Billionaire brings “Need to Vote” campaign to Santa Clarita’s doorstepChad Kampbell September 14, 2018 0 COMMENTS
Wealthy businessman and liberal standard-bearer Tom Steyer delivered a speech and took questions from local residents at a town hall meeting on Monday at the Canyon Club in Valencia. Volunteers were on hand to register voters and recruit new members.
The event was put on by the “Need to Vote” campaign one of three political operations created by Steyer to drive grassroots involvement in local and national elections. Along with “Need to Impeach,” the Need to Vote campaign was created in the wake of the November 2016 election.
In 2013 Steyer created NextGen America (originally NextGen Climate), a political action committee and non-profit that advocates for progressive positions on education, the environment, immigration and healthcare.
Doors opened at 6 p.m. and the room quickly filled to near capacity. In total almost 500 people were in attendance, many attendees had to stand for the duration of the event.
Political commentator, comedian and radio show host Stephanie Miller warmed up the crowd and introduced Steyer. During her opening speech, she hammered on the importance of voting in November’s Election. “We now have 60 days left in our democracy, period, and I’m not kidding if we don’t get out and vote,” Miller said.
Steyer began by outlining the case for impeaching President Donald Trump, touching on the Mueller investigation, potential violations of the Emoluments Clause in Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution and whether the president is temperamentally unfit to hold office.
He went on to speak about the prized millennial vote and the importance of not giving up on young voters. “If we’re going to give up on people under the age of 35 in America, we’re going to give up on Democracy,” Steyer said.
The crowd was enthusiastic and attendees regularly called out their agreement during the event.
After his speech, Steyer took questions from the audience. The questions asked during the event revolved around issues like economic inequality, lack of affordable housing and the November election.
One attendee took the opportunity during her question to advocate for congressional candidate Tatiana Matta, who is running against Rep. Kevin McCarthy in California’s 23rd Congressional District.
The primary theme that ran through the whole event was a general frustration with the current administration and a desire to do something about it. “This frustration with the current government is shared by millions of Americans,” Need to Impeach Deputy Communications Director Alberto Lammers said.
Local residents were motivated to get involved. When asked why he came, Rubin Arroyo expressed disappointment with the Trump administration. “How can I do something to help?”
When asked what the number one thing that he wanted attendees to take away from the event Steyer said, “I want them to take away is that the people can retake the democracy—that if we’re organized and we show up then we’ll beat the money.”
After the event, Steyer thanked the attendees and again mentioned the importance of grassroots organizing to get out the vote, including how others interested can get involved.
“Thank you to all who showed up to our Need to Vote town hall with @StephMillerShow in Santa Clarita. Winning in our local communities is crucial to stopping this administration. That’s why we’re writing personalized notecards to fellow supporters asking them to vote.” Steyer tweeted.
The Need to Vote campaign is planning six more town halls between now and Election Day. The next town hall will be held in Des Moines, Iowa on September 18.
This story was written and reported by Chad Kampbell. Daniel Jacob Kulick contributed to this story.