NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

“Dream big, fight hard”: Elizabeth Warren fires up Emerald City crowd in Seattle return

Last night, sup­port­ers chant­i­ng Dream big, fight hard! packed Seat­tle Cen­ter’s Armory and Fish­er Pavil­ion to hear from Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren.

To loud cheers, the senior Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor from Mass­a­chu­setts and 2020 Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial hope­ful took the stage to dis­cuss the “big, struc­tur­al change” she believes is need­ed in all aspects of our gov­ern­ment.

Elizabeth Warren greets supporters in Seattle

Eliz­a­beth War­ren greets her Emer­ald City sup­port­ers after tak­ing the stage at the Seat­tle Cen­ter Armory (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Accord­ing to the cam­paign, sev­en thou­sand peo­ple turned out for Sat­ur­day’s Seat­tle Cen­ter ral­ly — a nice­ly sized crowd for a cam­paign that is look­ing to gen­er­ate momen­tum in the wake of the Neva­da Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus­es.

Though War­ren did not fin­ish first or sec­ond in any of the three states that have held nom­i­nat­ing events thus far, Warren’s cam­paign con­tin­ues to believe she is a viable can­di­date for the nom­i­na­tion, espe­cial­ly after her strong per­for­mance in the Las Vegas debate, where she demol­ished Michael Bloomberg.

At the same time War­ren was prepar­ing to take the stage in Seat­tle, her cam­paign man­ag­er Roger Lau was tweet­ing about the state of the race, argu­ing that the most recent debate in Neva­da “shook this elec­tion up.”

We believe the Neva­da debate will have more impact on the struc­ture of the race than the Neva­da result,” Lau tweet­ed. “Since a huge per­cent­age of the votes were cast before the debate — like­ly well more than half — tonight’s results are a lag­ging indi­ca­tor of the cur­rent state of the race.”

Lau fin­ished his Twit­ter thread by say­ing that “[Bernie] Sanders had a good result in Neva­da. It doesn’t change the state of the race.”

Sanders also sits in first place in many nation­al polls, although a new poll just released today shows that War­ren has climbed into sec­ond place… a very pos­i­tive indi­ca­tor ahead of Super Tues­day and the South Car­oli­na Demo­c­ra­t­ic pri­ma­ry.

With respect to del­e­gates, Sanders also has the edge, with an esti­mat­ed thir­ty-two pledged nation­al con­ven­tion del­e­gates won so far. At last night’s ral­ly, War­ren made it a point to con­grat­u­late Sanders right off the bat on his win in the Neva­da Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus­es. She also made sure to high­light some of their dif­fer­ences, notably point­ing out they have dif­fer­ent views on abol­ish­ing the fil­i­buster.

“Bernie says he won’t end the fil­i­buster. I say Mitch McConnell is not going to get a veto any longer. If we keep the fil­i­buster, every­thing we need to get done has to pass a six­ty-vote thresh­old, which gives the veto pow­er to McConnell, to the gun indus­try, to the oil indus­try, and to bil­lion­aires.”

War­ren offered plen­ty of insight into how she would gov­ern as the nation’s chief exec­u­tive through her answers to ques­tions asked by ral­ly­go­ers.

Young supporters of Elizabeth Warren

Young sup­port­ers of Eliz­a­beth War­ren lis­ten to her remarks mid­way through the evening on Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 22nd, 2020 (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

When asked about advice for young women fight­ing sex­ism in high school and col­lege com­mu­ni­ties, she began by declar­ing: “To per­sist!”

War­ren then went on to describe the sex­ism she’s expe­ri­enced in her pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, say­ing that there was nev­er an answer every­one could agree on when she was asked if she felt she had expe­ri­enced sex­ism.

“Start by acknowl­edg­ing it,” she said.

“That will strength­en your heart. You know your worth and what you’re fight for is impor­tant. Stand up […] and promise me you will per­sist.”

War­ren was then asked about the Trump regime’s hos­til­i­ty towards immi­grants and how she would com­bat this kind of intol­er­ance should she win.

She explained her belief that immi­gra­tion makes our coun­try stronger. A real­i­ty of human­i­ty is that peo­ple move, after all. It’s what we do. And not hav­ing a set of papers does not make any­one any less human than some­one with papers.

She then described pol­i­cy direc­tions that she would pri­or­i­tize, includ­ing the need to expand legal immi­gra­tion and cre­ate a path­way to cit­i­zen­ship not just for DREAM­ers (who Pres­i­dent Oba­ma sought to help with DACA) but also for the eleven mil­lion peo­ple “who are here and who are our friends and neigh­bors.”

She stri­dent­ly warned against Trump’s strat­e­gy of divi­sion, cau­tion­ing: “If we’re spend­ing our time fight­ing each oth­er, no one will notice he and his cor­rupt fam­i­ly and cronies are steal­ing the wealth and dig­ni­ty of this coun­try.”

“Lead­er­ship starts in the White House and what I will do from the White House is lead an Amer­i­ca that val­ues every sin­gle human being. I will lead the fight for immi­gra­tion laws in this coun­try. I will also lead by exam­ple. I will have an admin­is­tra­tion that looks like the rest of Amer­i­ca.”

Supporters cheer Elizabeth Warren

Sup­port­ers of Eliz­a­beth War­ren express their sup­port for her detailed plans aimed at address­ing the coun­try’s ills (Pho­to: Rich Erwin/NPI)

This last state­ment served as an ele­gant tran­si­tion to the next audi­ence ques­tion, con­cern­ing what qual­i­ties she would look for in a run­ning mate. War­ren observed that it would pre­sump­tu­ous to name names at this junc­ture, but she offered insight into what her admin­is­tra­tion would look like.

“I want a Vice Pres­i­dent who is going to be there, shoul­der to shoul­der with me. Some­one who believes and some­one who is will­ing to fight.”

She elab­o­rat­ed and extend­ed her answer to that ques­tion to empha­size that she has been think­ing about essen­tial attrib­ut­es for her cab­i­net nom­i­nees, too.

For instance, she said, her nom­i­nee for Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion will have been a pub­lic school teacher and some­one who believes in pub­lic schools. Her nom­i­nee will be opposed to vouch­ers, char­ter schools, and waste­ful high stakes test­ing, she added, declar­ing that it’s time to “throw high stakes tests into the waste bas­ket.”

Offer­ing anoth­er exam­ple, she said her nom­i­nee for Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency Admin­is­tra­tor (a Cab­i­net lev­el posi­tion) will be some­one who believes in sci­ence. Pre­sum­ably it’ll also be some­one who believes we have a moral oblig­a­tion to act swift­ly to address the rapid­ly wors­en­ing threat of cli­mate dam­age.

And as for the posi­tion of Sec­re­tary of Defense, she promised that she would nom­i­nate some­one who (unlike cur­rent Trump min­ion Mark Esper) “has not spent the last sev­en years as a lob­by­ist for one of the biggest defense con­trac­tors.”

She added that it was time to cut our defense bud­get.

“One more,” she said after a short pause, chuck­ling: “I could do this all night long… I will have an Attor­ney Gen­er­al who fol­lows the rule of law.”

A ques­tion on cli­mate jus­tice prompt­ed War­ren to remind every­one that she is run­ning first and fore­most on an anti-cor­rup­tion plat­form.

“Cli­mate change threat­ens every liv­ing thing on this plan­et,” she said. “We have to under­stand the urgency of the moment, and we have to start mov­ing on the cli­mate front and move a lot of direc­tions at once.”

To imple­ment such wide sweep­ing struc­tur­al change, War­ren said her first order of busi­ness as pres­i­dent would be to push through an anti-cor­rup­tion plan “to under­cut the influ­ence of mon­ey on our gov­ern­ment.”

The plan envi­sions end­ing lob­by­ing “as we know it” and clos­ing the “revolv­ing door between Wash­ing­ton, D.C. and Wall Street.” War­ren wants to ensure that any­one run­ning for fed­er­al office would be required to pro­vide their tax returns.

“If we want to fight the exis­ten­tial threat of cli­mate change, we need to fight cor­rup­tion and end the [Sen­ate] fil­i­buster,” she said.

Supporters cheer Elizabeth Warren

Sup­port­ers of Eliz­a­beth War­ren hope to deliv­er a win for her in Wash­ing­ton State’s March 10th pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

To direct­ly address cli­mate dam­age, War­ren favors a Green New Deal, a con­cept pop­u­lar­ized by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez of New York.

The Green New Deal is a set of emerg­ing ideas for aggres­sive­ly com­bat­ing pol­lu­tion and income inequal­i­ty. It gets its name from Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt’s New Deal, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic response to the Great Depres­sion of the 1920s and 1930s.

War­ren also said a Green New Deal was not enough, and that she would also imple­ment a Blue New Deal to pro­tect our oceans and water­ways.

The pro­vi­sions of the Blue New Deal are intend­ed to “restore our oceans and har­ness the poten­tial of the blue econ­o­my.” Some key com­po­nents include expand­ing off­shore renew­able ener­gy, invest­ing in regen­er­a­tive ocean farm­ing, build­ing cli­mate-smart ports and expand­ing marine pro­tec­tion areas.

“Here’s the good news,” she said. “There is an esti­mat­ed $24 tril­lion in the world mar­ket for green ener­gy and get­ting car­bon [diox­ide] out of the air and water. But much of what is need­ed hasn’t been invent­ed.”

She promised to make a big invest­ment in basic sci­ence and applied sci­ence with one caveat: that tech­nol­o­gy built through these invest­ments be built in the Unit­ed States. “Green jobs can be our union jobs,” she said.

Cli­mate friend­ly poli­cies also need to advance the cause of equi­ty, War­ren said, observ­ing that there is a dis­pro­por­tion­ate amount of pol­lu­tion near trib­al and minor­i­ty com­mu­ni­ties that doesn’t just affect econ­o­my of an area, but also the health of its com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers. She said as Pres­i­dent, she would com­mit $1 tril­lion to clean up “the mess­es we have made in minor­i­ty com­mu­ni­ties.”

“This is a fight we must have,” she stressed. “We’ve known about cli­mate change now for decades. So why did­n’t we make change? The answer is cor­rup­tion in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. And I’ve got a plan for that.”

Asked about over­com­ing the dif­fi­cul­ty of unit­ing the coun­try in polar­ized times, War­ren point­ed out that her own fam­i­ly is divid­ed. War­ren men­tioned that she has three broth­ers, only one of whom is a fel­low Demo­c­rat.

“We can always do our Demo­c­ra­t­ic and Repub­li­can talk­ing points. We know exact­ly what they are,” she said. “But let’s start ask­ing dif­fer­ent ques­tions.”

For exam­ple, War­ren said, we could ask why cor­po­ra­tions like Ama­zon and Hal­libur­ton have been allowed to avoid pay­ing any fed­er­al tax­es. As the crowd booed, War­ren observed that her Repub­li­can broth­ers felt the same. “They agree that rich peo­ple and giant cor­po­ra­tions out to be pay­ing their tax­es too.”

War­ren remind­ed sup­port­ers that a major­i­ty of Repub­li­can vot­ers sup­port her 2‑cent wealth tax, a pro­pos­al that calls for levy­ing a mod­est tax on for­tunes of more than $50 mil­lion. War­ren argues the tax could gen­er­ate near­ly $4 tril­lion to help Amer­i­ca’s mid­dle income house­holds, includ­ing by can­cel­ing stu­dent loan debt for forty-three mil­lion Amer­i­c­as. War­ren believes this would alle­vi­ate crip­pling debt and increase spend­ing that would in turn, bol­ster every­one’s eco­nom­ic secu­ri­ty.

War­ren also vowed to expand, rather than cut, Social Secu­ri­ty.

“After a life­time of hard work, peo­ple are enti­tled to retire with dig­ni­ty,” she con­tin­ued. “And that means pro­tect­ing Social Secu­ri­ty.”

The Sen­a­tor has a plan to increase Social Secu­ri­ty pay­ments and dis­abil­i­ty by $200/month by sim­ply increas­ing tax­es on the top 2% of Amer­i­cans. “Both Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans would be helped by that,” she said.

“The issue of cor­rup­tion isn’t just a Demo­c­ra­t­ic issue. If we run on anti-cor­rup­tion, we start pulling peo­ple togeth­er. If we get it passed, it works for every­one.”

Elizabeth Warren waves

Eliz­a­beth War­ren waves to ral­ly­go­ers as she con­cludes the speak­ing pro­gram at her sec­ond major Seat­tle appear­ance (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

War­ren end­ed her Seat­tle appear­ance by pro­vid­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty for her sup­port­ers to get a keep­sake pho­to with her. Her cam­paign says she has tak­en more than 100,000 pic­tures with sup­port­ers dur­ing her pres­i­den­tial run.

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One Comment

  1. War­ren can defend the prin­ci­ples of democ­ra­cy and also to advance a pro­gres­sive agen­da from which too many Amer­i­cans are exclud­ed.

    She can bring fair­ness to the econ­o­my.

    # by Marguerite Greene :: February 26th, 2020 at 4:40 AM

One Ping

  1. […] the past two weeks, Bernie Sanders and Eliz­a­beth War­ren have both orga­nized mar­quee cam­paign ral­lies in the Seat­tle area to bol­ster their […]