A group of young people, including elementary school kids, associated with the environmentalist group the Sunrise Movement visited Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) office to ask the California Democrat to support the Green New Deal.
In a video posted by the Sunrise Movement, the exchange between Feinstein and the group grew testy when Feinstein began disputing facts that the kids were stating about the human contributions to climate change.
“Some scientists have said that we have 12 years to turn this around,” one girl said.
“Well, it’s not going to get turned around in 10 years,” Feinstein responded.
At that point, an older activist chimed in, telling Feinstein, “You’re looking at the faces of the people who are going to be living with these consequences.”
“The government is supposed to be for people, and by the people,” another girl said.
“You know what’s interesting about this group is, I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” Feinstein said. “I know what I’m doing. You come in here, and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that.”
This is a fight for our generation’s survival. Her reaction is why young people desperately want new leadership in Congress. pic.twitter.com/0zAkaxruMI
— Sunrise Movement (@sunrisemvmt) February 22, 2019
Feinstein then pivoted to her electoral success and history of winning elections in California to further illustrate her point.
“I’ve gotten elected. I just ran. I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality. And I know what I’m doing,” she said. “So, you know, maybe people should listen a little bit.”
The video includes cuts at certain points, so the extent to which it is edited is not clear. But the exchange between Feinstein and the kids is clearly uncomfortable at moments.
“I’m trying to do the best that I can, which was to write a responsible resolution,” Feinstein said.
“Any plan that doesn’t take bold, transformative action is not going to be what we need,” said one Sunrise Movement activist, interrupting Feinstein.
“Well, you know better than I do,” Feinstein responded. “So, I think one day you should run for the Senate.”
“Great, I will,” the activist responded.
“And then you do it your way,” Feinstein continued. “In the meantime, I just won a big election.”
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Author: Jeff Bechdel
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