/The following is a copy of a speech, as prepared for delivery, by Karen Eusanio at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.
For almost 20 years, I've been a proud member of UAW Local 1112 and a second-generation auto worker.
And I'm proud that, thanks to President Obama, I still am! My mom retired from GM after 30 years, and my brother worked there, too. But really, everyone there is like family. We look out for each other. Not just because we're GM or because we're Ohioans—but because we're Americans.
When the auto industry was on its last legs, I was laid off—and I was terrified. How was I going to provide for my daughter and two boys, or pay my mortgage? How was the Mahoning Valley going to survive when so many of us were out of work—when so many could lose what they'd worked so hard for?
The answer wasn't obvious. And the solution wasn't popular. But President Obama didn't think about polls or politics. He thought about people. And because he put himself in our shoes, we're back on our feet. Some said we shouldn't rescue the auto industry. President Obama knew he had to save it to move our country forward.
Today, I'm back at work. We have three shifts building the cars of the future, like the Chevy Cruze. GM didn't just pay back its outstanding loans—it paid them back ahead of schedule. And the valley is thriving again.
President Obama has the same work ethic and values as my co-workers at GM, my neighbors in Ohio, and my family. He knows we're all in this together. He believed in us. He stood up for us. And I'm proud, and honored, to stand here tonight for him.