tv Campaign 2020 Sen. Elizabeth Warren Speech in Washington Square Park NYC CSPAN September 17, 2019 1:30pm-2:16pm EDT
created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local table or satellite providers . c-span, your unfiltered view of government . >> presidential candidate senator elizabeth warren spoke to supporters at washington square park last night . the massachusetts democrat talked about the influence of corporate money in politics and outlined her plans to curtail corruptionin the white house, and the courts . >>.
>>. [applause] >> thank you maurice and can we hear it or state senator theology and assemblywoman neil. [applause] hello new york. now, some of you know this. i never thought i'd getinto politics . not in 1 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 to
know how to fight area and more importantly, you need allies who know how to win. [applause] the working families party has been on the 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. [applause] and tonight, with all of you here as 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] so thank you maurice and thank you to the working familiesparty . now, when so many good people show up, i usually do a townhall followed by a selfie
. tonight, it's a little something different. i want to show you a story i haven't had a chance to tell before. it's an important story about our past and about our future. but i'll stay afterwards for as long as anyone wants to take selfie's . some things we just don'tmess with . so i am especially glad to be here in washington square park. i wanted to give this speech right here and not because of the arch behind me or the president that this square is named for area and no, we're not here today because of famous arches or famous men. in fact, we're not here because of men at all . [applause] we are here
because of some hard-working women . women who more than 100 years ago worked long hours in a brown can story building just a block that way. women who worked at the triangle shirtwaist factory. so here's what i want you to hear. it was march 25 1911. it's a saturday and about 4:45 in the afternoon, people walking through this very part looked up and saw black smoke billowing into the sky. a fire had started in that building. and inside that building on the top three floors, deadly flames leapt from a been to the oily floor and from the floors tothe walls , sweeping across workrooms and traffic the workers.
fighting for their lives, women, girls really, some as young as 14 race to escape the exit doors were locked. others ran to the windows waving their arms and screaming for help . no helpwas coming . the fire departments ladders could only reach to the sixth floor. the flames leapt higher and women started crawling out on tothe ledges . and as people on the ground stood in shocked silence, a womanjumped . and then another and then another. they hit the ground with a sickening thud. a died on impact, so many so fast that the women's bodies piled up on the sidewalks. their blood ran into the gutters. thousands, dozens more were
trapped inside. trapped close the door to the staircase was locked. lock my bosses afraid that the workers mightsteal scraps of cloth . i have fighters would later find a pile of burned bodies next to that locked door. it took 18 minutes 446 people to die. mostly women, mostly immigrants. jewish and italian. mostly people who made as little as five dollars 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, but it should not have been a surprise. years, across the city, women's factory workers and their allies had been sounding the alarm about dangerous and squalid conditions, writingfor shorter hours and higher pay
. they went on strike, they got coverage. everyone knew about these problems . the fat profits were making new york's factory owners rich and they had no plans to give that up. instead of changing conditions at the factory, the owners worked their political connections. in a campaign contributions and talked to friends in the legislature area a breeze the state governmentso thoroughly that nothing changed . 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, then safety .
healthcare. on the face of it these three are totally different issues but despite our being the strongest and wealthiest country in thehistory of the world , our democracy is paralyzed. and why? because giant corporations have bought off our government . americans are killed by floods and fire in a rapidly warming planet. why? because huge fossil fuel corporations have offour 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 till prescriptions or pay for treatment . why? because health insurance companies and drug companies have bought off ourgovernment . now, americans disagree on many things. but we don't want each other'shomes burned down by wildfires . we don'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 . [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 for those with money and connections and doesn't work or much of anyone else, that's corruption plain and simple and we need to call it outfor what it is . [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. that's why i'm running for president of the unitedstates .
[applause] >>. [chanting] warren, warren. >> let's start with the obvious. president 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 incorruption . he tries to divide us, white against black, christians against muslims,straight against queer and trans and everyone against immigrants .
but because 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 . 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 a country that lx donald trump is already in serious trouble. [applause] republican politicians sold out a long time ago, filling the courts with judges who expand the right to 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 healthcare. 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 species after another as the earth eats up. children slaughtered by assault weapons. the highest levels of inequality in a century. wages that barely budge, crippling student loan debt, shrinking opportunities 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. [applause] corruption has
taken over our government and we are running out of time. we must root it out and return our democracy to the people and yes, i got a plan for that. [applause] okay, so i've got a lot of plans but they all come back to one simple idea: put economic and political power in the hands of the people. now, can we start by rooting out corruption in government. no more business as usual. fight tax corruption head on, are you ready? so i've got the biggest anticorruption plan since
watergate. it's a plan to shut down the ability of the rich and powerful to use their money to kill every decision in washington. so i just want to give you a sample of what we can do. and lobbying as we know it. no high-ranking public official should be thinking about their next job while there collecting a paycheck to represent the american people. so i have a lifetime ban on senators, congressmen and cabinet secretaries. [applause] and no more hiring corporate lobbyists, to stack up the federalgovernment . look, the right of every person in this country to petition their government
does not protect the multibillion-dollar influence industry whose sole purpose is to undermine democracy and kill every decision in favor of those who can pay. so let's shut this industry down andreturn our government to the people . oh, and there's more. no more secret meetings. every single meeting between a lobbyist and a public official should be a matter of publicrecord . [applause] no more lobbying on behalf of foreign governments . [applause] 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 toput a stop to it . and here's another. anyone, anyone who wants to run for federal office will have to put the tax returns online. [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. take care of the people's business or take care of your own business but you can't do both at the same time. [applause] corruption and
influence peddling has seat into every corner of our government. so it's time for some new plans for our regulators. far too many agencies act like wholly owned subsidiaries of the companies they aresupposed to regulate . when these agencies are captured, the results are pollution and financial advisors to cheat people, all while regulators look the other way. enough is enough. we're going to take down the for-sale signs hanging outside of every federal building in washington . and here's another one. we're also trying to call out corruption in the federal judiciary.
[applause] increasingly, hot-shot corporate lawyers are getting appointed federal judges as 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 would 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 this . we will rewrite the basic code of ethics forfederal 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
it's fundamental principles like rule of law, civil rights and equal justice . and finally, we will end the corruption ofour campaign finance system .overturn citizens united, democracy is not on sale. get rid of super pacs and secret spending by the billionaires . and break the big donor stranglehold by creating a system of public funding for ourelections . i know that some people will always have more money so they can all own more shoes
or more close than other people, but no one should own more of our democracy. [applause] corruption comes in other forms to and i have plans forthose . a plan to end the corrupt practice of selling fancy ambassadorship's to wealthy donors because american diplomacy should not be for sale. a plan to abolish private prisons. 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 so giant polluters and to break the stranglehold of the coal industry and the oil industry and energy production and transportation . and yes, when we're talking corruption, we need to call it out in the oval office. 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.
so there it is. >>. [chanting] warren, warren , warren. >> so there it is. tackle corruption head on. step two, transport 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 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 opportunities itself. for the rich and 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 some no chance at all. we have the power to fix that. we are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.
>>. [chanting] warren, warren, warren we can afford medicare for all to save our people and agreen new deal to save our planet . [cheering] we just need real investment in working people so let's start with more power in the hands of workers . make it easier to join aunion and give unions more power when they negotiate . and yes, it's time for a wealth tax. yes.
that is a two percent tax on portions 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 dollarafter that . just two cents. so i look at it this way. you build a great fortune here in this country, worked hard, stayed up late unlike anyone else. you work hard, you built a greatfortune or you inherited one. good for you . i guarantee that any great fortune in america was built
at least in part using workers all of us help pay to educate. built at least in part getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all ofus felt paid to build . built at least in part detected by police and firefighters, all of us help 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, the top one 10th of one percent, bigger than $50 million,and pitch in two cents so everyone else gets a chance to make it .
[applause] and what can we do with two cents? universal childcare 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 childcare worker and preschool 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 everyone. and we can level the playing field and put $50 billion
directly into our historically black colleges and universities . >> all of this and we can cancel student loan debt for 95 percent. so think 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 and brown and native families has been even steeper.
and that is why my plan to tackle historical injustice had on and here are a few examples. my student debt cancellation plan will help close the wealth gap between black and white families. my criminal justice plan will end the practice of mass incarceration that is has destroyed the lives of black and brown people. my housing plan will help families living in formerly red line areas by a home and start building the kind of wealth that government sponsored discrimination denied 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 to affect the rights of nations native americans to protect their lands and be a steward of this earth. and on day one of my administration, i love the thought of what a president can doall by herself . on day one of my administration, i will use my executive authority to start closing the pay between women of color and everyone else because it's about time we
found work. >> we must recognize the systemic determination that inspects 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. now, i know what some of you are thinking. i do. too much. too big, too hard. okay, nobody here but we know there's people over there. way way out. 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 live in a townhouse right behind me when the fire broke out. she hurried into the streets. she joined the crowd as they ran across the park and headed to the triangle factory and when she got there, she stood and she watched. she watched as women on the ledge beg for help. she watched as they held each other. she watched as they jumped to their deaths. the woman watching was francis curtis. she was 30 years old and already and workers rights activist but that day set
change in motion. a week later, the women's trade unions organize a funeral march and a half 1 million people showed up the march on fifth avenue right behind me. half 1 million people in 1911 . and it wasn't their first march. but this time it was different. while the women of the trade union kept pushing from the outside, francis pushed from the inside area 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 serve as leadinvestigator . remember, this was years
before women could even vote let alone hold major roles in government . but francis had a plan. she and her fellow activists fought for fire safety. and so the next time you do a fire drill at school or at work, you see a plainly marked fire exit, and of francis and the triangle women because they are the reason the law has changed but they didn't stop with fire safety. with francis working the system from the inside, and women workers organized and applied pressure from the outside, they rewrote new york states labor laws from top to bottom to protect workers. [applause] now, over time
francis perkins become the state's leading experts on working conditions and later when franklin roosevelt was elected governor, he appointed her to have his labor department in albany and at four years after that, in the depths of the great depression, when roosevelt became president, he asked francis to come to washington to address the crisis as territory of labor for the entire nation. >> francis burton became the first woman in history to serve in the cabinets. and what did she push for when she got there? big structural change. >> use the same model she and her friends had use after the triangle fire. he works the political system relentlessly from the inside
while a sustained movement applied pressure from the outside . as breakfast burton put it, triangle fire was the day that new deal was born. so here's what i want you to thinkabout . what did one woman, one very persistent woman. [applause] one woman backed up by millions of people of 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 story of the triangle factory fire is a story about power. a story of what happens when the rich and powerful take control of government and use it to increase their own profits while they stick it toworking 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 and 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 coalition this were told it's just too hard. give up now. the suffragists were told to hard, you now. union organizers were told it's just too hard, give up now. but soldiers in the civil rights movement were told to hard, give up now. lgbtq activists were told to hard, give up now but they didn't give up . [applause] they didn't give up. they organized. they built a grassroots movement. a persistent. and they changed the course
of american history. 2020 is about the direction our america goes. not just for four years but for generations to,. and yes, there's a lot of estate in this election. and i know people are scared. we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in just because we'retoo scared to do anything else . and democrats can't win if we are scared and looking backwards. we win when we meet the
campaign coverage of the pull county democrat annual kick fry beginning at 2 pm eastern where aching presidential candidates will take the stage for speeches, what people county iowa state fry live on c-span or listen live on the go using the free radio app. >> the senate is about to come back in knowing their weekly party caucus meeting. vice president pentz met with republicans during their chamber meeting, the chamber continues work on nominations this afternoon voting on the us ambassador for sweden's nominee and then this evening democrats are scheduled to come to the floor to talk about gun violence legislation. and now to live senate coverage you're on cspan2. >> order.
the senator from georgia. mr. perdue: we're not in a quorum call, are we? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. perdue: madam president, i rise today with mixed emotions. i rise to recognize an incredible georgian, a true statesman, a titan of the united states senate, and maybe most important, friend to me and many people here in this town and back home in georgia, senator johnny isakson. like