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Schumer speaks to grassroots organizations prior to presidential debate watch party

October 20, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer attended the Independent Neighborhood Democrats' general membership meeting on Wednesday, where he spoke and answered questions prior to the presidential debate. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Although there were hardly any undecided voters in attendance, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer showed up to the Independent Neighborhood Democrats (IND) meeting at St. Francis College on Wednesday, where he stumped for Hillary Clinton prior to the debate-watch party.

“I want to give you an analysis of where we are at right now,” Schumer said. “I don’t have to tell you the importance of this election. It’s important that Hillary be elected president and we take back the majority for three reasons — economic, political and moral.”

The IND were joined by the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn (LID), the Stonewall Democrats of New York City and the Brooklyn Young Democrats to listen to Schumer speak. The senior senator from New York laid out exactly what was at stake in a brief speech.

“The system is not working,” Schumer said. “It is imperative that if we get a majority (in the senate) and Hillary becomes president, which looks likely, that we get middle class incomes going. We want to pass pay equality so that women get the same as men for the same job, we want to raise the minimum wage, we want to create a huge infrastructure program.”

Schumer also explained that the U.S. Supreme Court would likely undergo a major shift under the next president and explained two things that a more liberal court could achieve.

“The first will be to overturn that awful position, the worst decision of any supreme court — citizens united,” he said. “The second thing that will change — one of the most despicable things that occurred — is when the Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act. They said that they don’t need the Voting Rights Act anymore, [that] there was no more discrimination. Within one year, 19 states, almost all Republican states, put barriers in the way for poor people and minorities to vote.”

Finally, Schumer explained that a Democratic win could stop obstructionists in the senate.

“People are losing faith in the government, and I believe that’s the plot of the far right,” Schumer said. “They get a position of power and then they won’t do anything. [Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan] has allowed these 50 or so Freedom Caucus people to run the whole show. If they don’t want something and it doesn’t get done, then people get more frustrated with government, which is the plan for people like the Koch brothers, because they hate government.”

Many others joined Schumer in speaking at the event, including U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, former Assemblymember Joan Millman, Public Advocate Letitia James, President of IND Larry Gulotta, Marc Levine of the Stonewall Democrats, Scott Klein of the LID, District Leader Cory Provost, District Leader Anne Swern and state Sen. Daniel Squadron.

Nearly everyone who spoke discussed ideas of how people can help the Clinton campaign, including joining phone banks and traveling to Pennsylvania to knock on doors and encourage people to vote.

“Just call people,” Simon said. “I was calling Florida; another member was calling Ohio. We’re calling people all over the country to make sure that they know that it’s important for them to come out and vote. We need their votes.”


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