Jun 13, 2018
Speaking to hundreds of grassroots organizers at the We the People Summit in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers displayed their shift to the left on a number of causes that progressives say politicians must embrace and fight for, in order to win enthusiastic support in upcoming elections.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) all spoke at the gathering, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
"We are here to send a message to the leaders of the Democratic party: we must do more than resist, and put forward an agenda that puts Main Street before Wall Street." --Chris Shelton, CWASanders' steadfast and outspoken support for popular proposals like Medicare for All, a fair federal minimum wage, and an end to income inequality has been credited with encouraging Democrats to move left--and letting party candidates and lawmakers know that a growing number of Americans will no longer support them if they continue to align themselves with Wall Street and other powerful corporate interests.
At the summit, hosted by a number of progressive groups including Indivisible, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood, 350 Action, and the Working Families Party, public officials and advocates alike spoke in favor of a forward-thinking agenda.
\u201c"Just a few years ago many of the things we are fighting for were considered too radical, like #MedicareForAll and #FightFor15 - Now these ideas are supported by the majority of American people!" @SenSanders #WeThePeople18\u201d— Indivisible Guide (@Indivisible Guide) 1528900593
\u201c"Workers said we need a living wage. Folks were saying you are crazy for trying to raise the minimum wage to $15. Well today, this is being passed in states across the country and we have 30 co-sponsors on that bill in the senate!" - @SenSanders #WeThePeople18\u201d— CWA (@CWA) 1528903466
Booker and Gillibrand spoke about the right to healthcare and Medicare for All.
\u201c"Healthcare is a right. Healthcare is a right. HEALTHCARE. IS. A. RIGHT. You cannot access the American dream without access to healthcare. When people are denied healthcare, people die. And mental and physical health are the same. Thing." @SenBooker at #WeThePeople18\u201d— Indivisible Guide (@Indivisible Guide) 1528897705
Warren spoke about the need for criminal justice reform, while Jayapal condemned the inhumane treatment of families who have immigrated to and sought asylum in the U.S., as the Trump administration has begun forcibly separating parents and children.
\u201c"We are ruining lives by incarcerating people and putting them in sub-human conditions. And then when they are out of prison, they can't vote, can't get a driver's license, and can't get a job." @SenWarren at #WeThePeople18\u201d— Indivisible Guide (@Indivisible Guide) 1528899159
"We are here to send a message to the leaders of the Democratic party: we must do more than resist, and put forward an agenda that puts Main Street before Wall Street," said Chris Shelton, president of the Communication Workers of America (CWA), which co-hosted the event. "Stand with us, not with Wall Street!"
"We're not just pulling the party to the left. We're pulling the party into the future," said Heather McGhee, president of Demos and one of the event's moderators. "This is what Democracy looks like."
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