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Happy Birthday

Release Date: 2016-07-04

As we begin our three day weekend in celebration of our country’s birth, I wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a safe and happy July 4th, and to share some thoughts about this important holiday.

Independence Day is more than just an opportunity to barbeque and watch fireworks. The United States is facing some tremendous challenges, and Americans are deeply divided on many issues. In the midst of one of the most contentious presidential elections in our history, let’s take a minute to remember and celebrate what brings us all together. All of us, no matter our political ideology, believe in freedom, equality, and democracy. We all love this country and the opportunities it affords. And we all want to work to make it the best it can be.

We have made incredible progress in extending equality to women, African-Americans, the LGBT community, and to everyone. But we still have work to do.

Becoming a citizen is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I want to give back to this country by making sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Let’s all take time this weekend to be thankful for the freedoms we have – but let’s not forget those in the United States, and around the world, who are still struggling for freedom. And let’s recommit ourselves to that struggle by getting involved in civic life, by supporting progress on equality and justice, and by speaking out against intolerance, hate and violence – no matter where it comes from.

Long Beach is a city that has long supported equality for everyone, and I know we will continue to lead the way in making our country a place where all people are welcome and have a chance to succeed.

Happy 240th birthday America!