I’m just back from DC bird dogging Senator Manchin, taking a bust connecting climate and healthcare and immigration and childcare and affordable housing in one bill, build back better. As we were about to get arrested, everyone broke out dancing. Wow. What a day.
Jennifer Flynn Walker had invited me to the action the night before:
“Democrats, Time to Deliver” rally and CD,
“Join hundreds of progressive activists in Washington, DC to march on Congress.
Four months after passing budget resolution language outlining critical investments in human and physical infrastructure, it is time for Congress to deliver on their promises of
- green jobs and infrastructure
- child care and medicare expansion
- a path to citizenship for immigrants”
Like many of the fights to save the Affordable Care Act in 2017 and 2018, this was going to be about moving a couple of idiosyncratic senators holding things up. Instead of Collins and Murkowski, this time Sinema and Manchin, it was two conservative democrats who have been withholding approval for the president’s agenda.
At Folger Park, activists were talking about connecting the dots between healthcare and climate and affordable housing and immigration.
They seem separate, but linking them can be a bountiful feeling.
Jennifer was concerned that Medicare Expansion was on the chopping block.
Chris, another healthcare activist, told me she was particularly concerned about the climate.
“There is no planet B,” she told me, lamenting that the Clean Energy Performance Plan had been negotiated out of the bill. “That means no 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. But we have to do that. Now we send Joe to Glasgow without a strong position.”
Hopefully, there is enough investment in renewables and solar.
Katherine and Aletha had spent the morning birddogging Manchin about his failure to support the president’s agenda.
Aletha wrote on twitter.
“JUST NOW: I just ran into @Sen_JoeManchin! I begged him to #BeAHero, stand up for working people, for WVians who overwhelmingly support #BuildBackBetter and the healthcare, childcare, housing, climate funds, dental care it provides.
He said, “Why don’t you run for office?”
Most everyone at the demo was in DC for climate and healthcare, immigration and affordable housing.
On we marched to the Capital chanting,
“Do your job!”
“Time to deliver!”
At the Capital, we filled the streets.
And the police moved in.
Seeing all the issues combined, the joy of protest filled the air, exuberance abounded.
Everyone began dancing and chanting.
Police rushed in and arrests followed.
“They won’t take our Joy even if they arrest us.From Folgers Park to Congress, the voices of hundreds of people are being heard all throughout the streets of Washington D.C. They are all unified in one thing:that Congress passes the reforms that they first announced 4 months ago…”
I hope they do they right thing in DC.
What a day.
Next week is the COP.
As we were leaving, we heard about more objections.
Rachel Maddow tweeted:
“Shocked. Shocked, I tell you. Democrats finally get a yes on something from one of the two Dem senators who've enjoyed blocking the president's whole agenda for months. After the one says yes, the other then immediately says no. Shock! Who could have possibly seen this coming!”