TheLiberalOC is pleased to run this analysis by Jamie Rodny
The California Democractic Convention in Long Beach for the 2020 Presidential race inspired and energized everyone in attendance. When former U.S. Representative for California’s 25th congressional district, Katie Hill, who recently resigned amid a scandal of “revenge porn” disseminated by her ex-husband, addressed the hundreds of men and women in attendance during the Democractic Women’s Caucus, every single person showed her support with a rousing standing ovation that shocked and astounded the former Representative. The women’s caucus focused on the issue of Equal Pay for Equal Work and as chants of “Show Us the Money” rang through the large hall, Presidential hopefuls lined the walls to address the attendees.
Amy Klobauchar gave an impassioned speech that made everyone jump out of their seats. She addressed the question of whether a woman can beat Trump by emphatically stating, “Nancy Pelosi does it everyday!” Pete Buttigieg drove home the point that women’s rights are human rights and they have been under attack since day one of the Trump Administration. Tom Steyer reminded the crowd that he was the first one to fight to impeach President Trump, is a climate change crusader, and fully self funded so he is not beholden to anyone, but the American people.
The event heated up when Congressman and House Intelligence Chairman, Adam Schiff, received a Hero’s welcome as he walked across the stage to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” He received roars of applause as he passionately spoke about the war on our democracy that our very own President is currently waging upon our nation. Congressman Schiff stated, “President Trump is a profound threat to our democracy.” Congressman Schiff drove the point home that no one, including the President of the United States, is above the law. Then, he turned his attention to the thousands in attendance stating “This is a time of great peril, but because of you and millions of activists like you, it’s a time of great promise.” Congressman Schiff earned a standing ovation when he stated, “We will send that charlatan in the White House back to the golden throne he came from! And you know why? Because we vote. How do we build another big, beautiful wave? We vote. Your activism is the engine of the Democratic Party, and your vote is going to save our country.”
Congresswoman Maxine Waters also graced the stage and received a resounding standing ovation as she drove home the importance of a legitimate census and how we must fight to ensure that our census is accurate because it is used to give funding to communities and those that are not counted accurately will not be adequately assisted by federal, state, and local agencies.
Presidential candidates Corey Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang were interviewed, which gave them all an opportunity to answer questions and make their case for the Democratic Presidential nomination, not only to the thousands in attendance, but also to the millions of viewers of Univision News. Univision’s Jorge Ramos, Ilia Calderón, and León Krauze, as well as members of the audience asked the Presidential hopefuls questions about gun control, immigration reform, healthcare, affordable housing, and climate change.
When asked about former President Obama’s record on deporting 3 million people during his time in office, Senator Harris praised President Obama as being “one of the greatest Presidents in history,” while also stating that his policy that deported many who were not criminals was wrong. She stated that as California’s Attorney General she challenged and pushed back against this policy by instructing California law enforcement that “ICE detainers were not mandatory.” An emotional moment occurred when Yvette Mojica, a student and survivor of the mass shooting in Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, asked Senator Harris what she will do to keep students safe from being shot while attending school. Senator Harris stated that she will immediately make universal background checks mandatory and will stop the importation of assault weapons. Senator Harris vowed to take executive action if Congress won’t pass this legislation within the first hundred days in office.
Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) Julian Castro spoke passionately about his determination and persistence to continue the race, even though he has not qualified for the next Democratic debate, stating that his family and many Americans have to overcome much bigger obstacles than this. Upon being asked what he would do about the affordable housing and homelessness crisis in California and throughout America, Secretary Castro stated that he would use HUD’s CDBG and Home funds to enfuse much needed funding to build and maintain affordable housing throughout the country while partnering with local agencies on the ground.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded to questions about healthcare reform by stating that he supports an initial public option instead of a more progressive single-payer plan. Mayor Buttigieg said, “If this is the best plan for everybody, then everybody will choose it and then it will become the single payer.” He argued that some Americans, especially union members, may want to keep their existing health coverage and he does not want to force anyone to abandon an insurance plan they like.
Upon being asked if she was a “tough boss,” Klobauchar stated that she is the first female Senator in Minnesota, works very hard, and expects those who work for her to do so as well. Upon being asked what he would do to tackle America’s income inequality, Andrew Yang explained his plan to give every American $1,000 dollars per month as a way of bridging the wealth gap. Tom Steyer stated that his number one issue on his agenda is climate change. He stated that climate change is the biggest problem that our entire planet is facing and we must be the leader in green energy and should work with developing nations to change their infrastructure and energy to green renewable energy sources. In response to a question from the mother of the thirteen year old girl, who was shot at the Gilroy Garlic Festival this year, Senator Cory Booker gave an impassioned speech about how he tried to save his friend’s life, who was shot outside his home in New Jersey. His speech brought some in the audience to tears. Senator Booker emphatically stated, “I am tired of seeing the number one cause of death for black and brown children in this country is murder. And under my leadership it will stop. I will bring a fight to the corporate gun lobby and the NRA like they have never seen before.”
Last but certainly not least, was Senator Bernie Sanders, who arrived on stage to a thundering applause that nearly blew the top off the arena. Senator Sanders was quick to respond to the question of whether President Obama’s immigration policy was wrong with an emphatic “Yes.” Senator Sanders stated immigration reform is at the top of his agenda. He stated that he wants what the American people want, “to stop this ugly dehumanization of the immigrant community and the racism.” Senator Sanders stated that he wants to reestablish the status of the 1.8 million young people and their parents on DACA.
Senator Sanders called for a “political revolution” to expand DACA, fight climate change, medicare for all, make public colleges tuition free, and get rid of the student debt in America by taxing Wall Street. Senator Sanders stated “There is something profoundly wrong in our country when so few people have so much, when so many people are struggling in this country.” Senator Sanders also stated that climate change is a threat to the entire planet and he wants to stand up to the fossil fuel industry to change our infrastructure and dependence on fossil fuels. Senator Sanders received a standing ovation and closed out the convention to a roaring applause from the entire arena.