, who, without the benefit of union representation, were rising up to protest humiliating pay and deplorable working conditions.”

― Tom Perez

“Federal government has been a gateway to the middle class for people of color for generations.”

― Tom Perez

“Organizing has to be a 12-month endeavor.”

― Tom Perez

“You can’t show up at a church every 4 October and say, ‘Vote for me,’ and call that persuasion.”

― Tom Perez

“I had the luxury of skipping the cabinet meeting to attend my daughter’s graduation. So many people don’t have the luxury of taking an hour away from the workplace to attend indispensable family commitments. We have to change that dynamic.”

― Tom Perez

“It’s time to update our workplace policies to reflect the realities of the 21st-century labor force and to support modern working families. It’s time to continue our nation’s long commitment to supporting unemployed workers by extending emergency unemployment compensation.”

― Tom Perez

“Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will benefit about 28 million workers across the country. And it will help businesses, too – raising the wage will put more money in people’s pockets, which they will pump back into the economy by spending it on goods and services in their communities.”

― Tom Perez

“I’ve talked to several CEOs – from a recycling company in Indiana, a furniture company in Kentucky, a brewing company in Colorado, and more – who believe paying higher wages is both the right thing to do and part of a successful business model.”

― Tom Perez

“You’re more likely to see someone fatally struck by lightning than witness a case of in-person voter fraud.”

― Tom Perez

“Union members not only earn higher median wages; they are more likely to have paid sick leave, short-term disability, and employer-provided child care. Giving people a voice at work – the ability to organize and negotiate for their fair share of the value they helped create – is absolutely essential to a growing, vibrant middle class.”

― Tom Perez

“I like to call the Department of Labor the Department of Opportunity, and that means opportunity for everyone – no matter whom you love.”

― Tom Perez

“Involvement in my kids’ sports teams is something I have made time for over the years. I’ve also been able to coach all three of them in baseball and basketball, something that has strengthened our bonds and given me indescribable joy. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

― Tom Perez

“I’ve had jobs that allow me the flexibility to achieve work-life balance, to be there when one of the kids sinks a jump shot or for the parent-teacher meetings. I can move tasks around. If I don’t get something done at the office at 4:30 in the afternoon, I can go back to it at 10:00 in the evening.”

― Tom Perez

“I’m proud to be Secretary of Labor. But I’m even prouder of two more important titles: dad and husband. I’ve been able to be all three. I want all working people, no matter what their jobs are, to be able to meet their obligations both at work and at home.”

― Tom Perez

“To realize President Obama’s vision of opportunity for all, it’s all about making the right match. The way we do that is through job-driven training – connecting ready-to-work Americans with ready to be-filled jobs. It helps more people secure a foothold in the middle class and helps businesses to profit and grow.”

― Tom Perez

“In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works a full time job should have to live in poverty. That’s a fundamental value proposition, an article of faith in our country that I know an overwhelming majority of Americans agree on.”

― Tom Perez

“When we lift the wage floor, it not only betters the lives of those whose wages are directly affected, it also lifts the economy as a whole.”

― Tom Perez

“The typical minimum wage earner is a provider and a breadwinner – most likely a woman – responsible for paying bills, running a household and raising children.”

― Tom Perez

“President Obama believes that income inequality is one of the most pressing matters facing the nation. If we are going to be a country that provides ladders of opportunity and believes in a thriving middle class, then we have to raise the minimum wage.”

― Tom Perez

“Employers have recognized for some time that it’s smart business to have a diverse workforce – one in which many views are represented and everyone’s talents are valued. Well, disability is part of diversity.”

― Tom Perez

“Labor Day 2013 is special. This year marks the centennial of the U.S. Department of Labor – 100 years of working for America’s workers.”

― Tom Perez

“People who work full-time in America should not have to live in poverty – simple as that. Too many jobs don’t pay enough to get by, let alone get ahead. Too many people are finding the rungs on the ladder of opportunity further and further apart.”

― Tom Perez

“For many people, and particularly in communities of color, the basic bargain of America – that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can share in the nation’s prosperity – has become a raw deal. That’s what President Obama’s opportunity agenda is all about – making good on our country’s half of the basic bargain.”

― Tom Perez

“It was a privilege to serve as the assistant attorney general for civil rights, a role that allowed me to enforce the Civil Rights Act and help make its promise a reality.”

― Tom Perez

“From the outset, the Obama administration has recognized that building a robust skills infrastructure means building strong partnerships with community colleges.”

― Tom Perez

“To fulfill the promise of economic opportunity, we must remain true to the principle that collective bargaining is a cornerstone of a free society and indispensable to a strong middle class.”

― Tom Perez

“Apprenticeships are a particularly effective way to create career pathways with upward mobility and strong earning potential. Because apprentices receive a paycheck, it’s a great option for those with families to support, including many veterans.”

― Tom Perez

“I’ve heard the argument that unemployment benefits somehow act as a disincentive to the long-term unemployed when it comes to looking for work, but the opposite is true. Unemployment Insurance serves as a powerful incentive for people to keep searching for jobs, rather than drop out of the labor force altogether.”

― Tom Perez

“President Obama has made a minimum wage increase a focal point of his economic agenda.”

― Tom Perez

“On Veterans Day, I can’t help think of my uncles who volunteered for the service after fleeing a brutal regime in the Dominican Republic. They hadn’t been in America long, but they were already so grateful for its opportunities that they were eager to serve.”

― Tom Perez

“Protecting the rights of service members was an important part of my work as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.”

― Tom Perez

“Post-military service can be a period of anxiety and uncertainty. So many men and women return and ask themselves: what now? The Labor Department is here to help answer that question with an array of programs designed to clear pathways into the middle class.”

― Tom Perez

“I believe we’re making a mistake if we regard job creation and job safety as mutually exclusive or inherently in conflict; they can and they must go hand-in-hand.”

― Tom Perez

“Nobody who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty.”

― Tom Perez

“If the opponents of an increase in the minimum wage were correct, then every time you fly to Seattle, you’ve got to bring a bagged lunch because there shouldn’t be any restaurants because they should have all have gone out of business as a result of raising the minimum wage.”

― Tom Perez

“I met a woman working 30 hours a week, trying to make ends meet, three children. And she slept the night before I met her in her car because she’s homeless. We can do better. We can build a nation of shared prosperity.”

― Tom Perez

“Workers are baking the pie of prosperity, but they’re not sharing in those dividends. That’s unfair.”

― Tom Perez

“Workers all too frequently have been taking it on the chin. They’re working hard and falling behind, all too frequently.”

― Tom Perez

“Mandatory arbitration clauses I think, more often than not, work to the detriment of working people.”

― Tom Perez

“The employers who do best are employers who reject these false choices. It’s not a zero-sum world where you either take care of your workers or you take care of your shareholders. You can do good and do well, too.”

― Tom Perez

“We’re building a movement. It’s undeniably a work in progress, but there’s a fundamental desire to see capitalism to do something different.”

― Tom Perez

“I share the skepticism that my friends have about NAFTA. It was woefully weak in protecting workers and on the enforcement side. The question is can we meaningfully build a trade regime that has as its North Star protecting American workers and American jobs through meaningful enforcement? I think we can.”

― Tom Perez

“We have to bake labor provisions into the core of an agreement. TPP would do that. Under NAFTA, countries had to simply promise to uphold the laws of their own nations.”

― Tom Perez

“In terms of intellectual property, so many of the job creators I know are start-ups. In the IP setting, we can meaningfully improve on the status quo, and in so doing, we can help small businesses, large businesses, and those in between.”

― Tom Perez

“What we’re doing here in America is we’re making women choose between the family they love and the job that they need. No other nation on the planet is making these choices. In other countries, they’ve put politics aside and looked at the facts. When women succeed, the world succeeds. We’re losing sight of that here in the USA.”

― Tom Perez

“It’s a false choice to say we either have job safety or job growth. It’s a false choice to suggest that the only way for a business to survive is to make sure workers have low wages and little or no benefits. There are ample models across this country where we’ve demonstrated the contrary.”

― Tom Perez

“There are just way too many people suffering out there.”

― Tom Perez

“What I hear from employers day in and day out is, ‘I need to make sure I have that skilled workforce to compete.’ And so we’ve been able to help so many people punch their ticket to the middle class by transforming our workforce development system for advanced manufacturing jobs and other critical jobs that exist right now.”

― Tom Perez

“One of the best ways to grow this economy is to put money in people’s pockets.”

― Tom Perez

“I think public sector workers, our teachers, our firefighters, our home health workers who work for states, they do God’s work. They are some of our most important employees.”

― Tom Perez

“The differences between Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump in terms of temperament, in terms of values, couldn’t be more stark.”

― Tom Perez

“Hillary Clinton is about ‘we.’ Donald Trump is about ‘me.’”

― Tom Perez

“Progressives believe in making progress, which is why I’m proud to endorse Hillary Clinton, who I know will continue fighting to ensure our children and grandchildren can achieve their highest and best dreams.”

― Tom Perez

“There’s a long bipartisan tradition of civil rights enforcement.”

― Tom Perez

“I’m often accused of hiring people with civil rights experience, and I do plead guilty to that.”

― Tom Perez

“What my parents taught me was that the hallmark of a thriving democracy was an effective and respectful police force.”

― Tom Perez

“We need to be focused in corporate America on the long term.”

― Tom Perez

“People have choices. They are going to vote with their feet.”

― Tom Perez

“It is not possible that it is God’s will that women are making 77 cents on a dollar.”

― Tom Perez

“The labor movement is our brother’s keeper! The labor movement is our sister’s keeper!”

― Tom Perez

“And as we work together, we will build a better America! As we work together, we will bring the middle class to thrive again! As we work together, we will make sure that everybody has the ladder of opportunity to climb!”

― Tom Perez

“If you’re one car accident away from poverty, you’re on a high wire without a safety net. And that’s a challenging proposition.”

― Tom Perez

“We have a long and proud tradition as a nation of investing in our human capital so that we can build a thriving middle class. You look at the G.I. Bill after the war – it was an investment in our service members who had served this nation with distinction.”

― Tom Perez

“If the price of a burger goes up 5 cents, and the minimum wage that you have received is going up from $7.25 to $15 an hour – and there have been a number of studies that document just how much the price of a burger might go up if you increase the minimum wage. You match the costs, and the benefits far outweigh the costs.”

― Tom Perez

“I’ve got so much going on in my day job. And I’ve been around politics enough to know all the swirl that’s fit to print, and so I focus on the reality of the here and now.”

― Tom Perez

“We have to invest in people if we’re going to have a country where every person can participate in our economy and share in our prosperity, and we have to break down the many barriers that stand in their way.”

― Tom Perez

“Historians have often censored civil rights activists’ commitment to economic issues and misrepresented the labor and civil rights movements as two separate, sometimes adversarial efforts. But civil rights and workers’ rights are two sides of the same coin.”

― Tom Perez

“The first Friday of every month is what we call Numbers Day – it’s the day that the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the monthly jobs report. We have a ritual at the Labor Department – at 8 A.M., we gather around a table in my office, and the commissioner of labor statistics briefs me and the department’s senior leadership on the numbers.”

― Tom Perez

“We need to enact comprehensive immigration reform, to bring people out of the shadows and empower them to more fully and freely participate in their communities and the economy. And we need to invest in our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure – investments that would create jobs and benefit all sectors of the economy.”

― Tom Perez

“A secure retirement is one of the pillars of middle class life. For all too many Americans, however, that pillar needs more support.”

― Tom Perez

“Americans should be able to enjoy a secure retirement after a lifetime of hard work. But too many Americans reach retirement without enough savings to supplement their Social Security benefits.”

― Tom Perez

“Workers are most likely to save for retirement if they have access to a workplace savings plan and are automatically enrolled in that plan.”

― Tom Perez

“The Department of Labor’s final conflict of interest rule will ensure that America’s workers and retirees receive retirement advice in their best interest.”

― Tom Perez

“When the federal government imposes a mandate on the states or supersedes a state policy, conservatives often rise in protest.”

― Tom Perez

“Economically Targeted Investing, or ETI, refers to the practice of selecting investments, in part, for their collateral benefits in addition to the investment return for the retirement plan.”

― Tom Perez

“When I travel around the country and talk about the need to raise the minimum wage or expand access to paid leave, I often talk about the need for us to reject false choices.”

― Tom Perez

“The United States is one of the few nations on the planet where paid family and medical leave or earned sick time is not the law of the land.”

― Tom Perez

“As I travel around the country, I am inspired by leaders who know that offering paid leave – whether sick time or family leave – isn’t just the right thing to do: it’s essential to building an economy that works for everyone.”

― Tom Perez

“My parents didn’t feel that they had any choice but to leave the Dominican Republic. They did, however, choose to become Americans, and they lived American values every day.”

― Tom Perez

“Years after my parents made the United States their home, I had the joy of traveling to the Dominican Republic with my kids. They saw where it all started and how their grandparents’ values survived and thrived in America.”

― Tom Perez

“My mother fiercely valued education. She entered college the same year I did, in 1979, and graduated eight years later. She was a remarkable role model for all of us.”

― Tom Perez

“Companies are recognizing that paid leave reduces training and turnover costs, that it’s a formula for recruiting and retaining good workers.”

― Tom Perez

“Change very often comes to Washington, not from Washington.”

― Tom Perez

“One of the most pervasive and damaging trends we are seeing in the 21st-century workplace is the deliberate misclassification of workers by employers looking to shift responsibility and cut costs.”

― Tom Perez

“Misclassification means workers are denied not just minimum wage and overtime but other social safety net protections like workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.”

― Tom Perez

“Misclassification is a serious problem in construction as well as other industries, and it is exacerbated by increasingly fissured employment structures where work is contracted and subcontracted away from the core company.”

― Tom Perez

“For the purposes of the FMLA, marriage will now be determined based on where the couple got married, not on where an employee lives. This is called a ‘place of celebration’ rule.”

― Tom Perez

“During Black History Month, I’m reminded yet again of the ways that the struggle for civil rights is interwoven with the struggle for workers’ rights.”

― Tom Perez

“As America prepared for war in 1941, discrimination largely shut black Americans out of job opportunities in the growing defense industry.”

― Tom Perez

“Civil rights activists and union activists shared not just common values and objectives but also common enemies.”

― Tom Perez

“You shouldn’t have to win the boss lottery in order to have a little bit of flexibility at work. Raising and supporting a family isn’t just a financial obligation. What’s important isn’t just being able to put food on the dinner table – we want you to be at the dinner table, too.”

― Tom Perez

“If I don’t get something done at the office at 4:30 in the afternoon, I can go back to it at 10:00 in the evening.”

― Tom Perez

“Tampa Electric has used apprenticeships since 1978 to make sure its workforce is the best in the business – trained, prepared, and productive. Apprenticeships improve its bottom line and give the company a competitive advantage.”

― Tom Perez

“Costco pays their workers good wages with benefits while selling good products at competitive prices and remaining quite profitable.”

― Tom Perez

“Extending emergency unemployment benefits isn’t just the right thing to do for our families – it’s the smart thing to do for our economy.”

― Tom Perez

“The theme of the Labor Department’s centennial is ‘Then, Now, Next.’ So in honoring Esther Peterson, we look not just to the past but to the future, acknowledging with honesty and a sense of purpose the lingering challenges we still face and the distance we’ve yet to travel before equality is truly a reality in the lives of all women.”

― Tom Perez

“To reward work, to grow the middle class and strengthen the economy, to give millions of Americans the respect they deserve… It’s time to raise the minimum wage.”

― Tom Perez

“We need to see the FLSA and the minimum wage as part of a larger struggle to cut poverty and to address the challenge of income inequality.”

― Tom Perez

“Improving veterans’ employment is an all-hands-on-deck enterprise. We work with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, with private sector partners and others.”

― Tom Perez

“Helping veterans isn’t just a part of my job. For me, it’s personal. It’s in my blood.”

― Tom Perez

“Too many jobs don’t pay enough to get by, let alone get ahead.”

― Tom Perez

“When I taught a civil rights class at the University of Maryland Law School, I would do an exercise with my students. I’d write ‘civil rights’ on the board and ask them to tell me what immediately came to mind.”

― Tom Perez

“We can’t understand what we’ve accomplished on civil rights without telling the story of Bayard Rustin. And now, we must write the next chapter in the American civil rights story by drawing strength and inspiration from his moral courage.”

― Tom Perez

“From the new hate crimes law to the repeal of DOMA and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ to the emerging popular support for marriage equality, we are making progress at breakneck speed. As someone who has dedicated most of my career to civil rights law, I am deeply moved by this sea change and proud to have done my part.”

― Tom Perez

“Frankly, what we need to be looking at is whether this election was rigged by Donald Trump and his buddy Vladimir Putin.”

― Tom Perez

“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable.”

― Tom Perez

“People are so sick of these Twitter tirades. They want leaders they can be proud of.”

― Tom Perez

“The politics of division are not what we want in New Jersey and Virginia and elsewhere.”

― Tom Perez

“Talk about the issues that matter most to people.”

― Tom Perez

“Donald Trump, you don’t stand for our values.”

― Tom Perez

“Our universal message of access to economic opportunity resonates with the ironworker in northeastern Ohio and the immigrant in South Florida. And we sometimes have a relationship deficit with our voters, because we’re not communicating that message.”

― Tom Perez

“The Republican playbook is voter suppression.”

― Tom Perez

“I consider Keith Ellison a friend.”

― Tom Perez

“We have to have a conversation where we bring in all the stakeholders and say, ‘What is the vision of the Democratic Party?’”

― Tom Perez

“Here’s the reality: when Hillary Clinton won the nomination, the DNC handed her insufficient and substandard tools for success.”

― Tom Perez

“Sometimes you have to push the envelope in pursuit of the right thing.”

― Tom Perez

“I was in the U.K. and Germany and went to Volkswagen and learned about their apprenticeship model – young people become paid apprentices in trades. It’s not a coincidence that youth unemployment is far lower in Germany than the United States because there are paid opportunities for young people to get experience.”

― Tom Perez

“Smart growth is having the courage to say yes and having the courage to say no.”

― Tom Perez

“The Democratic Party has learned from the terrible mistakes of the past. Our platform requires that we honor, fulfill, and strengthen the federal government’s trust responsibility to American Indians. We take this responsibility seriously.”

― Tom Perez

“The 3.5 million people in Puerto Rico are American citizens. They deserve fair and equal treatment as Americans.”

― Tom Perez

“It’s not only inhumane to treat Puerto Ricans as second-class citizens. It’s deeply un-American.”

― Tom Perez

“There is no price tag on an American life – whether it’s in Florida, Texas, or Puerto Rico.”

― Tom Perez

“Growing up in Buffalo, I saw shuttered factories that once housed thousands of steel manufacturing jobs. I remember the hollowing-out of the middle class in our community. I witnessed hope turn to hardship as a once-thriving city reckoned with a fast-changing world.”

― Tom Perez

“I remember a good friend of mine whose father worked at Bethlehem Steel for 40 years with just a high school degree. That was a remarkable pathway to prosperity that sustained generations of working families.”

― Tom Perez

“Our economic future and our energy future are one in the same, and it’s a future America can’t shrink from. We must shape it, just as we’ve always done. We have to protect our planet from the threat of climate change and ensure that workers have the skills to compete for good middle-class jobs.”

― Tom Perez

“Every president since Nixon has embraced a policy of ‘self-determination without termination’ – the idea that Native Americans are best equipped to govern themselves. Trump is breaking with this position.”

― Tom Perez

“As Republicans try to trample on our most sacred freedoms, Democrats will do everything we can to end discrimination and protect the one right that preserves all others – the right to vote.”

― Tom Perez

“When you cut investments in worker training, you’re cutting investments in the middle class.”

― Tom Perez

“I am proud of our diversity, and when you attack the federal workforce, you are having significant impact on women – many of whom are single moms working to support their family – and you’re having a significant impact on communities of color.”

― Tom Perez

“If you’re going to be a big tent party as we are, and you’re going to help elect democrats who have generated support in their communities… the will of those voters is the will that we must respect.”

― Tom Perez

“When you recruit good candidates and you have a good message and you have energy and organization and partnership, you always have a fighting chance.”

― Tom Perez

“Infrastructure done right can help working people; infrastructure done wrong is just more money for private equity.”

― Tom Perez

“You can’t eat cake and lose weight.”

― Tom Perez

“Michigan is a state we should have won in 2016, and we didn’t, and I want to understand why.”

― Tom Perez

“We’re the party that has fought for Medicare. We’re the party that has fought for Social Security. The Republicans have tried to privatize Social Security and voucherize Medicare.”

― Tom Perez

“We’re the party that’s fought for increased wages, fought for the union movement, fought to make sure that collective bargaining is not eviscerated, it’s strengthened. And when we communicate those messages, we succeed.”

― Tom Perez

“Our message in rural America is just as powerful as it is in urban America. But because we haven’t been a physical presence there in any sustained way, we have a lot of voters there who no longer believe that the Democratic Party is working for them.”

― Tom Perez

“Donald Trump has shown no interest in working toward increasing the minimum wage, no interest in doing anything but immigrant baiting, no interest in doing anything but filling the swamp with a band of billionaires who are simply trying to help the wealthy.”

― Tom Perez

“We believe that health care is a right, not a privilege.”

― Tom Perez

“I’ve said that we need to elect Democrats from the school board to the Senate.”

― Tom Perez

“Our message of opportunity and inclusion is, I think, a very powerful message that does indeed speak to Americans, but we’ve got to do a better job of listening.”

― Tom Perez

“Donald Trump’s vision of America, his nativist vision of America, his fear mongering – that’s what we have to fight.”

― Tom Perez

“Donald Trump is anathema to America.”

― Tom Perez

“I met a person on my rural tour in northwest Wisconsin who said to me, ‘I feel politically homeless.’ And we need to re-engage that person.”

― Tom Perez

“I think our big tent is our greatest strength.”

― Tom Perez

“If Donald Trump wants to raise the minimum wage to $15, yes, I will work with Donald Trump.”

― Tom Perez

“If Donald Trump wants to acknowledge that we have a pay gap for women and we need to address it, I would work with Donald Trump.”

― Tom Perez

“If Donald Trump wants to pass comprehensive immigration reform, I will work with Donald Trump.”

― Tom Perez

“Joe Arpaio built a wall. His was a wall of distrust, and when you don’t have the trust of the community, you don’t have anything. He claimed to be a law-and-order sheriff, but he was really lawlessness and disorder.”

― Tom Perez

“When my grandchildren ask, ‘Where were you when Donald Trump took a sledgehammer to Lady Liberty?’ I want to make sure I can tell them I was there protecting America.”

― Tom Perez

“I’m a proud Dominican American. My folks always taught me that it’s important to keep the ladder down and that to whom much is given, much is expected. That’s why I have pursued a career in public service. I can’t think of a better way to give back what this nation gave to us than to try to make sure that opportunity exists for everyone.”

― Tom Perez

“I’ve memorized ‘Hamilton.’”

― Tom Perez

“We’re at our best when we put hope in front of fear.”

― Tom Perez

“Our message has been muddled, especially in 2016. Voters in Ohio heard from Trump, ‘I’m going to save your coal jobs.’ And while that was a lie, what it told them is, ‘I’m going to feel your pain.’ What they heard from the Democratic side was, ‘Vote for us because Donald Trump is crazy.’”

― Tom Perez

“I happen to think Donald Trump is crazy, but that’s not an economic message.”

― Tom Perez

“Donald Trump is a fraud. Listening to him talk about how he’s going to put American first again, he’s spent his entire career putting his own profits first.”

― Tom Perez
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