Activists Demanded Congress Act Now to Approve a Transformational Investment in Workers, Communities, and the Environment
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 27, 2021) — Hundreds of progressive activists from immigration, climate and care groups converged in Washington, DC to march on Congress today and delivered a message to Democrats that it is time to produce for American communities. Occurring just days before President Biden attends the COP26 UN climate summit, participants called on Congress to deliver the transformational change needed for their communities and planet.
Four months after Congress passed budget resolution language outlining critical investments in human and physical infrastructure, the activists called on Congress to deliver on their promise of:
- Green jobs and infrastructure
- Child care and medicare expansion
- Citizenship for immigrants
- Home care and paid leave
“Democrats need to deliver the full Build Back Better agenda to address our climate crisis and deliver real solutions to ensure that every person has good healthcare, jobs and family support, while creating the pathway to citizenship that so many desperately need and deserve,” said Ana Maria Archila, Co-ED of the Center for Popular Democracy and one of the speakers at the rally. “In 2020, Democratic leaders promised to fight for these issues, and we turned out to elect them. Now it’s time for them to deliver—our communities and our planet can’t wait any longer.”
Participants engaged in symbolic representation of the unifying critical priorities in the Build Back Better plan, such as 8 people to symbolize the need to include 8 million green cards for immigrants, 3 people to symbolize 3 million new affordable housing units, 8 people to symbolize childcare and universal pre-K for more than 8 million children and more.
”We only need to look at the enthusiasm gap in Virginia to see the impact of voters waiting for the Democrats to deliver,” said Gustavo Torres, President of CASA in Action and a rally speaker. “In the same way my members are pounding the pavement to generate votes, we expect Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi to deliver a victory to the Black, brown and Asian voters that put them in office.”
The march began with a rally at Folger Park with speeches from organizers:
- Gustavo Torres, CASA
- Brian Macias, Sunrise Movement Tempe
- Patrice Lawrence, Undocublack
- Rev. Dave Thornton, People’s Action/People’s Lobby
- Carol Joyner, Care Can’t Wait
- Ana Maria Archila, CPD
- Angelique Marshall, SPACES in Action
- Tanairy Guzman Reyes, CHIRLA
- Asma Elhuni, Rights and Democracy NH
- Ingrid Vaca, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Participants then marched through the streets of DC with chants, megaphones and homemade protest signs before ending at the Capitol. A group of thirty activists blockaded the corner of 1st and East Capitol, between the Supreme Court and the Capitol, and were arrested for their civil disobedience.
Photos and videos from the event: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmX22BEb (credit to CASA)
The event was live streamed and can be viewed: https://fb.me/e/1Ur4pbzUs (rally 0:00-40:22, march 40:22 – 1:00:52, civil disobedience beginning 1:00:52)
The march was organized by a coalition of climate, care and immigration groups: CASA, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Center for Popular Democracy, NAKASEC, Working Families Party, Communities United for Status and Protection (UndocuBlack, Adhikaar, Haitian Bridge Alliance, National Network for Arab American Communities, African Communities Together), United We Dream Action, FIRM Action, CHIRLA, People’s Action, The People’s Lobby, Rights and Democracy NH, PA Stands Up, Reclaim Philly, We Are Home, Spaces in Action, Sunrise Movement Tempe, Green New Deal Network, 32BJ SEIU, Real Recovery Now, Care Can’t Wait, Paid Leave for All and Michigan United.
About The Center for Popular Democracy: The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) works to create equity, opportunity and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions. CPD strengthens our collective capacity to envision and win an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.
About CASA: With over 122,000 lifetime immigrant and working class members across 46 US states, CASA is a member-based Latino and immigrant organization. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.