Sen. Elizabeth Warren to make Lansing campaign stop – WILX-TV

Sen. Elizabeth Warren to make Lansing campaign stop - WILX-TV

Elizabeth Warren to campaign in two Michigan cities next week

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign stop, Saturday, May 11, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Democratic presidential hopeful and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is planning two campaign stops in Michigan next week.

In the months after Warren announced that she had formed an exploratory committee for the presidency, she rolled out numerous attractive policies, like her Ultra-Millionaire Tax and universal child-care. And yet, the Massachusetts senator — who has pledged against holding private fundraisers with wealthy donors — lagged in the polls, and was dogged by questions regarding her electability and likability. But today, the New York Times reports that Warrens campaign strategy seems to be paying off, as polls show her in solid third place behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. As it turns out, people want a principled politician who knows what theyre doing.

Warren will make her first appearance in the Great Lakes State on Tuesday, June 4 for a community conversation at Focus: HOPE in Detroit at 1:30 p.m., followed by a 6:45 p.m. town hall at Lansing Community College. The 69-year-old senior senator is the latest candidate to come through Michigan, recognized as a key 2020 battleground after President Donald Trump won by a narrow 10,704 votes in 2016.

Warren, 69, is focusing her campaign on economic issues and ending corruption in Washington. She pledged to shut the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. Her campaign website includes promises to permanently ban members of Congress from trading stocks while in office and from becoming lobbyists when they retire.

Shes got plans, and people are hungry for knowing, Well, what are you going to do about it? Susan Conroy, a retired lawyer, told the Times of Warrens myriad policy proposals. Frank Broz, a small business owner who recently saw Warren in Iowa and finds her political acumen to be persuasive, echoed Conroys sentiments. She was totally comfortable talking about any topic that anyone brought up, and you can tell she loves it, he said.

She proposed an ultra-millionaire tax on the 75,000 wealthiest American families to partially fund universal childcare, student loan debt relief, and her Medicare for All plan.

Warrens abortion rights platform, released after several state legislatures passed laws restricting womens ability to terminate pregnancies, urges Congress to pass laws protecting access to reproductive care.

The plan includes federal laws to prohibit states from interfering in a persons ability to receive abortion services and guarantee reproductive health coverage as part of all health coverage, among other things.

Warren has called for the elimination of for-profit charter schools, but her stance on school choice has evolved over time. She wrote in favor of school choice in her 2003 book, but opposed raising a cap on charters in her home state in 2016 and has been a vocal critic of private voucher programs in recent years.

Warrens campaign called Michigan-native Betsy DeVos is the worst Secretary of Education weve seen in a May email to supporters. Warren pledged to pick a public school teacher to replace DeVos in the Department of Education.

She proposed an ultra-millionaire tax on the 75,000 wealthiest American families to partially fund universal childcare, student loan debt relief, and her Medicare for All plan.

She also committed to criminal justice reform to address racial disparities in sentencing and conviction. Warren supports cutting the countrys defense budget.

She launched her exploratory presidential committee on December 31, 2018, and formally declared her candidacy in February.

Warren was a frequent target for Trump during the 2016 presidential election, criticizing Warren for identifying as a minority in a directory of legal professors. She was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in 1985.

Other Democratic presidential hopefuls to visit Michigan include U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.Y.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, former U.S. Rep. Beto ORourke, D-Texas, businessman Andrew Yang and author Marianne Williamson also made stops in Michigan.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence visited in March and April, stressing their administrations positive impact on the state economy. Pence traveled to Michigan and Wisconsin to campaign for the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, if ratified by Congress.

Shes the best candidate. And when she beats Trump, it will be a victory for the simple but deeply powerful idea that women are fully and truly equal.

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I know this well, because its something I have personally benefited from at every turn in my career. At age 23, as a straight, white, young man — bright-eyed but without any evident qualifications — I got a great job as the executive director of a not-for-profit affordable housing group. When I ran for the New York City Council, in one of the most progressive communities in the country, I faced eight other candidates. All men.

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Ive tried to put my privilege to good use, as an ally in feminist, anti-racist, and LGBTQ efforts. But I cant honestly say Ive grappled seriously with the many ways, subtle and unsubtle, that this bias has benefitted me at every step: in my education, my career, in meetings, in fundraising, in the different expectations for my wife and I, in our domestic life — and most certainly in politics.

Thanks to leadership from the black community, weve started — just barely — to reckon with the legacy of white supremacy in the United States. But even with the strength of the #MeToo movement, we arent really doing that with gender. Theres little honest reckoning of the cost, or of the ongoing legacy of patriarchy, which is around us in every element of our economy, our health, our homes, and our politics. (Its worth noting that black women, the most loyal Democratic constituency, bear the brunt of both.)

As best I can tell, the argument that we should go with Biden, Bernie, Buttigieg, or Beto (rather than Warren, Harris, or Gillibrand) is that we live in a sexist country where women will struggle to be elected — and since the stakes are so high in the Trump era, we cant risk it.

I understand why it feels scary to let go of our addiction to male leadership. Why it feels to some that the men are somehow more presidential. Why some pundits believe electability means someone who appears the least threatening to some of the white male voters that Trump won.

But lets be clear about the costs of yielding to those feelings — and the victory we would be handing the misogynist in chief whether we beat him or not — by giving in before we even take up the fight. The answer to repression cannot be to accommodate it. The answer is to push forward for a more expansive and inclusive vision of freedom and equality.

Whats possible is a profound victory for the simple but so deeply powerful idea that women are fully and truly equal. That we would be lucky to have women bosses, governors, and presidents. That we will all be more fully whole, more fully equal, more fully human, when we scrub the rot of sexist abuse, assault, belittling, interrupting, grabbing, objectifying, and diminishing of women.

I know that it is possible for men to be exhilarated about the prospect of living in that world. My son Marek and I both would prefer to live in it.

This is not about tokenism. If I werent confident that Warren could beat Trump, and that she could do the best job, that victory for equality would not be reason enough in itself. But since I really believe she could — that she not only has the best plans, but would be the best president — its an awfully good additional one.

And if youre like me, youll love that she sweats the details: of universal child care, the boldest plan for affordable housing, universal free public college and canceling student loan debt, holding the largest US corporations accountable, and renewing serious antitrust enforcement for a fairer economy, taking concrete actions to protect reproductive freedom, debt relief for Puerto Rico, a smart Ultra-Millionaire Tax to pay for the investments she proposes, and much, much more. You can find all of them on her website.

I have enormous admiration for the movement that Bernie Sanders continues to build, boldly shifting what we believe is possible, and mobilizing the power needed for change. As a New York City Council member, Ive worked enthusiastically with Mayor de Blasio on universal pre-K, affordable housing, and workers rights, and with Sen. Gillibrand on work/family balance. And as sharply as Ill criticize Joe Biden in the coming months, if he is the Democratic nominee, I will work hard and vote for him — or any of the other candidates, all of whom would of course be immeasurably better than the vile narcissist in chief, who is doing so much to erode almost every critical institution of our democracy.

But Im wholeheartedly endorsing Warren. If we organize for her in the coming months, we can help her win. If she elevates with our support and wins the primary, I have no doubt shell have the momentum and the courage we need to beat Trump.

Wed not only strike a blow against our bias for male leadership. Wed have a little clearer picture of what a more equal world would look like. Wed also get to help her implement all those plans. And how great would that be, for our daughters and our sons alike?

Brad Lander is a member of the New York City Council, and the board chair of Local Progress, a national network of progressive local elected officials.

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