Decision 2020

Elizabeth Warren Rallies at East LA College

The dwindling field of Democrats in the race for the party's nomination could become even smaller after Tuesday's California primary

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What to Know

  • Fourteen states, including California, will be part of Super Tuesday
  • More than 1,300 delegates will be awarded on one of the most important dates on the election calendar
  • Polls will be open in California from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren mixed criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden and praise for Latinas, who she called "unsung heroes of the American story,'' in a speech at East Lost Angeles College Monday night.

Hours after former candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg endorsed Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, Warren said, "No matter how many Washington insiders tell you to support him, nominating their fellow Washington insider will not meet this moment."

"Nominating a man who says we do not need any fundamental change in this country will not meet this moment," Warren said. "Nominating someone who wants to restore the world before Donald Trump, when the status quo has been leaving more and more people behind for decades, is a big risk for our party and our country."

Warren said the narrowing of the field of contenders for the nomination means Democrats ``find ourselves barreling toward another primary along the same lanes as 2016 -- one for an insider, one for an outsider.

"Democratic voters should have more choice than that," Warren said. "America needs more choice than that. Voters deserve a choice of someone with unshakeable values who can also get things done, and bring all kinds of Democrats along with her.

"Voters deserve a choice of someone who can both do the work to transform our government from the inside and who can bring pressure to bear on government by leading a grassroots movement from the outside."

Speaking on the eve of the California primary, Warren traced the history of Latinos in the U.S. from the Great Depression on, leading up to the June 15, 1990 march where 400 janitors, predominantly women, and their allies marched from Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills to Century City under the banner "Justice for Janitors."

The march ended in a confrontation with Los Angeles Police Department officers. A series of protests followed, leading to a contract for the janitors, represented by the Service Employees International Union.

"This story of resistance teaches us three powerfully important lessons. First the fight for justice is never one and done,'' Warren said, detailing earlier union efforts on behalf of janitors in Pittsburgh, Denver and Atlanta followed by victories in Washington, D.C., Houston and Miami after the first contract in Los Angeles was signed.

The other lessons are "it's not enough to have big ideas, it takes a
plan to turn those ideas into reality'' and "nobody makes it on their own."

"Anyone who wants to make real change -- meaningful change, lasting change -- needs allies, needs partners, needs a winning coalition," Warren said. "Janitors were on the frontlines in Los Angeles, but they had people of faith, fast food workers, domestic workers, farm workers and teachers, working families all fighting to make real change.

"The corporations perfected the politics of division. They tried to pit immigrant and undocumented workers against African-American workers who had held the vast majority of cleaning service jobs before the latest surge of immigration. The bosses know that if workers turn their fire on each other, corporate profits would continue to rise.

"SEIU refused to take the bait. Instead of blaming immigrant workers for lowering working standards, union leaders targeted their organizing efforts to include Latino janitors. They built alliances, person by person, home by home and they succeeded."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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