Widely viewed as having run the strongest Democratic presidential primary race over recent months and with the endorsement of the national Working Families Party fresh in her grasp, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren greeted a throng of thousands in Washington Square Park in the early evening hours of September 16.
Along with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the two most progressive candidates among the leading contenders — both have endorsed unambiguous plans for a Medicare For All universal health care approach — Warren, backgrounded by the park’s imposing arch, highlighted her commitment to fighting corruption and the insidious role money in politics has on nurturing it.
During those comments, Warren focused on how New York City’s history provided one of the most lethal examples of where corruption and greed can lead.
Pointing to the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 146 garment workers, most of them underpaid immigrant women, just a half block from the park where the crowd stood listening to her, Warren, according to Gay City News’ sister publication, The Villager, said, “For years, across the city, women factory workers and their allies had been sounding alarms about dangerous and squalid conditions, fighting for shorter hours and higher pay. Everyone knew about these problems, but the fat profits were making New York’s factory owners rich and they had no plans to give that up.”
She added, “Business owners got richer, politicians became more powerful, and the working people paid the price. Does any of this sound familiar?”
The lesson, Warren said, was that only a Democratic agenda based in big structural change can definitively close the book on the four-year reign of Donald Trump, whose administration is anathema to fans who cheered her on Monday evening.
In the hours after the speech, social media was jammed with photos from exuberant rally attendees sharing their view of the scene at Washington Square Park.
Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party introduced Warren, who grabbed the group’s endorsement away from rival Sanders, whom it supported in his 2016 challenge to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.