When I was in Minneapolis in June, I was fortunate enough to attend the kick-off event for this summer's "Speakout for Good Jobs Now" tour, sponsored by the Progressive Congress Action Fund, wherein various members of the progressive caucus of the U.S. Congress spoke to their constituents regarding the desperate need for creating more jobs in America. At this first event, Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Raul Grijalva fired us all up.
And so when the Speakout tour arrived in Oakland this week, I really wanted to go to this event too. And Reps. Grijalva, Mike Honda and Barbara Lee would be speaking this time. Doesn't get much better than that.
At the Acts Full Gospel Church on 66th Avenue in East Oakland where the event was being held, the parking lot was jammed but I found a space. Inside, perhaps 700 people were already in attendance. I was late. And the warm-up speaker was already asking everyone to stand up if they had been laid off, were jobless, had college loans they couldn't pay, couldn't even get into college, who had no health insurance, whose home was threatened with foreclosure or had already been foreclosed upon, who had lost their benefits, who felt that their Social Security was threatened, was currently on unemployment, etc. Almost everyone there stood up.
Then the speaker asked everyone to stand up who thought that the current Republican-dominated Congress was doing anything to help all us Americans -- not just helping rich people. Two people stood up.
Then Barbara Lee spoke about how she was fighting as hard as she could to get Americans more jobs. Yay Barbara Lee!
Then Nancy Pelosi spoke too -- and said all the right things about how progressive she was and how hard she too was working in Congress for us. We all applauded. And then she made one little slip. Should I forgive her for that? Can't yet decide.
Pelosi said, "They claim that corporations are people? Well, workers are people too!" Too?
Guess what, Nancy. "Corporations are NOT people." Never have been and never will be. Repeat after me.