NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

LIVE from Seattle Center: Elizabeth Warren encourages persistence at energetic rally

Good evening from the Emer­ald City!

Wel­come back to our con­tin­u­ing live cov­er­age of Eliz­a­beth Warren’s first Wash­ing­ton cam­paign ral­ly of the 2020 cal­en­dar year. Our team is in place at the Seat­tle Cen­ter Armory, which has now filled to capacity.

Sen­a­tor War­ren has arrived, but because not all of her sup­port­ers could join her in the Armory hall, she first addressed the mas­sive over­flow of atten­dees in Fish­er Pavil­ion, across the road from the Armory.

To chants of “dream big, fight hard,” she jogged to a cor­doned off area of the Pavil­ion where a large Amer­i­can flag had been assem­bled to serve as a backdrop.

She explained she had good news and bad news, both of which were that the main Armory ral­ly loca­tion was at com­plete capacity.

Deaf­en­ing cheers erupt­ed from the large crowd after this declaration.

War­ren then offered a short and encour­ag­ing speech, say­ing that it was evi­dent that Wash­ing­ton was “ready for big struc­tur­al change.” With one final round of “dream big, fight hard,” War­ren depart­ed to pre­pare for her main speech.

Mean­while, Seat­tle-based cam­paign orga­niz­er Jes­si­ca Gon­za­lez addressed the crowd in the Armory’s main hall. She encour­aged atten­dees to have the hard con­ver­sa­tions with unde­cid­ed voters.

A War­ren vol­un­teer and com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­er then took the stage, pro­claim­ing: “I’m up here because me and my son have been run­ning events in loca­tions [all over Wash­ing­ton] and we will con­tin­ue” because of War­ren’s poli­cies sup­port­ing vet­er­ans. He went on to explain he is a vet­er­an, but that “war should not be the way to a high­er education.”

He end­ed by say­ing that “our time is now” to elect a Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­dent and remind­ed the crowd to return their pri­ma­ry ballots.

Toshiko Hasegawa, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Wash­ing­ton State’s Com­mis­sion on Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­can Affairs, came on stage next to first remind every­one that Feb­ru­ary is Black His­to­ry Month.

She argued that a vote for War­ren is a vote for some­one who agrees that Wash­ing­ton’s diver­si­ty, just like Amer­i­ca’s, is what ulti­mate­ly makes us stronger.

“Eliz­a­beth is the can­di­date with the plan to put into action, so that all of us might form a per­fect union. And we the peo­ple, we are the ris­ing tide of justice.”

She fin­ished by say­ing that we need to be “Dream big and fight hard.”

“And win!” she added.

She then intro­duced Sen­a­tor War­ren to the stage to thun­der­ous applause.

After exclaim­ing how won­der­ful it was to be back in Seat­tle, War­ren con­grat­u­lat­ed Bernie on his win in the Neva­da Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus­es.

She then went on to warn against “the biggest threat in this Demo­c­ra­t­ic pri­ma­ry,” name check­ing Michael Bloomberg, whom she sparred with in the debate last Wednes­day that attract­ed an unprece­dent­ed nation­al audience.

“This elec­tion is not for sale,” she said.

“We are going to make this elec­tion about democ­ra­cy. About you.”

She then brought up the Great Recession.

“Remem­ber the finan­cial crash?” She asked. “The one Bloomberg blamed on African Amer­i­cans and Lati­nos.” To which the crowd booed.

“I watched fam­i­lies who thought they did every­thing right […] lose all their sav­ings. Watched peo­ple who thought they were solid­ly mid­dle class real­ize they were deep in debt. And I watched the gov­ern­ment turn their backs on them.”

She declared that after that expe­ri­ence, she saw how wrong it was and said “I will get in this fight and I don’t care who I have to fight to get there.”

She then went on to detail how she cre­at­ed the Con­sumer Finan­cial Pro­tec­tion Bureau that Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma signed into law in 2010.

“We built a coali­tion. We pushed. We pulled. We were noisy,” she said.

(We cer­tain­ly were… NPI was part of that coalition!)

“And we beat the banks and we won.” That agency has since forced banks to return $12 bil­lion to con­sumers, she explained.

She said that this expe­ri­ence taught her two things: You don’t get what you don’t fight for and we can, in fact, make gov­ern­ment work for the people.

“These are fun­da­men­tal val­ues that all pro­gres­sives sup­port. But the ques­tion has to do not just with what we fight for, but what is our plan to get it done.”

She pro­ceed­ed to acknowl­edge that many peo­ple ask her on the cam­paign trail how she dif­fers from cur­rent fron­trun­ner Bernie Sanders… and took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to high­light some of the dif­fer­ences between her and Sanders.

“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.”

She con­tin­ued: “If Mitch McConnell gets in the way, get rid of the fil­i­buster and let’s go! Because under­stand this, I’m not in this fight to talk about change. I am in this fight to make change.”

War­ren then took sev­er­al ques­tions from ral­ly­go­ers, which ranged from fight­ing sex­ism, to immi­gra­tion, to cli­mate jus­tice and ener­gy efficiency.

Her answers all empha­sized a com­mon theme: that her first order of busi­ness would be to push an anti-cor­rup­tion plan to under­cut the influ­ence of big mon­ey and the influ­ence it buys in our government.

She said it would include end­ing lob­by­ing as we know it, lock the revolv­ing the door between Wash­ing­ton and Wall Street, and final­ly, make all can­di­dates for fed­er­al office release their tax returns.

She argued that anti-cor­rup­tion poli­cies would actu­al­ly pull peo­ple from both sides of the aisle togeth­er and unite our gov­ern­ment around com­mon goal.

“How do we pull peo­ple togeth­er? We fight for a gov­ern­ment that isn’t just Demo­c­rat or Repub­li­can. We fight for a gov­ern­ment that works for us.”

War­ren end­ed her remarks by implor­ing all lis­ten­ing to take to heart that now is the time to get involved and to fight for a more just America.

After con­clud­ing her speech, she began tak­ing pho­tos with supporters.

Elizabeth Warren concludes her February 2020 Seattle rally

Eliz­a­beth War­ren con­cludes her ener­getic Feb­ru­ary 2020 ral­ly at the Seat­tle Cen­ter Armory (Pho­to: Rich Erwin/NPI)

This con­cludes our live cov­er­age of tonight’s event in Seat­tle with Eliz­a­beth War­ren. Thank you for fol­low­ing along with us!

Note that we’ll be pub­lish­ing a final recap of the event tomor­row with addi­tion­al obser­va­tions and pho­tos, so if you’re inter­est­ed in hear­ing more about War­ren’s lat­est vis­it to the Emer­ald City, we’ve got you covered.

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