Now it's clear: July 23 Speakout event to include Jim McDermott

In an earlier post, Questions about Progressive Congress’s Speakout event on July 23 in Seattle, I expressed confusion and perplexity about the purpose of a Speakout (“Congressional Listening Tour”) event in Seattle. But today I got email that explained what’s going on. Rep Jim McDermott (D), a progressive hero, and other unspecified lawmakers will be attending the event on July 23 at South Seattle Community College’s Brockey Center, at 6000 16th Ave SW, Seattle, 98106.

“Pro-worker Members of Congress are coming to town to hear from us about the need for good jobs in our community…. Tell your story to members of Congress who are working to create good jobs and opportunity for every American.”

The email said the event is sponsored by ProgressiveCongress.org, the advocacy group led by Washington State’s own Darcy Burner.

Robert Sargent says that he expects to see Dennis Kucinich at the event, since Kucinich will be at an event in Kent later in the evening.

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3 thoughts on “Now it's clear: July 23 Speakout event to include Jim McDermott”

  1. I expect to see Congressman Kucinich there, since he will be in Kent that evening for the AM1090 forum.

  2. I just got back. It was an outstanding and very moving event, even though Grijalva wasn’t there. The event was sponsored by the SEIU. Darcy Burner was present. Kucinich was not present. The elected officials present were Jim McDermott, Dow Constantine (who left after about an hour and a half), Joe McDermott and Larry Gossett. Jim McDermott stated that such rallies are being held in cities throughout the country. Numerous members of the audience were given an opportunity to speak and each person’s remarks will be placed into the Congressional Record. There were also cards by which people could write and submit their stories, which will also go into the Congressional Record. About 50 had the opportunity to speak about their experiences with joblessness. Many of the stories were heartbreaking. A woman in her early sixties said that her two daughter and their children had to move back into her small house. They sleep in couches and on the floor. She works at a modest job at a public hospital and she pays all of the bills. The daughters’ unemployment checks pay for the food. A woman spoke about how she had been homeless twice. Several people testified that their homes were under foreclosure. An IT worker testified that he now works at a reduced wage for no benefits. An administrative assistant with medical problems said she now works cleaning washing machines for slightly more than minimum wage and said she is worth much more than that. The atmosphere of empathy and sympathy among the audience members was very positive and powerful. It felt almost like an East Coast urban African American church. There was a great sense of unity among highly diverse groups – Hispanic, Muslim (groups of women wearing headscarves), Hispanic, blue collar, some white collar, SEIU members, teachers, UW students, retirees. McDemott listened to all of the speakers and was obviously very distressed and even shaken about what he was hearing. He encouraged everyone to continue to be involved.

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