Addressing hundreds of "fellow progressives" on Friday, New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon decried soaring inequality, admonished corporate Democrats, and said it was necessary to "turn the system upside down."
Nixon, who announced her challenge to New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month, was speaking to several hundred Democratic candidates who were attending a training session in Washington, D.C. convened by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and OurRevolution. About 70 percent of the 450 conference attendees are actively running in 2018, ABC News reports.
What joined those gathered, the actress and activist said, is that "the Democratic establishment didn't want us to run."
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) April 13, 2018
"Young people, people of color, women, working class people of all backgrounds are going to stop showing up for the Democratic Party if the Democratic Party doesn't start showing up for them," she said.
Trump's election was "a wake-up for progressive all across this country," she said, "but even before Trump, the establishment was rigging the economy and our government to benefit those on top."
She went on to criticize "crushing inequality" that happens "by choice—a choice to slash taxes on the super-rich and impose austerity on everybody else."
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Taking aim at Cuomo, she said, "If Washington is a swamp, than Albany is a cesspool."
Contrasting her campaign with Cuomo's, she said, "He has built a $31 million war chest with donations from real estate executives, from Wall Street bankers, from hedge funds." A mere "one percent of his donations are small donor donations." Boasting her progressive credentials, she noted that her campaign is taking no corporate cash. She also mentioned her support for legalized recreational marijuana—which she said is a matter of "racial justice"—and noted her support for legislation to enact universal healthcare in the state.
"It's hard for some Democrats to do right when they're getting millions and millions to do wrong," she added.
"The time is up for corporate Democrats, for politicians who campaign as Democrats but govern as Republicans," Nixon declared. "It can't just be business as usual anymore. I know that our country can do better."
"If we're going to get at the root problem of inequity, we have to turn the system upside down," she continued. "It's not just about getting more Democrats in office but about getting better democrats—ones accountable to voters, not corporate donors."
“This is not a time to settle," she said. "This is a time to fight.”
Watch her full speech here. (Nixon's remarks start at approximately 11:35):