U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) made her first pitch to Nevada Democrats today since announcing her 2020 presidential campaign. While there, she built on her reputation of economic justice advocacy and broadened it to a larger theme of justice as she declared, “This is our chance in our democracy to turn it around. This is our chance to make America work, not just for the rich and powerful, but for everyone.”
So what else did Warren say today? Here’s the full rundown of Warren’s big Nevada caucus season debut.
“When my momma got a minimum wage job, a minimum wage job could support a family of three. Now, a minimum wage job can’t support a momma and her baby. That is not right, and that is why I’m in this fight.”
– Elizabeth Warren
Last June Elizabeth Warren visited Reno and Henderson to campaign for (now Senator) Jacky Rosen (D), and to test her own campaign platform with Nevada voters. While speaking alongside U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D) at a Nevada State Democratic Party event in Henderson, she tied the endemic corruption of our politics to the growing crisis of economic inequality when she asked, “Do you believe government is supposed to work, not just for some who can afford to come to Washington and hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers […], or do you believe government is supposed to work for us?”
Warren returned to this theme of justice and equity at Springs Preserve today, and she began today’s rally by sharing her own story. Warren spoke of how her mother worried how they would survive after her father had a heart attack that forced him out of his sales job. Warren then shared how her mother helped the family get by and stay in their house: “She walked to Sears and got a minimum wage job. That saved our house, and she saved our family.”
As she returned her presentation to the present day, Warren pointed out, “When my momma got a minimum wage job, a minimum wage job could support a family of three. Now, a minimum wage job can’t support a momma and her baby. That is not right, and that is why I’m in this fight.”
“We have the money to make the investment in infrastructure, in jobs, right here in America. Everybody pays their fair share. Everybody has an opportunity to get ahead.”
– Elizabeth Warren
As Warren made her case on why she should be elected as America’s 46th President, she declared, “I want a government that works for little families, not just big corporations.” She then added, “America isn’t working for working families any longer. That’s what we have to change.”
So how will a President Warren change this? During her speech, and then during a short question and answer session with the audience, Warren got into details by highlighting her Anti-corruption and Public Integrity Act to basically ensure the nation never again experiences something like the present culture of corruption that defines the current Trump administration. Warren also expanded upon her endorsement of the “Green New Deal” by vowing to end public subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and instead direct investment into renewable energy. In addition, she explained at great length how her “wealth tax” of 2% on assets valued over $50 million and 3% on assets valued over $1 billion will pay for her version of the “Green New Deal”, as well as “Medicare for All” single-payer health care, student loan debt relief, and additional public infrastructure investments that the nation needs.
As Warren described her plans, and how to pay for them, “We have the money to make the investment in infrastructure, in jobs, right here in America. Everybody pays their fair share. Everybody has an opportunity to get ahead.” She reiterated this point after the rally, when a reporter asked that very question.
“This is the time to dream big, fight hard, and win.”
– Elizabeth Warren
During her time at Springs Preserve, Warren also made an effort to connect her economic policies to progressives’ demands for social justice… And answer critics who say Warren’s own past casts doubt on her commitment to civil rights and social justice. She spoke of how past housing policies, such as “redlining”, targeted communities of color, then pointed out how more recent financial deregulation has caused continued struggles for communities of color.
As Warren put it, “Race matters, and we have to call it out when anyone is making decisions to harm people based on this.” And as Warren also promised to fight to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood community health care programs and humane immigration reform, she returned once more to her broader theme of justice and equity: “This is our chance in our democracy to turn it around. This is our chance to make America work, not just for the rich and powerful, but for everyone.”
Towards the end of the program, Warren once more sought to bring it all together with this broader message: “We’re going to make a choice about what kind of nation we are and what kind of people we are.” She then implored upon Nevada Democrats, “Don’t spend it on little pieces here and there. Build it on structural changes. This is the time to dream big, fight hard, and win.”
For the most part, Warren enjoyed a receptive audience here in Las Vegas. As a state that remains scarred from the “Great Recession” and its aftermath, and as an “early caucus/primary state” with a much more diverse electorate than those in Iowa and New Hampshire, we present a prime opportunity for Democrats to test their message and prove whether they can provide one of economic equity and social justice that excites progressive-minded voters. Judging from her big Nevada debut as a presidential candidate, it looks like Warren is serious about taking this very opportunity to “dream big, fight hard, and win”.