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Friday, February 14, 2020

Warren campaigns in Northern Virginia

Warren speaks at Wakefield High School.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign might be losing momentum nationally, but she drew a huge enthusiastic crowd at a town hall in Arlington Feb. 13.

In her speech before a crowd of about 4,000 at Wakefield High School, Warren focused on her proposals to get big money and corporate influence out of politics and restore power to the middle and working classes.

After coming in third-place in Iowa and getting only 9 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, Warren desperately needs a big win the upcoming contests, and Virginian could well be a key factor. Virginians go to the polls on March 3, Super Tuesday, along with voters in 15 other states.

To reduce the power of the ultra-rich, Warren proposes an “ultra-millionaire tax,” consisting of a 2-cent tax on every dollar above $50 million.

She says that would cover universal childcare, a big investment in public education, tuition-free higher education, the cancellation of student loan debt, and Medicare for all.

“This is no time for small ideas or nibbling about the edges of the big problems that face our nation,” Warren said. “This is a time to make big structural changes.”

“The economy works great for the lobbyists and lawyers who make giant campaign contributions and doesn’t work for the rest of us,” Warren said. “That is corruption pure and simple.”

“Whatever the issue that matters to you – climate change, immigration, criminal justice reform, the price of prescription drugs – if there is a decision in Washington, it was influenced by money; it was shaped by money,” Warren said.

When asked by an audience member what Warren would do to ensure the nation’s security, she cited the importance of protecting democracy to make sure “everybody’s vote matters, everybody’s voice is lifted up.”

She called for “a constitutional amendment to protect the right of every American citizen to vote” and said she would fight to end political gerrymandering, overturn racist voter suppression laws, and overturn Citizens United.

Regarding immigration, Warren proposed not only creating a path to citizenship for Dreamers, but for their families, as well. She also said the U.S. should close all for-profit detention centers and expand, rather than reduce, support for Central American governments.

“Immigration does not make America weaker,” Warren said. “It makes America stronger.”

When it comes to climate change, Warren said, “what scares me the most is that the more we study it, the problem gets worse and we have less time. The urgency of climate change cannot be overstated.” Her comment, “I believe in science” was met with chants of “science” from the audience.

“We can actually make government work not just for rich and powerful,” she said. “We can make it work for everyone.” 

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