2020 Democratic Candidates Pitch Big Ideas at MoveOn Forum
Five minutes. That’s how long eight Democratic presidential hopefuls had to pitch their “one big idea” and impress these raucous voters in arguably America’s most progressive city.
But the forum wasn’t without drama. An animal rights activist ran on stage, grabbing a microphone from Harris as he “attention for a much bigger idea.” The man was forcefully led offstage by staffers as even Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, attempted to remove the man.
“I was scared for her, it seemed like an eternity before they took him away,” said attendee Jennifer Delgado, 30, a registered nurse from Sacramento, about the incident. “That was totally uncalled for.”
MoveOn apologized and Harris, who is reportedly running third in voter polls in California behind Biden and Sanders and as high as eighth nationally, said in terms of equal gender pay she would make corporations prove they are paying women the same amount as men and require them to post it on website.
“Because I’m into enforcement, let’s say there’s a 5 to 10 to 20% differential, well, for every 1% differential, you have to pay a fine of 1% out of your profits from the year before,” she said. “5% differential, you’ve got to pay 5% as a fine of what your profits were the year before.”
Harris said that the fine money will go into a paid family leave fund.
“Never allow another Dreamer—more than 1 million strong, every bit as American as anyone else here in this theater tonight, live in fear of deportation back to a country they do not know,” he said. “Make them U.S. citizens here, in their true country.”
As part of her cleaning up corruption in D.C., Warren, who drew among the loudest cheers with Sanders and Harris, said she wants to ban anyone who has served in Congress, headed an agency, a Cabinet member and even a President, from becoming a lobbyist.
She said money touches every issue in D.C. and plays a role in critical decisions affecting the entire country.
“I want an America that doesn’t just work for a thin slice at the top. I want to build an America that works for all of us,” she said. “I have the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate. Here’s the bad news: we need the biggest-corruption plan since Watergate.
“We got to fight back against it,” Warren continued. “We’ve got to call it out and to fight back.”
Attendee Sandy Clark, 82, of Fremont, Calif., said she came away impressed hearing from such a diverse field of candidates. But she knows that whoever wins the Democratic nomination will have a fierce battle against Trump. “We have such a great opportunity to make real change,” she said.
Delgado, the nurse from Sacramento, said while immigration, healthcare, and paid leave are essential issues to her, the candidates gave her a lot more points to consider before voting.
“I have a tough choice to make,” she said. “It’s going to be hard.”
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