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.
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.