tv Campaign 2020 Sen. Elizabeth Warren Speech in Washington Square Park NYC CSPAN September 17, 2019 8:57am-9:44am EDT
anyone else. we need to restore integrity and we need to restore a sense of service to all of the people. >> voices from the campaign trail, part of c-span's battleground states tour. >> next, massachusetts senator and presidential candidate elizabeth warren gives a speech in new york city's washington square park near greenwich village. ahead of that she unveiled a proposal her campaign calls the biggest anticorruption plan is watergate. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
[cheers and applause] thank you, maurice. and can were here for state senator and assemblywoman? [cheers and applause] >> hello, new york. [cheers and applause] now, some of you know this. i never thought i would get into politics. not in a million years. but when i got into this fight, i quickly found out, nobody makes it on their own. if you're going to make any kind of progress in this country, you
need allies who know how to fight. and more importantly, you need allies who know how to win. [applause] the working families party has been on the front lines of fighting for racial and economic justice, and building a grassroots movement to elect the next generation. and i am honored to have their support. [cheers and applause] and tonight, , with all of you s witnesses, i'm going to make a promise. and that is, when i'm in the white house, working families will have a champion. [applause] [cheers and applause] so thank you, maurice, and thank you to the working families party. now, when so many good people
show up, i usually do a town hall followed by a selfie. tonight it's a little something different. i want to tell you a story that i haven't had the chance to tell before. it's an important story about our past and about our future, but i will stick afterwards for as long as anyone wants to take a selfie. [cheers and applause] somethings we just don't mess with. [laughing] ..
. [applause] we're here because of some hard working women. women who more than a hundred years ago worked long hours in a brown 10-story building just a block that way. women who worked at the triangle shirtwaist factory. so, here is what i want you to hear. it was march 25th, 1911, it's a saturday. and at about 4:45 in the afternoon, people walking at this very park, looked up and saw black smoke billowing into the sky. a fire started in that building. inside that building on the top three floors, deadly flames, leapt from the bin to the oily
floor and from the floor sweeping cross work room to the workers trapped, women, girls some as young as 14, race today escape, but the exit doors were locked. others ran to the windows waving their arms and screaming for help. no help was coming. the fire department's ladders could only reach to the sixth floor. the flames leapt higher and women started crawling out on to the ledges. and as people on the ground stood in shocked silence, a woman jumped and then another, and then another, they hit the ground with a sickening thud. they died on impact. so many, so fast, that the women's bodies piled up on the sidewalks. their blood ran into the gutters.
thousands more-- dozens more were trapped inside. trapped because the door to the staircase was locked, locked by bosses who claimed that the workers might steal scraps of cloth. firefighters would later find a pile of burned bodies next to that locked door. it took 18 minutes for 146 people to die. mostly women, mostly immigrants, jewish, and italian and mostly people who made as little as $5 a week to get their shot at the american dream. it was one of the worst industrial disasters in american history. one of the worst that should not have been a surprise. for years across the city women factory workers and their allies had been sounding the alarm about dangerous and squalid conditions, fighting for shorter hours and higher
pay. they protested, they went on strike, they got coverage in the press. everyone knew about these problems. but the fat profits were making new york's factory owners were rich and they had no plans to give that up. instead of changing conditions at the factories, the owners worked their political connections. they made campaign contributions and talked with friends in the legislature. they greased the state government so thoroughly that nothing changed. business owners got richer, politicians got more powerful and working people paid the price. does any of this sound familiar? take any big problem we have in america today and you don't have to dig very deep to see
the same system at work. climate change, gun safety, health care, on the face of it these three are totally different issues, but despite our being the strongest and wealthiest country in the history of the world, our democracy is paralyzed. and why? because giant corporations have bought off our government. americans are killed by floods and fires in a rapidly warming planet, why? because huge fossil fuel corporations have bought out our government. americans are killed with unthinkable speed and efficiency in our streets and our stores and our schools. why? because the gun industry has
bought off our government. americans are dying because they can't afford to fill prescriptions or pay for treatment. why? because health insurance companies and drug companies have bought off our government. now, americans disagree on many things, but we don't want each other's homes burned down by wildfire. we doesn't want each other's children murdered at school and we don't want each other's families bankrupted by medical bills. what we want is for our government to do something. [applaus [applause]
>> and yet, our federal government is unable to act, unable to take even the most basic steps to protect the american people. now, when you see a government that works great and goes with money and connections and doesn't work for much of anyone else, that's corruption plain and simple and we need to call it out for what it is. [cheers and applause] corruption has put our planet at risk. corruption has broken our economy and corruption is breaking our democracy. i know what's broken. i've got a plan to fix it and that's why i'm running for president of the united states.
[cheers and applause] [crowd chanting] >> okay. so let's start with the obvious. donald trump is corruption in the flesh. he's sworn to serve the people of the united states, but he only serves himself and his partners in corruption. he tries to divide us, white against black, christians against muslim, strait against queer and trans and everyone
against immigrants because if we're all busy fighting each other, no one will notice that he and his buddies are stealing more and more of our country's wealth and destroying the future for everyone else. [cheers and applause] now, as bad as things are, we have to recognize our problems didn't start with donald trump. he made them worse, but we need to take a deep breath and recognize that the country that elects donald trump is already in serious trouble. [cheers and applause] republican politicians sold out a long time ago, filling the courts with judges who expand the rights of corporations, while they destroy the rights of citizens. passing tax cuts for wealthy donors while doing nothing to help working families, and
sucking up corporate donations while lying about climate change, lying about guns, and lying about health care. [cheers and applause] and too many politicians in both parties have convinced themselves that playing the money for influence game is the only way to get something done. so what has this corrupt business as usual gotten us? the extinction of one piece sees after another as the earth heats up. children slaughtered by assault weapons, the highest levels of inequality in a century. wages that barely budge crippling student loan debt, shrinking opportunity for the next generation and the one after that, and the one after that. the american people get it and they are sick of it. [cheers and applause]
corruption has taken over our government and we're running out of time. we must root it out and return our democracy to the people and, yes, i got a plan for that. [cheers and applause] okay. so i got a lot of plans, but they all come back to one simple idea, could economic and political power in the hands of the people, yeah, and we start by rooting out corruption in government. no more business as usual, let's attack corruption head on, are you ready? so i've got the biggest anti-corruption plan since watergate. it's a plan to shut down the
ability of the rich and powerful to use their money to tilt every decision in washington. i want to give you a sample of what we can do. end lobbying as we know it. [cheers and applause] no high ranking public official should be thinking about their next job while they're collecting a paycheck to represent the american people. so i have a lifetime ban on senators, congressmen and cabinet secretaries from ever being-- [cheers and applause] and no more hiring corporate lobbyists to stack up the federal government. look, the right of every person
in this country to petition their government does not protect a multi-billion dollar influence industry whose sole purpose is to undermine democracy and tilt every decision in favor of those who can pay. so let's shut this industry down and return our government to the people. [cheers and applause] oh, and there's more. no more secret meetings. every single meeting between a lobbyist and a public official should be a matter of public record. [cheers and applause] no more lobbying on behalf of foreign governments. and no more campaign contributions or bundling by
lobbyists, contributing to a campaign at the same time that you're paid to influence those same elected officials is the very definition of bribery and we're going to put a stop to it. here is another, anyone, anyone who wants to run for federal office will have to put their tax returns on-line. [cheers and applause] and there's more. presidents, cabinet members, members of congress will be barred from owning businesses on the side. barred from trading in individual stocks. you know, look, take care of the people's business or take care of your own business, but you can't do both at the same
time. [cheers and applause] corruption and influence peddling has seeped into over corner of our government so it's time for new plans for our regulators. far too many agencies act like wholly owned subsidiaries of the companies they are supposed to regulate. when these agencies are captured, the results are collusion and financial advisors who cheat people while regulators look the other way. enough is enough. [cheers and applause] we're going to take down the for-sale signs hanging outside of every federal building in washington. oh, and here is another one. it's also time to call out corruption in the federal judiciary.
[cheers and applause] increasingly big-shot corporate lawyers are getting appointed federal judges and they turn out one decision after another in favor of corporations and against the interests of american consumers, against unions, and against vulnerable people who must count on the courts to protect their rights. shadowy right wing groups have spent millions of dollars to ram through aggressively unqualified nominees who are likely to advance their causes. no one should be surprised that public confidence in our federal courts is at an all-time low, but we can fix it. we will rewrite the basic code of ethics for federal judges. and we will appoint a whole new generation of judges with diverse backgrounds and a wide range of legal experiences.
judges who actually believe in fundamental principles like rule of law, civil rights, and equal justice. [cheers and applause] and finally, we will end the corruption of our campaign finance system. overturn citizens united, democracy is not for sale. [cheers and applause] get rid of super pacs and secret spending by the billionaires, and break the big donor's stranglehold by creating a system of public funding for our elections. look, i get it. i know that some people will always have more money so they
can own more shoes or more clothes than other people, but no one should own more of our democracy. [cheers and applause] corruption comes in other forms, too. and i have plans for those. a plan to end the corrupt practice of selling fancy ambassadorships to wealthy donors because american diplomacy should not be for sale. a plan to abolish private prisons. [cheers and applause] no one should make a profit locking people up and no one should have a financial incentive to lobby congress to lock up even more people.
a plan to stop selling access to federal lands and national parks to giant polluters. and to break the stranglehold of the coal industry and the oil industry and energy production and transportation. [cheers and applause] and, yeah, when we're talking corruption, we need to call it out in the oval office. [cheers and applause] i read all 448 pages of the mueller report. no one is above the law, not even the united states president. impeachment is our
constitutional duty. [cheers and applause] so there it is. [crowd chanting] >> so there it is. step one. tackle corruption head-on. step two, transform our economy so that every person no matter where they live, no matter who their parents are, no matter how much money they have, every person has real opportunity. the chance to work hard, to play by the same set of rules, and to take care of themselves and the people they love. corruption in washington has
allowed the rich and the powerful to tilt the rules and grow richer and more powerful. but this small slice at the top hasn't just scooped up a huge chunk of the wealth that all of us have worked so hard to produce, they have gobbled up opportunity itself. for the rich and the powerful in this country, there are first, second, third, and fourth chances to get ahead. but for a lot of americans, especially for people of color, there is barely one or for tomorrow r some, no chance at all. we have the power to fix that. [cheers and applause] we are the wealthiest nation in
the history of the world. [crowd chanting] >> we can afford medicare for all to save our people and a green new deal to save our planet. [cheers and applause] we just need real investments in working people. so let's start with more power in the hands of workers. make it easier to join a union and give unions more powerful when they negotiate. [cheers and applause] and, yes, it's time for a wealth tax. [cheers and applause] so-- [crowd chanting]
yes, that is a two cent tax on fortunes over $50 million. your first 50 million, don't worry, you're in the clear. but for your 50 millionth and first dollar, you've got to pitch in two cents and two cents for every dollar after that, just two cents. [crowd chanting] so i look at it this way, you built a great fortune here in this country, worked hard, stayed up late, unlike anyone else, yeah, you worked hard, you built a great fortune or you inherited one, good for you. but i guarantee that any great
fortune in america was built at least in part using workers all of us helped pay to educate. [cheers and applause] so at least in part, getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all of us helped pay to build. built at least in part protected by police and firefighters all of us helped pay their salaries. and we're happy to do it. this is america. we're happy to invest in opportunities for everyone, but we're saying that if you make it big, really big, really, really big, it will cost of 1/10 of 1% bigger than $50 million then pitch in two cents so everyone else gets a chance to make it.
yeah. yeah. [crowd chanting] and what can we do with two cents? oh, universal child care for every baby in this country. universal pre-k for every three-year-old and four-year-old in america. and raise the wages of every child care worker and pre-school teacher in this country. all that for two cents and more. we can make technical school, community college and four-year college tuition-free for everyo everyone.
and we can truly level the playing field and put $50 billion directly into our historically black colleges and universities [inaudible] . all of that and we can cancel student loan debt for 95% of the country. so think of what that means. real opportunity. not just opportunity for people born into privilege, opportunity for everyone. and opportunity, real opportunity requires honesty. working families all across this country have been denied the opportunities they deserve. but the path for black, brown
and native families have been even steeper. and that is why my plans tackle historical injustice head-on and here are a few examples. my student debt cancellation plan will help close the wealth gap between black and white families. [cheers and applause] my criminal justice plan will end the practice of mass incarceration that has destroyed the lives of so many black and brown men. my housing plan will help families living in formerly red lined areas, buy a home and start building the kind of wealth that government sponsored denies their parents and grandparents.
my climate plan includes justice for the black and brown communities that have struggled with the impact of pollution. and my plan respects the rights of native americans to protect their lands and being stewards of this earth. and on day one of my administrati administration, i love the thought of what a president can do all by herself s [cheers and applause] on day one of my administration i will use my executive authority to start closing the pay gap between women of color and everyone else because it's about time we value the work of
women of color. [cheers and applause] we must recognize the system ic discrimination that affects our economy and we must work actively and deliberately to root it out and set this country on a better path. the time for holding back is over. we need big structural change. [cheers and applause] now, i know what some of you are thinking. i do. whoa, too much! too big, too hard, . okay. nobody here, but we know there are some people over there, right? way, way out. okay. but you know, i know this
change is possible and i know it because america has made big structural change before. let me take you back to the day of that fire. a woman was visiting friends who lived in a town house right behind me when the fire broke out. she hurried into the street and followed the crowd to the tie trainingle factory, and when she got there, she stood and she watched, she watched as the women on the ledge begged for help. she watched as they held each other. she watched as they jumped to their deaths. the woman watching was francis
pe perkens. she was 30 years old and a rights activist. that set the change in motion. a week later, the women's trade unions organized a funeral march and a half a million people showed up to march on fifth avenue right behind me. [cheers and applause] half a million people in 1911. and it wasn't their first march, but this time it was different. while the women of the trade unions kept pushing from the outside, frances pushed from the inside. she understood that those women died because of the greed of their bosses and the corruption of elected officials. so she went up to albany ready to fight. she worked to create a commission investigating factory conditions and then she served as its lead
investigator. everybody remember, this was years before women could even vote, let alone hold major roles in government. but frances had a plan. [cheers and applause] she and her fellow activists fought for fire safety. so the next time you do a fire drill at school or at work, you see a plainly marked fire exit, think of frances and the triangle lens because they're the region that they didn't change. they didn't stop with fire safety. with frances working from the inside and the women workers applying pressure from the outside, they rewrote new york state's labor laws from top to bottom, to protect workers.
now, over time, frances perkens became the state's leading expert on working conditions and later, when franklin roosevelt was elected governor, he appointed her to head the labor department in albany and four years after that, in the depths of the great depression when roosevelt became president, he asked francis to come to washington to address crisis as secretary of labor for the entire nation. franc francis perkens became the first woman in history to serve in the cabinet. and what did she push for when she got there? big structural change. [cheers and applause] she used the same model she and her friends used after the
triangle fire. she worked the political system relentlessly from the inside while a sustained movement applied pressure from the outside. as she put it, the triangle fire was the day the new deal was born. so here is what i want you to think about. what did one woman, one very persistent woman-- [cheers and applause] one woman backed up by millions of people across this country get done? social security. unemployment insurance. abolition of child labor. minimum wage. the right to join a union.
and even the very existence of the weekend. that's big structural change. one woman and millions of people to back her up. the tragic story of the triangle factory fire is a story about power, a story of what happens when the rich and the powerful take control of government and use it to increase their own profits, stick it to working people, but what happened in the aftermath of the fire is a different story about power, a story about our power. a story about what's possible when we fight together as one. over and over throughout our history americans have been
told that big structural change just wasn't possible, and that they should just give up. the abolitionists, we're told, it's just too hard. give up now. the suffragets were told, it's just too hard give up now. foot soldiers in the civil rights movement were told, it's hard give up now. those in the lbgt were told it's just hard hard -- too hard, but they didn't give up. no, they didn't give up. they organized. they built a grass roots movement. they persisted.
and they changed the course of american history. [crowd chanting] 2020 is about the direction our america goes. not just for four years, but for generations to come. and yeah, there's a lot at stake in this election. and i know, people are scared, but we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in just because we're too scared to do anything else. and democrats can't win if we're scared and looking
backwards. we win when we meet the moment. we win when we stand up for what is right. we win when we get out there and fight. i am not afraid. and you can't be afraid either. so if you're ready to fight, then join me. go to elizabethwarren.com. help us organize, volunteer, donate $5, text to 24477, we
>> according to politico senator warren's washington office said she would be reintroducing an updated version of the bill she introduced in the previous congress, the anti-corruption and public integrity act in the coming months. the additions include a ban on lobbyist froms engaging any fund raising activity and would apply to hosting fundraisers to become ago campaign bundlers. and some issues banning members of congress and other top ranking officials from serving on for-profit boards and requiring more exposure for political intelligence firms. read more about this at politico.com. ♪ c-span is back in des moines,
iowa this saturday for live campaign 2020 coverage of the polk county democratic annual steak fry with 18 political candidates will take the podium. watch live on c-span, c-span.org, or listen to the free radio app. >> our c-span campaign 2020 bus team is travelling across the country and visiting key battle ground races, and what issues they want the candidates to address in the campaign. >> one of the pressing issues i'd like to see them talk about is health care because there's a lack of health care in the country right now. i think affordable health care at the very least and some people aren't going as far as i would like to go into the details how they plan to handle that. i hear a lot of general ideas, but i like policy a lot. i like to see where that goes. >> i would really like for the
candidates to discuss how we're going to renormalize ourselves as leaders in what we used to call the free world in the rest of the world as a leader in democracy, and a leader in democratic values around the world. and also, a cooperating force with the rest of the world. i would like to know if i meet the candidates their ideas on nuclear energy and the reinvestment of the technology in every state in the country and i would like to know if they believe it is sustainable, reliable use and worth the investment to our nation. >> i'm really concerned about the climate crisis and the gun safety legislation and those are two things that have to be addressed by the election next year. i wish they'd be addressed by congress before that, but it doesn't appear that the senate would move on that, also, we need to try to get back to
enforcing the constitution that whoever becomes president should obey the emoluments clause, should conduct business with integrity, should not ridicule minorities or handicap people or aged or anyone else. and we need to restore integrity and we need to restore a sense of service to all of the people. >> voices from the campaign trail, part of c-span's battle ground states tour. >> on the senate floor, majority leader mitch mcconnell defended supreme court justice brett kavanaugh over the latest sexual assault allegation made against him in the new york times over the weekend. we'll also show you remarks by senator chuck grassley, a member of the judiciary committee who chaired the panel when justin kavanaugh was