Brooklyn came out big for Senator Elizabeth Warren last night, messing with her schedule. Warren is known for starting her events on time – “You would expect that from a woman with plans,” the Democratic candidate said herself, explaining she was late because she made sure to greet the folks who waited in the rain to be told they won’t make it in. Kings Theatre has capacity for 3,300, and the campaign estimated another 1,500 people were in line around 7:10 pm.
Julian Castro, the former HUD Secretary under President Barack Obama, had endorsed Warren the day before, and introduced her as the one that can bring people together, the unity candidate.
Warren made no news last night, except sharing that while everyone was waiting for the rally to start, Iran had attacked two US bases in Iraq. She then remarked on the earthquake in Puerto Rico, before going over her background and plans for making America a better and more just country, followed by taking of a thousand selfies.
Her campaign pitch calls for structural change, and it resonated with those present.
“Whether it’s climate change, whether it’s gun safety, whether it’s health care, whether it’s student loans, if there is a decision to be made in Washington, I guarantee it has been touched by money. [Applause] If we want to fix this, you can’t just nibble around the edges a little. [Applause] We can’t pick at little tiny bits, we need big structural change. It starts by attacking the corruption head-on. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
And Warren has a plan.
In fact, “I have the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate,” she said to the cheering audience. “This moment, we need the biggest anti-corruption party since Watergate.”
That plan proposes to “end lobbying as we know it”, making the United States Supreme Court “follow basic rules of ethics” and make “every single person who runs for federal office put their tax returns online.”
Warren believes that corporations have gotten to be too big, and she says “it’s time for a president with the courage to enforce our anti-trust laws”, as chants of “break it up” fill the room.
But it’s not enough – to have balance, people need more power, and she believes in the power of unions to restore middle class.
Lastly – it is time for a wealth tax in America, she says, as audience chants “2 cents, 2 cents”.
That would be a tax on great fortunes – on money over $50 million – 2c on every dollar over $50 million. ”
Here’s how she explains it:
“You’ve built a great fortune here in America. I guarantee you, you built it, at least in part using workers all of us helped to educate. At least in part, for getting your goods to market on roads and bridges we all paid for. At least in part, protected by police and firefighters all of us helped to pay for. We’re glad to do it. We’re Americans. We want to invest in an opportunity for everybody. All we’re saying is – if you make it big, I mean, really big – I mean top one-tenth of 1 percent big, pitch in 2 cents so everyone else gets a chance.”
What is she planning to do with the 2 cents?
“We can make certain that every baby in this country has access to early childhood education and can finish their own education and take a job to build the real future.“
Universal childcare, $800 billion dollar investment in k-12 funds, quadruple funding for Title 1 schools, and fully fund IDEA so every child has a chance. A million $ excellence grant to every single public school in America. Free college, and forgiveness of student debt.
And let’s not forget to protect our Democracy, she says.
“I want to see a constitutional amendment to protect the right of every American citizen to vote and to get that. To ban all political gerrymandering. Law to roll back every racist voter suppression. Overturn Citizens United.”
“So I just want three things. Tackling corruption head-on, so we can make the changes we need to make. Make some structural change in this economy, and protect our democracy. Because this is, this is how we make certain that this government isn’t just working for a handful of the top.” – Sen. Warren
She ended by appealing to those present:
“I am not running a campaign that has been shaped by consultants. I am not putting forward proposals that have been carefully crafted not to offend big donors. I’m running a campaign based on a lifetime of fighting for working families. I am running a campaign from the heart. And here’s the reason why. I believe that 2020 is our moment in history.
To win the fight for a green new deal and save our planet. To win the fight for Medicare for all. To win the bipartisan wealth tax and invest in an entire generation.”
With that, she went on to take selfies with her many, many supporters.
A strange night, indeed.