Friday, March 29, 2019, 6:45 p.m.
West Des Moines
Bird Dogs: Kathy Byrnes, Adrianne Erickson, Ed Fallon, Shari Hrdina, Sheila Knoploh-Odole, Sam Kuhn, Marty Monroe, Susan Pohl, Todd Steichen
We stood directly in front of Warren as she spoke to a packed room in West Des Moines. She referenced our signs several times during her speech. Questions were taken by lottery, and none of us were selected to ask a question during the Q&A section. After the formal program, her state coordinator Janice Rottenberg, approached our group and asked, basically, “What do you want?”
We explained that if climate is the existential threat as Sen. Warren seems to understand that it is, we questioned why it was not as prominent in her speech. Janice is following up with a call, where we will offer to organize a forum with Sen. Warren to emphasize the urgency of the climate crisis, the importance of the Green New Deal, and how the Dakota Access pipeline negatively affected farmers, landowners and Indigenous communities.
Friday, March 29, 2019, 3:30 p.m.
Bird Dogs: Keith Puntenney
Keith Puntenney reported that Warren came out strong for climate change and Green New Deal as a concept, and she did bring up climate in her stump speech. He was the first questioner and asked about DAPL pipeline destroying 6000 acres of farmland, the Green New Deal and other things. There was room for improvement as there were many things she didn’t address, but could have, such as how we transition to Green New Deal with modern grid for solar, wind, biofuels from other sources.
Friday, March 29, 2019, 12:30 p.m.
Bird Dogs: Sid Barfoot, Jaylynn Bear, Ruby Bodeker, Barbara Ching, Ed Fallon, Kamhel Timberwolf, Donnielle Wanatee
During the Q&A, Barbara Ching asks Warren about climate change. Later in the video Ruby Bodeker emphasizes the urgency of the climate crisis while speaking one-on-one with Sen. Warren. The Senator supports the Green New Deal as a comprehensive solution, and states that corruption in government needs to be addressed otherwise serious climate reform will be blocked. Video credit to Sid Barfoot.
Donnielle Wanatee of the Meskwaki Tribe also had an opportunity to share Indigenous concerns with Sen. Warren. Donnielle has been one of Iowa’s key leaders in the Dakota Access pipeline fight. The off-camera voice in the conversation is State Representative Mark Smith. Thanks to Sid Barfoot for the video.
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Bird Dogs: Kathy Byrnes, Ed Fallon, Sam Kuhn, Marty Monroe
In response to Ed’s question about whether she’s willing to prioritize climate change, Senator Warren said, “The problem we have in Washington is how many politicians have sold out to the oil companies. … When I say the way we have to start this is around corruption and beating back the influence of money in Washington, taking back our government so it works for us instead of working for those with money, that is prioritizing climate change.”
Ed writes, “Warren didn’t answer my question. She deflected. I asked her pointblank if she would prioritize the climate crisis and she flipped the question to her top issue. Sure, corruption is a problem. But it’ll take years to drain the DC swamp, especially after the bigger gators Trump’s stocked it with. Rooting out the corrupting influence of money in politics is an important issue. But it’s an issue. Climate change is an escalating crisis. It needs to be tackled head on, not through side bars like Warren’s end-corruption focus, or Andrew Yang’s guaranteed-annual-income focus. When candidates take a question about prioritizing climate change and simply talk further about their campaign’s main theme, they’re essentially saying that climate change is not their top priority, and that’s unacceptable.”
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Bird Dogs: Kai Hedstrom, Toby Cain, Hannah Breckbill
Kai writes, “Overall, I came away impressed. She is clearly very passionate and at the same time authentic and genuine — or at least that was my perception. Her biggest campaign pitch has to do with assisting working families and reversing the system we currently have in place where big money dictates what legislation and policies folks in DC focus on.
“She only took three questions after her speaking engagement, so I didn’t get a chance to ask about climate change. She then took the time to take pictures with and meet everyone in attendance, which I thought was quite nice of her. I did get to shake her hand and meet, but it was a 15-second interaction. I told her I hoped she continued to focus on climate change as it is the policy my generation is going to have to deal with and suffer the consequences of. She seemed receptive to that.”
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Bird Dogs: Josie Ironshield, Christine Nobiss, Bob O’Hare, Lakasha Touches Lightning, Michael Wilcox, Linda Willaredt, Jay Wolin
Thanks to Jay Wolin for capturing video of Michael Wilcox’s question on climate and the Green New Deal (3:00-minute mark on second video). Thanks to the others who were there to bird-dog on the climate crisis and related concerns, including Christine Nobiss and Lakasha Touches Lightning with Seeding Sovereignty, Josie Ironshield with Sage Sisters of Solidarity, Linda Willaredt and Bob O’Hare.
Our one complaint about this event was that Warren only took two questions from the audience. Mike Wilcox (who claims he never wins the door prize – lol) was selected out of what appeared to be a large number of question requests. So, we got lucky.
After the formal program, both Christine Nobiss and Josie Ironshield had a chance to talk with Warren privately. Josie writes, “Senator Warren really sympathized with me about the Dakota Access Pipeline. I told her I thought President Trump was horrible about the to call her ‘Pocahontas.’ I told her that, as an Indigenous person, I too big offense to his comment.”
Posted by Jay Wolin on Sunday, February 10, 2019