December 28, 2017 10:17 PM
Days before his resignation from the U.S. Senate, Sen. Al Franken thanked family, staff and his constituents for support that allowed him to fight for issues for Minnesotans.
"Serving the people in the U.S. Senate has been the honor of my life," the senator said. "And I'm here tonight to say thank you."
Franken's speech to supporters and friends comes after he resigned earlier this month amid a storm of sexual misconduct allegations. He will officially step down on Tuesday.
During his speech, Franken talked about how thankful he was to be able to grow up in a middle class family in Minnesota.
"When I first thought about running for office, I knew our state and country faced enormous challenges," he said. "I knew that for far too many families, that dream of a middle class life was slipping further and further out of reach."
The senator went on to thank many of those who he says put him in a position to fight for Minnesotans. Franken got emotional while thanking his family, especially his wife, Franni, for standing by him as he served in the Senate.
"Politics is a hard job," he said. "I don't know how anyone manages to do it without being married to someone who is so loyal, so selfless, so tough, so caring."
The senator praised the work of his staff, who he said went above and beyond to serve his constituents.
"I am constantly amazed by their brilliance, their dedication, their incredible creativity, their integrity and, more than occasionally, their sense of humor," he said.
While reflecting on his years in office, the senator showed gratitude to grassroots activist who he says put him in the Senate.
"A lot of those folks would laugh if you described them as political power players," Franken said. "But I have seen first-hand how much power there is in organizing a phone bank, or marching in a parade or throwing a bean feed."
Franken reiterated while he is stepping down from the Senate, he plans to continue to fight for progressive issues. The senator said he plans to be a voice for policy that will impact net neutrality, global warming and economic justice.
Franken closed saying he was pleased to be able to pass policy that made a change in the lives of people across the state of Minnesota.
"Politics focused on the improvement of people's lives is bigger than any one moment, bigger than any one man. It lives on through the generations, through the hard work of ordinary men and women ready to come together to build a better world for their kids," he said. "Thinking about politics that way makes part of the progress we've made feel worth the hard work it took to achieve it and it makes the challenges we face less insurmountable."
Updated: December 28, 2017 10:17 PM
Created: December 28, 2017 07:23 PM
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