Marcy Winograd Campaign Kick-Off Speech

winograd1My name is Marcy Winograd and WE are running for Congress.

Thank you, all, for joining me today for the historic kick-off of the Winograd for Congress 2010 campaign to unseat Jane Harman in the 36th congressional district.

We stand here today just miles from the neighborhoods of West LA and Mar Vista, Playa Vista, Inglewood, and Westchester; We stand in Venice, the home of the arts, set against the spectacular blue Pacific, and as we look to the south we see Marina del Rey, where I live, then El Segundo, the brain trust, then the beach cities – Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, all nestled along the precious California coastline, and on into Torrance, the engineering capital, and Lomita and Carson, strong working class neighborhoods, and into Wilmington, where I worked with teachers on promoting college-going culture, and then on to Harbor City, and San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles where workers, members of the International Longshoremen’s Workers Union, built the gateway to commerce.

The 36th district is as diverse and as textured and as alive as the best of America, the country I will be proud to serve.

We stand here today at the crossroads between crisis and opportunity, between economic ruin and national renewal, between war and peace, between the past and the future.

Previous generations of Americans built interstate highways and transcontinental railroads.

Today we sit in traffic on the 405 – barely able to drive the length of this congressional district.

Previous generations launched the New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, and the Works Progress Administration – creating millions of jobs building bridges and water treatment plants, repairing roads and highways, and adorning our cities with murals that tell the narrative of Americans hard at work.

Today we watch as politicians in Washington write billion-dollar blank checks to bail out banks responsible for the sub-prime meltdown, the collapse of the housing market, and the mounting foreclosures that erode our property tax base, bankrupt our state capitol, and turn beautiful neighborhoods to blight.

These are hard times.

In one zip code in Torrance, foreclosures were up 500% last month; in another Torrance neighborhood foreclosures had increased by 200%.

In San Pedro, workers are bracing for lay-offs, with business at the port off by 20%. One out of every ten residents of Los Angeles County is unemployed.

Seventy people are homeless in Los Angeles County. Some of them sleeping in RVs on the streets of Venice for want of a permanent place to call home.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

It is time to say NO to to government waste, to trillion-dollar war budgets for endless occupations that breed more terrorists, to countless no-bid contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan that drain our treasury of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Halliburton gets rich, while the working family in Torrance watches their home slip away.

It is time to say NO to billion-dollar bank bail outs that reward irresponsible behavior and punish the middle class who dreamed the American dream of home ownership. It is time to say NO to the politicians in Washington who thought it was fair to de-regulate our financial institutions, to strip America bare of responsible oversight.

Now is the time to part from the past, to break our habit of wasteful spending, and to retool our aerospace plants, the brain trusts of engineering and skilled workers, so that we can employ more people than ever before building bridges and water treatment plants, fixing our roads and highways, establishing wind farms and solar manufacturing plants, and securing and cleaning our ports, so that the people of Wilmington, Harbor City, and San Pedro can take a deep breath and their babies can take a deep breath without worrying about developing asthma.

We need jobs, jobs with dignity, and jobs that can sustain a family. Every working family in Los Angeles should be able to send their children to college, without having to mortgage their home.

We need jobs and we need health care – Why should 90,000,000 American suffer with little or no health insurance? It’s not fair. Why should the CEO’s of insurance companies enjoy million dollar bonuses while our friends and relatives struggle to pay their doctor bills –if, indeed, they even go to the doctor. It’s not fair.

When elected to represent you, I will immediately sign on to Congressman John Conyer’s bill for health care for all because it’s only fair that in America, the richest country in the world, everyone, regardless of family history or pre-conditions, has access to safe and affordable publicly-run, economically-wise medical care.

Jane Harman refuses to support health care for all. Instead, she supports a bankruptcy bill that tightens the noose on Americans who fall behind because of their doctor bills. In fact, the number one reason why people go bankrupt is because of medical bills. If elected to represent you, I will immediately support legislation to create a massive jobs program to rebuild and retool America.

Jane Harman clings to a bygone past of reliance on old technology and shrinking industries.

When elected to represent you, I will work with veterans, the men and women we sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, to end war for all time –because the mindset that takes us to war — the belief that killing innocent people solves problems – is the mindset of the past.

We, Americans, know how to solve problems without creating new ones. We know how to bring people together, to create community, without sending in drones to destroy neighborhoods by remote control.

winograd_beachJane Harman took us to war without taking a second look at the National Intelligence Estimate, which highlighted and boxed analysts’ doubts about the fictitious weapons of mass destruction. Jane Harman not only took us to war, but continued to waste our taxpayer dollars on supplemental budgets that hid the true cost of the war by not including the price tag in the defense department budget.

When elected to represent you, I will oppose torture and kidnapping because these are not American values, because waterboarding and sexual humiliation are cruel and inhumane, a violation of our treaties, our agreements with the world community, and because to torture others is to put our own troops at risk of being tortured.

Jane Harman was reportedly briefed on the use of torture – and yet she never stopped it. Instead, she warned the CIA not to destroy its torture tapes. One can only assume she knew what was on those tapes.

When elected to represent you, I will respect our constitution and Bill of Rights. I will take an oath to uphold our Constitution, which means I will defend and protect our fourth amendment right to privacy. In other words, I will not support illegal warrantless wiretapping.

Jane Harman not only supported warrantless wiretapping – She went to the New York Times and pressured the editors to withhold the truth from the American public on the eve of Bush’s re-election. Had she not gone to the New York Times, had she not been such an ardent defender of Bush’s illegal program perhaps we would have been spared his re-election. Perhaps thousands of American troops and Iraqi children would still be alive today. Perhaps we would be that much further along on protecting the public from global climate change that threatens us all.

When elected to represent you, I will work for a lasting middleeast peace that embraces equal rights for all Palestinians and Israelis. I speak as a Jewish American who is proud of the role Jews have played as architects of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, proud of the roles Jews have played in the Civil Rights movement, in ending segregation. Segregation, walls, home demolitions, rocket attacks, suicide bombings and open-air prisons are not the answer. Segregation, whether by choice or by force, only reduces us to victims; victims isolated from the world, torn from the fabric of humanity. The answer is to embrace equal rights for all — to recognize that Palestinians and Israelis can live as equals in peace, just as they did for hundreds of years, just as they do in Los Angeles. I am the founder of LA Jews for Peace, also the founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Progressive Democrats of America. I make my living as a teacher and teacher’s coach at Crenshaw HS in South LA, where every student deserves equal access to a college education.

Americans from years past initiated universal primary education and built excellent universities on public land. They passed the G.I. bill that helped create our modern middle class. Today, American students suffer in overcrowded classrooms with falling roof tiles, while the cost of college skyrockets.

When elected to represent you, I will support universal preschool for every child in this country because that is the most strategic use of our education dollars. If elected to represent you, I will side with President Obama and demand stimulus money be spent to keep teachers, not fire them when their talents and expertise are so desperately needed. Yes, I am a teacher and I know the value of education. From the cradle to the grave, we want a nation of life-long learners because then we will be prepared for the future and the future of that future.

When elected to represent you, I will support working families by voting for the Employee Free Choice Act and against free trade agreements that give big corporations the freedom to shut down factories at home and ship jobs oversees where workers become slaves. Friends, Supporters – We can do this. We can send Winograd to the House and send Harman home.

In 2006, with only 3 months before the June primary election, we mobilized almost 40% of the voters to cast their vote for change. In Venice, where we stand today, just blocks from Jane Harman’s home –we won nearly 60% of the vote. Down in the harbor area, Harman squeaked by with just a little over half of the votes cast.

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This time – we have more time – an entire year to hit the ground running, to organize, and to change the course of history by advancing visionary ideas that call for redirecting the waste in our bloated military budget to address basic human needs for jobs, health care, and for housing.

Thank you for joining me on this historic day at the Venice Pier. Thank you for supporting Marcy Winograd for Congress in 2010.

Please donate, endorse, volunteer at Winograd4congress.com and become a fan on Facebook at Marcy Winograd for Congress. I need your help. I can’t do this without you.

Yes, WE are running for Congress.

Onward to victory!

by Marcy Winograd

Marcy Winograd is President of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles and an Executive Board representative to the California Democratic Party.

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