Her also, Andre and I fought to pass comprehensive changes. We've changed our system and we have made it our mission to make our government more inclusive and transparent. And we support Elizabeth Warren because she represents that mission. I don't have to remind any of us here that our country has some incredibly fundamental problems. And let us tell you this a little tweak here and there is not going to do the trick. We need to undo the damage that has been done and we need to return the federal government to the job it was intended to do.
Serving you, the people.
At this point, we need more than a blue wave. We need big structural change with plan. And most importantly, we need an authentic, genuine, thoughtful leader to deliver on those plans. We need someone who can inspire a nation not for racism, not through fear, but through empathy and through courage. We have been watching the 2020 race very closely. And we will tell you right now there is only one person who is going to show up and deliver the structural change we need.
And that person is Senator Elizabeth Warren. In our role as legislators, our guiding principles have been to bring more transparency and accountability to the state of New York. This morning, Elizabeth Warren released a plan to do just that for our entire country. And we will uproot the corruption plaguing the halls of our federal government. She has made it her business to actually look out for families across this country and speak truth to power. And when she fights, she fights with compassion for all Americans, not just the wealthy.
And when she fights, she wins. She is going to get that job done. And we will tell you what, we are so excited to stand by her, not only here in New York, but in every state that. Well, listen. And I just want to tell you that all of you looking out right now, this is what democracy looks like. So show me what democracy looks like. Show me what democracy looks like. Thank you.
Stage Working Families Party national director Maurice Mitchell. Good evening, New York. Repeat after me. People power, people power, people power now so they can hear your Mar a Lago. People power. My name is Maurice Mitchell and I'm the national director of the Working Families Party. I'm the son of working class immigrant parents, a union nurse and an electrician. And most of my life, I've been an organizer first in politics here in New York.
And after Mike Rounds murder in Ferguson, Missouri, I was one of many people around the country who helped to build the movement for black lives. I am so proud to be here in New York, where the Working Families Party was born today we're a national organization for members across the country. But New York will always be home for us. Now, last year, we help take back the state Senate from the corrupt Independent Democratic Conference, which had thrown control of the party of Donald Trump for nearly a decade.
Give it up. We took back our democracy. In the past few months, the Working Families Party had a deliberative process that included state chapters, members and supporters. I couldn't be prouder to say that this morning. This morning, we announced our support for Senator Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic nomination. Elizabeth Warren has been a personal hero to many WFP members. Her critique of the financial industry helped lay the groundwork for Occupy Wall Street. And she give it up.
Now, so they get here, you downtown. Give it up. Those fund managers, those fund managers are not with Warren. And she built the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through sheer force of will. She has been one of the fiercest fighters for working folks in politics today. Now, my background is in social movements and social movements like the Movement for Black Lives or me, too, or Occupy Wall Street. Emerge when political institutions aren't responsive to or ignore the problems that a significant segment of the people are facing.
And today, we've got a few pretty serious crises. Am I right? Runaway inequality has thrown our economy off kilter. Violence against black folks, native folks, Latino folks and other people of color continues unabated. The planet is melting, burning, flooding. This government is locking children in cages at the border and separating families. As well as locking kids in juvenile detention in our cities like New York and our democracy seems captured by forces who are happy about all of that.
Am I right? So it's game time. Right. So Elizabeth Warren has proposed a host of solutions that meet the full scale of the crises we face from child care to housing to taxing the super rich to a green new deal to create good jobs and save the planet. Elizabeth Warren has a plan for it. But crucially, Senator Warren realizes that you need more than plans. We need to meet this moment with a movement of working people.
Now, I came on as the national director of WFP last year. So as the new national director of the Working Families Party, my ambition is also as big as the ambition of the Warren campaign. But it's not complicated. We need to transform our nation with a politics rooted in dignity and solidarity and generosity and love. Not greed and division and hate and extraction and war. A nation where every single one of us can thrive should be common sense and our common goal.
And if you want to throw down with us, take your cell phone out for a second. If you want to throw down with us, I want you to text to us at the Working Families Party. Our number is 7 3 8 6 7 4. So get your phones out and text the words WFP. The number for Warren to 7 3 8 6 7 4. Again, text WFP the number for Warren to 7 3 8 6 7 4.
Because now is our moment. Our challenges are great, but I believe in my bones that 20 20 can mark the beginning of a durable realignment in U.S. politics and perhaps even in world politics, where one day we'll look back and say that was the beginning of the end of the Republican Party. That was when racist appeals finally stopped winning elections. That was when we began to see our differences and still reached across them. That was when we realized that we have just one planet and we are just one people.
That was when we began to live up to the true promise of a democracy that has yet to be fulfilled. That was when we began to replace the society we were born into with one that is rooted in love and kindness and solidarity and dignity and even sanctity for all people.
The Working Families Party is dedicated now more than ever to building that future alongside Elizabeth Warren and her campaign. But don't take my word for it without further ado. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. Bellata it in Istanbul to the cage and throw myself a cup of ambition, yawn and stretch and try to come to. Jump in the shower and the bloodstock and paddle in the streets. Traffic stops. Devin called Slap me on the job. Work getting. To the mouse wants me.
I mean, just to watch him share it, just to step on the boss. Thank you, Maurice. And can we hear it for State Senator Biagi? An assembly woman, Neoh. Hello, New York. Now, some of you know this. I never thought I'd get into politics. Not in a million years, but when I got into this fight, I quickly found out nobody makes it on their own. If you're going to make any kind of progress in this country, you need allies who know how to fight.
And more importantly, you need allies who know how to win. The Working Families Party has been on the front lines of fighting for racial and economic justice and building a grass roots movement to elect the next generation. And I am honored to have their support. And tonight, with all of you as witnesses, I'm going to make a promise, and that is when I'm in the White House, working families will have a champion. So thank you for race and thank you to the Working Families Party.
Now when so many good people show up. I usually do a town hall followed by selfies tonight. So little something different. I want to tell you a story that I haven't had a chance to tell before. It's an important story about our past and about our future. But I'll stay afterwards for as long as anyone wants. Take selfies. Some things we just don't mess with. So. I am especially glad to be here in Washington Square Park.
I wanted to give this speech right here and not because of the arch behind me or the president that this square is named for. No, we are not here today because of famous arches or famous men. In fact, we're not here because of men at all.
We're here because of some hard working women. Women who more than a hundred years ago worked long hours in a brown, 10 storey building just a block that way. Women who worked at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. So here's what I want you to hear. It was March 25th, 1911 is a Saturday, and at about 4:45 in the afternoon, people walking through this very part looked up and saw black smoke billowing into the sky. A fire had started in that building.
And inside that building on the top three floors. Deadly flames leapt from a bean to the oily floors and from the floors to the walls sweeping across work rooms and trapping the workers fighting for their lives. Women and girls, really, some as young as 14, raced to escape. But the exit doors were locked. Others ran to the windows, waving their arms and screaming for help. No help was coming. The fire department's ladders could only reach to the sixth floor.
The flames leapt higher and women started crawling out onto the ledges. And as people on the ground stood in shocked silence, a woman jumped. And then another, and then another. They hit the ground with a sickening thud. They died on impact so many so fast that the women's bodies piled up on the sidewalk. Their blood ran into the gutters. Thousands more, dozens more were trapped inside, trapped because the doors to the staircase was locked. Locked by bosses, afraid that the workers might steal scraps of cloth.
Firefighters would later find a pile of burned bodies next to that locked door. It took 18 minutes for one hundred and forty six people to die. Mostly women, mostly immigrants, Jewish and Italian, mostly people who made as little as five dollars a week to get their shot at the American dream. It was one of the worst industrial disasters in American history, one of the worst, but it should not have been a surprise. For years, across the city, women, factory workers and their allies had been sounding the alarm about dangerous and squalid conditions, fighting for shorter hours and higher pay.
They protested. They went on strike. They got coverage in the press. Everyone knew about these problems. But the fat profits were making New York's factory owners rich, and they had no plans to give that up. Instead of changing conditions at the factories, the owners worked their political connections. They made campaign contributions and talked with their friends in the legislature. They breezed the state government so thoroughly that nothing changed. Business owners got richer. Politicians got more powerful.
And working people paid the price. Does any of this sound familiar? Take any big problem we have in America today, and you don't have to dig very deep to see the same system at work. Climate change, gun safety, health care on the face of it. These three are totally different issues. But despite our being the strongest and wealthiest country in the history of the world, our democracy is paralyzed. And why? Because giant corporations have bought off our government.
Americans are killed by floods and fires in a rapidly warming planet. Why? Because huge fossil fuel corporations have bought off our government. Americans are killed with unthinkable speed and efficiency in our streets and our stores and our schools. Why? Because the gun industry has bought off our government. Americans are dying because they can't afford to fill prescriptions or pay for treatment. Why? Because health insurance companies and drug companies have bought off our government. Now, Americans disagree on many things, but we don't want each other's homes burned down by wildfires.
We don't want each other's children murdered at school and we don't want each other's families bankrupted by medical bills. What we want is for our government to do something. Our federal government is unable to act, unable to take even the most basic steps to protect the American people. Now, when you see a government that works great for those with money and connections and doesn't work for much of anyone else, that's corruption, plain and simple. And we need to call it out for what it is.
Corruption has put our planet at risk. Corruption has broken our economy. And corruption is breaking our democracy. I know what's broken. I've got a plan to fix it. And that's why I'm running for president of the United States. OK, so let's start with the obvious. Donald Trump is corruption in the flesh. He's swore to serve the people of the United States, but he only serves himself and his partners in corruption. He tries to divide us white against black Christians, against Muslim, straight against queer and trans, and everyone against immigrants.
Because if we're all busy fighting each other, no one will notice that he and his buddies are stealing more and more of our country's wealth and destroying the future for everyone else. Now, as bad as things are, we have to recognize our problems didn't start with Donald Trump. He made them worse. But we need to take a deep breath and recognize that a country that elect Donald Trump is already in serious trouble. Republican politicians sold out a long time ago, filling the courts with judges who expand the rights of corporations while they destroy the rights of citizens.
Passing tax cuts for wealthy donors while doing nothing to help working families and sucking up corporate donations while lying about climate change, lying about guns and lying about health care. And too many politicians in both parties have convinced themselves that playing the money for influence game is the only way to get something done. So what has this corrupt business as usual gotten us? The extinction of one species after another as the earth heats up? Children slaughtered by assault weapons, the highest levels of inequality in a century.
Wages barely budged. Crippling student loan debt, shrinking opportunity for the next generation. And the one after that and the one after that. The American people get it and they are sick of it. Corruption has taken over our government and we're running out of time. We must root it out and return our democracy to the people. And yes, I got a plan for that. OK, so I got a lot of plans, but they all come back to one simple idea put economic and political power in the hands of the people.
And we start by rooting out corruption in government. No more business as usual. Let's attack corruption head on. You ready? So I've got the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate. It's a plan to shut down the ability of the rich and powerful to use their money to tilt every decision in Washington. So I just want to give you a sample of what we can do and lobbying as we know it. No high ranking public official should be thinking about their next job while they're collecting a paycheck to represent the American people.
So I have a lifetime ban on senators, congressmen and Cabinet secretaries from ever. And no more hiring corporate lobbyists, just staff up the federal government. Look, the right of every person in this country to petition their government does not protect a multi billion dollar influence industry whose sole purpose is to undermine democracy and tilt every decision in favor of those who can pay. So let's shut this industry down and return our government to the people. Oh, and there's more.
No more secret meetings, every single meeting between a lobbyist and a public official should be a matter of public record. No more lobbying on behalf of foreign governments. And no more campaign contributions or bundling by lobbyists contributing to a campaign at the same time that you're paid to influence those same elected officials. It's the very definition of bribery and we're gonna put a stop to it. And here's another. Anyone, any one who wants to run for federal office will have to put their tax returns on.
There's four presidents, cabinet members, members of Congress will be barred from owning businesses on the side. Far from trading in individual stocks, you don't look take care of the people's business or take care of your own business. But you can't do both at the same time. Corruption and influence peddling has seeped into every corner of our government. So it's time for some new plans for our regulators. Far too many agencies act like wholly owned subsidiaries of the companies they are supposed to regulate.
When these agencies are captured, the results are pollution and financial advisers who cheat people all while regulators look the other way. Enough is enough. We're going to take down the for sale signs hanging outside of every federal building in Washington. Here's another one. It's also time to call out corruption in the federal judiciary. Increasingly, big shot corporate lawyers are getting appointed as federal judges and they turn out one decision after another in favor of corporations and against the interests of American consumers, against unions and against vulnerable people who must count on the courts to protect their rights.
Shadowy right wing groups have spent millions of dollars to ram through aggressively unqualified nominees who are likely to advance their causes. No one should be surprised that public confidence in our federal courts is at an all time low. But we can fix it. We will rewrite the basic code of ethics for federal judges. And we will appoint a whole new generation of judges with diverse backgrounds and a wide range of legal experiences. Judges who actually believe in fundamental principles like rule of law, civil rights and equal justice.
And finally, we will end the corruption of our campaign finance system. Overturn Citizens United. Democracy is not. Get rid of super PACs and secret spending by the billionaires and break the big donors stranglehold by creating a system of public funding for our elections. I get it. I know that some people will always have more money so they can own more shoes or more clothes than other people, but no one should own more of our democracy. Corruption comes in other forms, too.
And I have plans for those. A plan to end the corrupt practice of selling fancy ambassadorships to wealthy donors because American diplomacy should not be for sale. A plan to abolish private prisons. No one should make a profit locking people up and no one should have a financial incentive to lobby Congress to lock up even more people. A plan to stop selling access to federal lands and national parks giant polluters. And to break the stranglehold of the coal industry and the oil industry in energy production and transportation.
And yeah, when we're talking corruption, we need to call it out in the Oval Office. I read all four hundred and forty eight pages of the Mueller report. No one is above the law, not even the United States president. Impeachment is our constitutional. So there it is. So there it is. Step one, tackle corruption head on. Step two, transform our economy so that every person, no matter where they live, no matter who their parents are, no matter how much money they have.
Every person has real opportunity, the chance to work hard, to play by the same set of rules and to take care of themselves and the people they love. Corruption in Washington has allowed the rich and the powerful to tilt the rules and grow richer and more powerful. But this small slice at the top hasn't just scooped up a huge chunk of the wealth that all of us have worked so hard to produce. They have gobbled up opportunity itself for the rich and the powerful in this country.
There are first, second, third and fourth chances to get ahead. But for a lot of Americans, especially for people of color, there is barely one or for some no chance at all. We have the power to fix that. We are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. We can afford Medicare for all to save our people at a great. We just need real investments in working people. So let's start with more power in the hands of workers.
Make it easier to join a union and give unions more power when they negotiate. And yes, it's time for a wealth tax. So. Yes. That is a two cent tax on Fortune's over 50 million dollars. Your first 50 million. Don't worry. You're in the clear. But for your 50 million and first dollar, you've got to pitch in. Two cents and 2 cents for every dollar. After that? Just two cents. So I look at it this way, you built a great fortune here in this country, worked hard, stayed up late, unlike anyone else.
Yeah. You worked hard. You built a great fortune or you inherited one. Good for you. But I guarantee that any great fortune in America was built, at least in part, using workers. All of us help pay to educate. At least in part, getting your goods to market on roads and bridges. All of us help pay a bill. Built at least in part, protected by police and firefighters. All of us helped pay their salaries.
And we're happy to do it. This is America. We're happy to invest in opportunities for everyone. But we're saying that if you make it big, really big, really, really big. The top one tenth of 1 percent bigger than 50 million dollars. Then pitching in to send so everyone else gets a chance to make. And what can we do with two cents o. Universal child care for every baby and that's. Universal pre-K for every 3 year old and 4 year old America.
And raise the wages of every child care worker and pre-school teacher. And that's. All that for two cents and more we can make. Technical school, community college and for your college tuition free for everyone. And we can truly level the playing field and put 50 billion dollars directly into our historically black colleges and universities. All of that. And we can cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of. So think of what that means, real opportunity, not just opportunity for people born into privilege.
Opportunity for everyone. And opportunity, real opportunity requires honesty. Working families all across this country have been denied the opportunities they deserve, but the path for black and brown and native families has been even steeper. And that is why my plans tackle historical injustice head on. And here are a few examples. My student debt cancellation plan will help close the wealth gap between black and white families. My criminal justice plan will end the practice of mass incarceration that has destroyed the life.
My housing plan will help families living in formerly redlined areas, buy a home and start building the kind of wealth that government sponsored discrimination deny their parents and grandparents. My climate plan includes justice for the black and brown communities that have struggled with the impact of pollution. And my plan respects the rights of Native Americans to protect their lands and be a good steward. And on day one of my administration. Love the thought of what a president can do all by herself.
On day one of my administration, I will use my executive authority to start closing the pay gap between women of color and everyone else, because it's about. We must recognize the systemic discrimination that infects our economy and we must work actively and deliberately to rooted out and set this country on a better path. The time for holding back is over with a big structural change. Now, I know what some of you are thinking. I do. Whoa, too much, too big, too hard.
OK. Nobody here, but we know there's some people over there. Right. Way, way out. OK. But, you know, I know this change is possible and I know it because America has made big structural change before. Let me take you back to the day of that fire. A woman was visiting friends who lived in a townhouse right behind me when the fire broke out. She hurried into the street. She joined the crowds as they ran across the park and headed to the Triangle Factory.
And when she got there, she stood and she watched. She watched as women on the ledge begged for help. She watched as they held each other. She watched as they jumped to their deaths. The woman watching was Frances Perkins. She was 30 years old and already a worker's rights activist. But that day set change in motion. A week later, the women's trade unions organized a funeral march and a half a million people showed up to March on Fifth Avenue right behind me.
Half a million people in 1911. And it wasn't their first march, but this time it was different. While the women of the trade unions kept pushing from the outside, Francis pushed from the inside. She understood that those women died because of the greed of their bosses and the corruption of elected officials. So she went up to Albany ready to fight. She worked to create a commission investigating factory conditions. And then she served as its lead investigator. Now, everybody, just remember, this was years before women could even vote, let alone hold major roles in government.
But Francis had a plan. She and her fellow activists fought for fire safety and they got it. So the next time you do a fire drill at school or at work, you see a plainly marked fire exit. Think of Frances and the Triangle women because they are the reason the laws changed. But they didn't stop with fire safety, with Frances work in the system from the inside and the women workers organizing and applying pressure from the outside. They rewrote New York State's labor laws from top to bottom to protect workers.
Now, over time, Frances Perkins became the state's leading expert on working conditions, and later when Franklin Roosevelt was elected governor, he appointed her to head his Labor Department in Albany. And four years after that, in the depths of the Great Depression, when Roosevelt became president, he asked Francis to come to Washington to address the crisis. As secretary of labor for the entire nation. Frances Perkins became the first woman in history to serve in the cabinet.
And what did she push for when she got there? Big structural change. She is the same model that she and her friends had used after the Triangle Fire. She worked the political system relentlessly from the inside, while a sustained movement applied pressure from the outside. As Frances Perkins put it, the triangle fire was the day the New Deal was born. So here's what I want you to think about. What did one woman, one very persistent woman?
One woman backed up by millions of people across this country get done. Social Security, unemployment insurance. Abolition of child labour. Minimum wage. The right to join a union. And even the very existence of the weekend. Some big structural change. One woman and millions of people to back her up. The tragic story of the Triangle Factory Fire is a story about power, a story of what happens when the rich and the powerful take control of government and use it to increase their own profits while they stick it to working people.
But what happened in the aftermath of the fire is a different story about power. A story about our power. A story about what's possible when we fight together as one. Over and over throughout our history, Americans have been told that big structural change just wasn't possible. And the thing is, you just give up. The abolitionists were told it's just too hard. Give up now. The suffragettes were told too hard. Give up now. The early union organizers were told it's just too hard.
Give up now. Foot soldiers in the civil rights movement were told to hard give up. Now, LGBTQ activists were told it's just too hard to give up now, but they didn't give up. They didn't give up. They organized. They built a grassroots movement. They Persis did. And they changed the course of American history. 20 twining is about the direction or America goes, not just for four years, but for generations to come. And yeah, there's a lot at stake in this election.
And I know people are scared, but we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in. Just because we're too scared to do anything else. And Democrats can't win if we're scared and looking backward. We win when we meet the moment we win. When we stand up for what is right, we win when we get out there and fight. I am not afraid. And you can't be afraid either. So if you're ready to fight, then join me.
Photo Elizabeth Warren dot com. Help us organize, volunteer. Donate five bucks text fight to 2 4 4 7 7. We need everyone all in. Because here's the truth. This is our moment in history. Our moment to dream big. Fight hard and win. Like when?