Yesterday I was honored to speak at the Democratic National Convention on the occasion of the Financial Services Roundtable Presentation on Financial Literacy. I think this was a first for a DNC, and I was truly honored to do it. Others I had the honor of sharing the stage with at this special event included Congressman Meeks of New York, Richard Davis, CEO of U.S. Bancorp and co-chairman of Community Service 2008, Dara Duguay, director of the Office of Financial Education for Citi (a prominent global partner of HOPE), Secretary John Dalton, chairman of the Housing Policy Council, and Peter Skinner, a member of the European Parliament. Congressman Meeks, during his remarks, said that "financial literacy and economics is the next stage of the civil rights movement." At Operation HOPE, we call that next stage "the silver rights movement," and I could not agree with him more.
The event was hosted by the Financial Services Roundtable and my friend Steve Bartlett, its CEO. Steve Bartlett is first class people. A special thanks to my friend and HOPE national board member Don McGrath, chairman of Bank of the West, for introducing me to Steve. He was right about him. Good people.
As Operation HOPE is and always has been bi-partisan, as is the new U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy (where Chairman Charles Schwab and I have been appointed to serve until 2010, as chairman and vice chairman respectively), I will also speak at the Republican National Convention next week. A special recognition to the co-chairs of the U.S. House Financial Literacy Caucus, Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (D), and Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R), for their leadership around the issue of financial literacy in Congress.
On the evening prior to our event, the DNC did an incredible tribute to long-time U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, capped off by moving remarks by Senator Kennedy himself. Truly moving and inspirational. A moment in history.
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant