S02 E04 (Part 2): For the People – Meet Your Representatives

Interview Guests

US Rep Kathy Castor Kathy Castor U.S. Rep. (D-FL 14th District)
US Rep Darren Soto Darren Soto U.S. Rep. (D-FL 9th District)
US Rep Marc Veasey Marc Veasey U.S. Rep. (D-TX 33rd District)
US Rep Al Green Al Green U.S. Rep. (D-TX 9th District)
US Rep John Sarbanes John Sarbanes U.S. Rep. (D-MD 3rd District)

Our Host

Ashley Allison Executive Vice President of Campaigns and Programs The Leadership Conference

Contact the Team

For all inquiries related to Pod For The Cause, please contact Brittany Johnson at [email protected] and Kenny Yi at [email protected].

Episode Transcript

[Music 00:00 – 00:07]

Ashley: Welcome to Pod for the Cause, the official podcast of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the Leadership Conference Education Fund at civilrights.org, where we expand the conversation on the critical civil and human rights challenges of our day. I’m your host, Ashley Allison, coming to you from Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill.

I’m so excited to be here tonight with Congresswoman Castor from Florida and former EPA Administrator [Gina] McCarthy. I think we might be actually talking about one of the most important civil rights issues of our time, which is climate change. We have somewhat of a denier of climate change in the White House, who is going to take a large platform today. If you could tell President Trump one thing that he should actually realize about climate change, what would you say? Let’s start with you, Congresswoman.

Rep. Castor: Thanks for the opportunity to do that. I would say to the president, transitioning to the clean energy economy presents an enormous opportunity for America to create good-paying, family-sustaining jobs, and to address the discrimination of the past when it’s come to environmental justice. A lot of those dirty fossil fuel interests were cited in communities of color and in communities that did not have the wherewithal, didn’t have a lot of power. As we transition to the clean energy economy, we’re gonna make sure we don’t repeat those mistakes. Instead, we empower people with good labor standards and put some money back into their pockets as well.

Ashley: What would you say?

Gina: First of all, thanks for letting me be there, and thanks for Representative Castor for actually inviting me. I’m very excited to be here. As most of you know, I spent some time in the Obama White House –

Ashley: Yes, doing great work.

Gina: – and I remember President Obama saying many times that climate change is the most significant public health, economic, and security challenge of our time.

Ashley: That’s right.

Gina: That’s why the Joint Chiefs of Staff recognized its instability ‘cause fundamentally, climate change is not just real, it’s really bad, and it impacts communities of color –

Ashley: All over.

Gina: – it impacts the poor, it impacts kids and our elderly the most because it’s a threat, fundamentally, to our health. It creates air pollution, it creates health problems like different diseases that are popping up elsewhere. It threatens our water supplies. It threatens the land that we live in, and this president is not working to help. He’s working to help the polluters, and we have to call it out because fundamentally what we need to fight for isn’t just climate change, it’s climate justice.

Ashley: That’s right.

Gina: Because we have an unfair society right now with income equality that is lining up with climate change, and making this the disaster of our time, but it’s also the biggest opportunity we have to turn that around. We’re gonna have to spend money. Are we gonna build walls or we gonna build bridges to one another? That’s the question we have to ask ourselves, and if we tackle this together, we can make the world a better place. It’s not the planet, folks. It’s us. It’s our families and our kids’ future.

Ashley: You both brought up an important point about climate because there are racial disparities all through our policies that we see in this country, but climate particularly hits urban areas, low-income areas. I was a teacher in Brooklyn, NY, and all of my students had asthma, whereas I grew up in Ohio with fresher air and I didn’t suffer that. What do you think people need to do to realize that it disproportionately is impacting communities of color, and what are some of the steps that we can take to try and – I hate to say it, but equal the playing field to make sure that those communities of color aren’t as disenfranchised or as – treated unfairly in some of the policies that are being rolled out?

Rep. Castor: As we transition to the clean energy economy, we must be mindful that resources are targeted to communities who have suffered injustice and discrimination in past years. It’s not just planting trees. While that’s important, it’s the urban park space, it’s the transition to make sure that you have energy-efficient appliances, and that you can afford it. It’s about lowering your electric bills. I come from the state of Florida. Our summers are longer and hotter now, and that means your AC bills are going up unless we can harness the power of the sun, and empower neighbors across communities to tap that clean energy supply.

There’s upfront cost, oftentimes, so as the Democrats craft a climate action plan for the Congress that’s due out the end of March, we are going to build that transition to the clean energy economy upon a foundation of environmental justice and fair labor standards to make sure that this new economy works for everyone.

Gina: I want people to understand that the injustice we see today is not the past injustice. It continues. This is not new, but we oughta end it right here and right now, and so the way you can do that is, I can show you data that says that there are 4,000 kids that actually get asthma every, single year just because they live near a major highway. Can’t we do better than that?

We’ve got 9 million people across the world every year that die from pollution. Guess where 93 percent of those kids are and those adults? They’re in low- and middle-income countries. If the United States won’t lead at the federal level, the rest of us are gonna have to step it up. There’s no one to blame but all of us. We have to start activating. I want the community level to start demanding real action. I want the young people to actually continue to push us and push us, and I want them also to recognize that government – like Kathy Castor – is at the federal government level. She wants to help. Let’s give her the base of support she needs to do what we all need for ourselves and our communities.

I don’t want anyone out there to think just because this president is not gonna talk about climate change, and it may talk about clean air and clean water, but at the same time start eliminating all protections for clean water and clean air – that there are people watching and it’s you and I. We’re gonna watch this. We are not going to stop.

Ashley: We’re gonna show up in November.

Gina: We’re gonna show up. We’re gonna vote, and we’re gonna demand, and we’re gonna get the action we need, not just to level the playing field for anybody, but for everybody. That’s the goal, and we can do that. I can show you the health disparities, and I can identify the health benefits of everything we’re asking for climate change. This is not at all a lost cause. This is a reason for optimism and hope. If money’s gonna be spent, I know where I want it and we can drive it there.

Ashley: You got us on the right track. We had a couple back steps with this current administration. You’re gonna keep us on the right track. Thank you so much for joining Pod for the Cause.

Rep. Castor: Thank you.

Ashley: I wanna say enjoy the State of the Union, but just keep the president accountable during the State of the Union.

Rep. Castor: Thanks and right on.

Gina: And let me thank Maxine Waters for pulling this together. She is the woman.

Ashley: She is awesome!

Gina: Thanks.

Ashley: Thank you so much.

[Music 07:22 – 07:40]

Ashley: Congressman Veasey, thank you so much for being on Pod for the Cause. This is an important night, the State of the Union.

Rep. Veasey: It is.

Ashley: Some people aren’t coming. I totally understand that, but I’m interested to know – if you had an opportunity to talk to the president tonight before he took his address, what would you say to him?

Rep. Veasey: I would tell him first and foremost, don’t gloat. Don’t dance in the endzone. Apologize to the American public for your reckless behavior as president, and the fact that you, by trying to trade your political opponents out and trade them for arms, that you undermined our democracy. You potentially undermined our democracy, and that our electoral system, and our elections are more important than any sort of favor that you might try to curry with a foreign nation.

I would tell him to say to the American public that he made a mistake, to come clean, come forward and say that that was the wrong thing to do, I need to be a better example for the American public, and moving forward, I propose a list of reforms including the legislation that Democrats passed, H.R.1, and bring the country together.

Ashley: For the people.

Rep. Veasey: These are common sense reforms – for the people. These are common sense reforms that make sense. They don’t hurt the Republicans or anything like that, and I think that him doing that would really go a very long way.

Ashley: One of the opportunities that Members get to do is invite a guest.

Rep. Veasey: Yes.

Ashley: And we also are on the hills of one of the most important elections of our lifetime. I’m gonna let you introduce your guest for the State of the Union, and because one of the most important issues that people always say every election cycle is how important education is to them.

Rep. Veasey: Right, yeah.

Ashley: Tell us about your guest and why you invited him here today.

Rep. Veasey: Yeah, obviously everything revolves around education. Whether it is defense, if it’s energy, the environment – obviously if we’re going to tackle a lot of the issues that are facing our country, we have to have people that are equipped and prepared to do that, and you have to remember, the United States, we’re in competition with the rest of the world, too, as far as the advancement of technology and civilization.

My friend to the right of me, Miguel Solis – he serves on the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees. It’s one of the largest urban school districts in the country. They have a lot of students that are really struggling every day, but because of Miguel, the district has really made a lot of improvements, and we’re starting to see a lotta gains, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to invite him.

Also, I wanted to invite him because I represent the largest percentage of people that don’t have healthcare insurance out of any district in the entire country, and Miguel’s daughter had a healthcare issue when she was three months old that required her to get a heart transplant. For the district that I represent, and for young people like Miguel’s daughter, I think that the issue of healthcare is important. I know that for Miguel, that issue of healthcare and education – that he sees them as a tandem, and he sees them as really equally important for people, to be able to be healthy so young people can do well in school, and so our families can be healthy, and so we can expect the best out of our young people.

Those two of the reasons that I brought him, and then also he’s really a unifier. He works well with people of all backgrounds, all races, male and female, and bring people together, and that’s such a great contrast –

Ashley: We need that now.

Rep. Veasey: Yeah, compared to the person that’s going to be delivering the State of the Union tonight.

Ashley: Man, contrast is a understatement. Miguel, welcome to the show. If you had a chance to tell President Trump – thinking about your lived experience and the issues that you’ve worked on in your career – what would you tell him tonight?

Miguel: First, let me just say, I’m happy to be on this podcast with you, and also I wanna say thank you to Marc Veasey. He’s been Congressman of Texas 33 for a few years now, but one of the greatest things about him, and one of the things that I think is unique for a Congressman today in general, is that he’s so connected to his community, and he’s mentored me over the many years that I’ve been on the Dallas School Board. To be his guest of honor tonight is such a thrill.

If I had the opportunity to say a few things to President Trump, I think the number one thing would be that tonight, it should not be about spiking the ball in the endzone. There are people, like my daughter, who every day are threatened by potentially having things like the Affordable Care Act repealed. She has a pre-existing condition for the rest of her life now, and if you see something like ACA reversed the way the president would like to do, or advance things like Medicaid block grants that he’s trying to do right now, my daughter is going to be impacted.

My message to President Trump is a personal message, and that is, your focus needs to be on our people. Your focus needs to be on preserving the Constitution. Your focus needs to be on advancing the interests of this country rather than reversing it. I’m happy to be here tonight as a guest of Congressman Veasey at the very least to make this message one that resonates, I think, with people in north Texas, particularly in Texas 33.

Ashley: I know how important the Affordable Care is. My dad just had a kidney transplant about a year and a half ago. The toll it takes on the family – so I’m glad your daughter is doing well.

Miguel: Thank you very much.

Ashley: And that she was able to get the transplant, but it is very taxing. I wanna pivot a little bit and just ask you one, final question. This election, everybody’s talking about black and brown voters, and courting them, and we need – what do you think candidates – not just the presidential candidate, but all the way down to dogcatcher need to be doing to make sure black and brown people show up to the polls this election.

Rep. Veasey: Being able to economically partake in our system is important. Dallas-Fort Worth, we’re one of the most booming metropolitan areas in the country. We have Uber coming into town, Charles Schwab – we’re growing rapidly, but the poverty that we have is serious. I represent one of the lowest-income per household districts in the entire country. Only Detroit and a handful of other districts have a income per capita less than the one that I do.

We have over a million people in Dallas-Fort Worth that don’t have healthcare insurance. The struggle out there that people are facing is very real, and I think that for people that have not been able to enjoy that upward mobility that other people have in this country, and that’s mainly black and brown people.

Ashley: Yeah.

Rep. Veasey: If you look, historically, statistically, I think being able to have a message of upward mobility is what’s going to be important to us, and that’s what people ask me about all the time.

Ashley: All the time, yeah.

Miguel: Congressman Veasey represents both Fort Worth and Dallas, but speaking purely from a Dallas standpoint, we’re still one of the most segregated cities in the nation. When you think about the impact that segregation has had over the course of a century on our people, it should be no shock that we still need improvement in education, we still need fair housing, we still need groceries, and basic things like grocery stores in areas of hyper-concentrated poverty.

He has been doing a tremendous job working to try to advance the conversation in the Congress to work on a lotta these issues that are really civil rights issues. Ideally, I think, a message around these issues is gonna resonate with voters, but hopefully we’ll see some big change coming in 2020. That way Congressman Veasey has a little bit more support, particularly from the Executive Branch.

Ashley: Thank you so much for being on Pod for the Cause.

Rep. Veasey: Thank you.

Ashley: I’m not gonna say enjoy the speech, but keep the president accountable while you do it.

Rep. Veasey: Yes, absolutely.

[Music 15:00 – 15:21]

Ashley: Thanks for being on Pod for the Cause. We have recently seen, in the last month or so, Puerto Rico was really hit with devastating earthquakes. I remember where I was when I heard about the second earthquake, and I just said, “Again?” and it really was just after the hills of the terrible hurricane, and so much devastation has come to that part of the country. You, Congressman Soto, you are really advocating to make sure that the citizens of Puerto Rico get the resources they need, but this current president is not. Can you tell me – if you had a chance to say something to the president tonight before his State of the Union Address, what would you tell him about Puerto Rico?

Rep. Soto: I’d say to pass the House Democrats’ new $4.67 billion dollar disaster relief package that will vote out this week. There’s talk and then there’s action. Americans, both in Florida, New York, and especially in Puerto Rico, will be watching. We’ve seen earthquakes there since December, ongoing, including one today that was a category five. I’m joined by Jessica, who is from Guánica, which is in the southwestern portion of the island. She’s left there to relocate to our district in central Florida, in the Winterhaven area because it’s been unbearable, and her voice is so important as we go into the State of the Union tonight about our brothers and sisters back on the island.

Ashley: Thank you for being on the show, Jessica. If you could talk to the president, and tell him about your lived experience, what would you tell him?

Jessica: I will tell to the president that you have to focus in the necessity of Guánica. Guánica needs more funds because more people are living without homes. More people are leaving the town because of the fear. I was spent two weeks living outside my home with the clothes on, another time inside of my car because the fear of stay inside of my own home. I live like a nomad, living with my neighbor, sometimes with my cousin, sometimes with my aunt. Then my father says, no, I have to grab my daughter from Puerto Rico and bring to Florida.

Ashley: Yeah.

Jessica: It’s not lifestyle, living like that.

Ashley: Sometimes it feels like the president doesn’t know that Puerto Ricans are Americans – and we do a lotta work at the Leadership Conference about culture – and I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. I was still standing with Colin Kaepernick. However, there was a really important cultural moment when Jennifer Lopez had the American flag, and opened it up, and there was the Puerto Rican flag. Jessica, when you saw that, what did you think?

Jessica: No, Jennifer Lopez is amazing. She is Puerto Rican, Puerto Rican.

Ashley: That’s right.

Jessica: She represents us very well because she mark our culture. She born in New York, but she is still a Puertorriqueña, de pura cepa. She’s a Puerto Rican, she demonstrated. She can grow up, she can be a Latina in United States, and be very famous, help another people without discriminations.

Ashley: That’s right. Congressman, any final words that you want the voters to know about what they should be thinking about when they go to the polls this election cycle?

Rep. Soto: Another huge issue and the existential threat to the human race is the climate crisis.

Ashley: Yes.

Rep. Soto: We have a climate change denier in the White House. For all those young people out there listening, this is our future at stake. For instance, in my home state of Florida, we are vulnerable to rising seas. We’re vulnerable to intensifying hurricanes, much like we saw with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and with Hurricane Michael, which went from a category one to a category five in one day. This is not normal.

We in the House have put forward the Clean Future Act, which was just filed over the last couple days, which is the first economy-wide effort to combat climate change, from transportation, to manufacturing, to building materials, to electric cars and utilities. We’re doing the work of the goal set out in the Green New Deal, and in the hundred percent clean in 2050 act – all these different bills, we’re now doing the work after dozens of hearings. We need your help across America to be able to act on climate.

Ashley: Thank you so much both for joining Pod for the Cause. We appreciate all the work that you’re doing, and we’re so glad that you’re here, Jessica, and safe.

Jessica: Thank you.

Ashley: Thank you.

Rep. Soto: Thanks so much.

[Music 19:57 – 20:16]

Ashley: We’re here tonight, State of the Union Address. I’m sitting with a champion for democracy, Congressman John Sarbanes, and every Member gets a opportunity to bring a guest, and I’m gonna let you introduce your guest in a second, but question I’ve been asking everyone tonight is, if you had a chance to say one thing to President Donald Trump before he were to deliver his address tonight, what would you tell him?

Rep. Sarbanes: I’d ask him the question: “Whose side are you on?” It all boils down to that. Are you working for everyday Americans out there who feel left out and locked out of their democracy, or are you letting special interests and the big money crowd call the shots? Even though he talked a good game about draining the swamp, returning power to the people, when it gets right down to it, he’s been doing everything he can to turn power over to a very few people and corporations in this country. The basic question for him is, “Who are you working for? Whose side are you on? How are you making policy?”

What we are trying to do is fix the system so it’s more responsive to everyday Americans. That’s what H.R.1 was about – For the People Act – and I wanna thank the Leadership Conference for all the great work there because this is a bill that would transform our democracy by giving people their voice back. The president came along in 2016. He found that anger that people felt about Washington, and corruption, and the politics as usual, and he exploited it. He told ‘em he would solve their anger –

Ashley: And he made it worse.

Rep. Sarbanes: – but he hasn’t done that. In 2018, we saw a different way of people solving their anger. They found a team of reformers from around the country who came to Congress, took back the gavel in the House of Representatives, and promised that the first thing they would do if they got the majority was pass groundbreaking democracy reform. What did they do in the first 100 days? They passed it. They committed to their promise, and they followed through on it. That’s the kinda change you need to solve people’s anger, not what Donald Trump has been giving them. We’re gonna keep pushing hard on that.

Ashley: I wanna hear more about H.R1, but before we do that, your guest tonight – could you introduce her and tell why, and I’d love to hear your story, and what you’re thinking about tonight.

Rep. Sarbanes: Yeah, totally psyched that Ebere Onukwugha is joining me tonight as my guest. She is newly appointed to the Maryland Drug Affordability Board, which is the first of its kind in the nation. It is a board that can regulate the prices of drugs in the state of Maryland, and do other research around this very important issue, and since Democrats have been fighting really hard with H.R.3 – the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act – and by the way, tonight is the election for his successor in Maryland. H.R.3 is our effort to try to help Americans out there who are facing these huge prescription drug costs. In Maryland, we’ve already taken the lead on that, and Ebere is one of the Commissioners, so I thought she’s a perfect person to come here tonight.

Ashley: Ebere, I would love to hear about your work, and what you hope the president would say to the American people tonight.

Ebere: My work focuses on healthcare resocialization, which includes utilization of prescription medications, and in particular, when people decide that they can’t afford their medications, I study how often that occurs, if it differentially impacts subpopulations – racial and ethnic minorities – and what health impact is associated with that. We do have data out there. My research, other researchers have published on the fact that racial and ethnic minorities do bear a disproportionately larger burden when it comes to the inability to afford their medications and other healthcare services.

What I would hope is that there’s greater attention to this, and that whether it’s leaning on the data that are out there, seeking evidence and information from populations, including the subpopulations that are differentially impacted, that there’s attention to the fact that we already understand the public health burden. Now it’s time to think about solutions and how to address the problem.

Ashley: I wanna talk a little bit more about H.R.1, though. It means something that it was the first. When something is the first, it has a significant power of importance, and I wanna know – it concludes campaign finance reform, making the access to the ballot – automatic voter registration, removing penalties, I believe, for formerly incarcerated individuals to be able to vote in federal elections. It is the kit and caboodle, really.

Rep. Sarbanes: It is.

Ashley: But why, out of all the things you could’ve done, when we got the majority back in such a oppressive, Republican Senate, and House, and White House – why H.R.1 first?

Rep. Sarbanes: The reason we need it first is if you don’t reset the rules, you can’t go get any of the other things you want. If you want to reduce prescription drug prices, but the pharmaceutical industry is using its leverage and its power to stop it from happening, you’ll never get it. If you wanna reduce gun violence, but the NRA and the gun lobby are throwing their money at the system to stop it, you’ll never see it. If you wanna address climate change and environmental issues, and oil and gas industry is standing in the way, you’ll never get it. If you wanna deal with economic inequality in the country, but Wall Street is the one making the decisions on tax policy, you’ll never address economic inequality.

You have to change the rules of the game so that everyday Americans are the ones who have the power, and that we answer to them, and not to the special interests and the money. If you do that, then the sky’s the limit on what we can accomplish. If you don’t do that, then we’re gonna keep getting frustrated over and over again. That’s why H.R.1 is so important.

Ashley: Stopping voter suppression is really the foundation of what the Leadership Conference was founded on 70 years ago – we’re turning 70 this year. We wanna thank you, Congressman Sarbanes, for your leadership on H.R.1. We stand strongly by you, and we believe it will become law soon enough because November is coming.

Rep. Sarbanes: I said the other day, and I’m gonna thank the Leadership Conference again – we need to have as many people in the political town square as possible. Some of those people left because they got cynical about their power. Some of those people have never been led in in the first place. That’s why you need to address voter suppression. You need to address partisan gerrymandering – all the things that are keeping people out of that political town square. If we can get them back in, we can achieve anything.

Ashley: The sky’s the limit.

Rep. Sarbanes: But we gotta get ‘em back in.

Ashley: That’s right. Thank you for your leadership.

Rep. Sarbanes: Thank you.

[Music 26:59 – 27:17]

Ashley: It’s the night of the State of the Union. I’m here with Congressman Al Green from the great state of Texas. If you, tonight, were able to say one thing to President Trump before he was about to give his State of the Union Address, what would you tell him?

Rep. Green: I would first tell him that I regret that I won’t be in the room when he gives his address, but I would hope that he would atone for some of his transgressions. I think that no president should call any countries “s-hole” countries. I think a president shouldn’t try to bar people from the country because of their religion. I don’t think that there were any nice people among the bigots, the racists, Islamophobes, homophobes in Charlottesville.

I think that the president has a responsibility to unborn generations to do what he can to span the chasm that he’s created between the racists in this country, and there is a chasm that he’s created. I would like to see him atone and say that he regrets some of the things that he’s said, and that would like to do better in the future, but I still wanna see him removed from office.

Ashley: Yes. I know you were one of the first to advocate for the impeachment of President Trump, and many were soon to follow, but not soon enough, some would say. Tell me what it was that allowed you to be such a leader, to call for it early on when others weren’t as courageous.

Rep. Green: I live by certain standards. I’m not a prefect servant. I try to be a good public servant, and as such, I understand that if you tolerate bigotry, you perpetuate it. The toleration of it is a perpetuation of it. I think that we should not tolerate bigotry emanating from the presidency. I think that when the president was meeting with Senators in the White House, and they were discussing immigration, and he called certain African countries “s-hole” countries, he was now trying to put his bigotry into policy as it relates to these countries. I think that we have a duty to do what we can to eliminate bigotry.

It probably impacts me more, maybe, than some others because I know what bigotry, and racism, and hate looks like. I’ve had the cross burned by the Klan in my yard. I know what it sounds like. I’ve been called ugly names. I know what it smells like. When I was young, I had to go into filthy bathrooms at a filthy colored water fountain, and I know what it’s like to live in the South, a son of the segregated South, where the rights that were outlined and codified for me in the Constitution, my friends and neighbors took them away. I don’t want us to regress to a society where we can experience some of these things again.

There are some people who are prepared now to say, this is my business, I’ll serve who I want in my business, which means, then, that we are regressing, and we’re going back to an era when people could be discriminated based upon how they look, or perhaps who they are in terms of their sexuality. I don’t wanna see that.

Ashley: Yeah.

Rep. Green: I want us to move forward in a society where all persons are treated equal, and who are given the same opportunities as others. Let’s succeed on our merits or fail on our demerits. That’s the kind of society I long for, so it was easy for me because I was a former NAACP President. I’ve grown up in the human rights/civil rights struggle. It was very easy for me to recognize the bigotry, and to wanna do something about it. There are times when it is better to stand alone than not stand at all.

Ashley: That’s right. We have one of the most important elections of our lifetime coming up. We also have one of the largest obstacles around voter suppression, and it’s coming in so many different forms – on social media platforms through disinformation, with bad voter suppression laws like voter ID, technology not working properly. What do you think people need to be doing now to prepare for an election with minimal to no voter suppression?

Rep. Green: I think that in states where you can register the same day, don’t wait to register the same day. Register early so that you can be assured that you’ll have this opportunity to participate in this participatory democracy. It is a participatory democracy, and the way you participate is by voting.

Ashley: Yes.

Rep. Green: Register early. If you’re in a state where you’ve gotta have a photo ID, as onerous as it is, get the photo ID.

Ashley: Get it and vote!

Rep. Green: Yes, so that you’ll be able to vote. Don’t allow obstacles that you can overcome to prevent you from doing what will be beneficial not only to you but to unborn generations. You were eminently correct when you talked about this election being so important. If this president is elected for a second term, after the House has impeached him, and the Senate has participated in a cover-up with him, one can only imagine what he will do knowing that there are no guardrails.

Ashley: That’s right.

Rep. Green: He has a Senate that has his back, and they will protect him. That means that he’ll be able to do things that we can’t even imagine. Who would have thought that he would come up with this Muslim ban, and actually put it in place? Who would’ve thought that he would do such things?

Ashley: And then expand it.

Rep. Green: Yes, and expand it, as he’s done recently. It’s important to register so that you can vote, so that you can participate, and also understand that you cannot allow yourself to become disenchanted by virtue of the mud that will be thrown around in this election. I assure you that the candidate who is the nominee of the Democratic Party is going to be demeaned, and debased, so we have to understand that this is all a part of the strategy to suppress the turnout. We cannot allow the turnout to be suppressed. That’s a part of voter suppression. Be there, work hard, get yourself registered, so that you can cast that vote. It may be the most important vote that you’ll cast in your lifetime.

Ashley: Thank you for your leadership and for your vision on what this country should be, and for joining Pod for the Cause. Thank you.

Rep. Green: Thank you very much.

Ashley: Thank you for listening to Pod for the Cause, the official podcast of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the Leadership Conference Education Fund. For more information, please visit civilrights.org, and to connect with me, hit me up on Instagram or Twitter, @podforthecause. Be sure to subscribe to our show on your favorite podcast app and leave a five star review. Until then, for Pod for the Cause, I’m Ashley Allison, and remember, a cause is nothing without the people.

[Music 33:58 – 34:40]