Pelosi Town Hall recap

I’d like to fill you in on an event we attended last Saturday — a town hall in San Francisco hosted by our Congresswoman and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

She arranged what she called a “Teach-In” to focus on the GOP tax scam, and how House Democrats are planning on responding to its passage.

Leader Pelosi began by acknowledging and weighing in on the appalling, racist comments that Donald Trump just made, saying, “His vulgarity and vile beliefs should disgust every American and require immediate action and it’s never been more important for us to protect our DREAMers because that’s the context in which he made that statement.” She also informed us, to wide applause, that the Congressional Black Caucus will be moving the House to censure Trump for his conduct.

You can read a transcript of Leader Pelosi’s initial remarks.

She then called upon the panel she had gathered:

  • Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05), member of the House Ways and Means Committee
  • Conny Ford of the San Francisco Labor Council
  • Tom O’Connor, Union President for San Francisco Firefighters
  • Elana Ford, mother of a four-year-old son with special needs whose life was saved as a result of the Affordable Care Act

Each spoke about different ways in which the new GOP tax law will harm Americans on multiple levels:

  • 83% of the benefits of the bill will go to the most wealthy 1% of the country.
  • 9 million middle class taxpayers will see tax increases immediately.
  • Ultimately, 63 % of Americans will see tax increases.
  • Corporations will enjoy their lowest tax rate since 1939.
  • The $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations will, with interest, become an added $2.3 trillion to the national debt.
  • Short-term tax cuts for some individual tax brackets will expire within ten years, while corporate tax cuts are permanent.
  • Cuts in deductions for state and local taxes will result in funding cuts to state and local resources such as firefighters — just as California is being devastated by massive fires.
  • The elimination of the ACA mandate will result in increases in rates that will force 13 million more Americans to go without health insurance.
  • The increase in national debt will give the GOP an excuse for what they’ve wanted to accomplish for years — to go after programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Republican lawmakers have already declared this intent.

Leader Pelosi framed the GOP agenda as “a plan to turn us into a permanent plutocracy.” She informed us that with this very town hall, House Democrats are launching an initiative to hold such “teach-ins” in districts all across the country, to tell Americans in all regions about the devastating effects of the tax bill that Republicans just passed — without the customary participation of the Ways and Means Committee and with no public hearings whatsoever.

She framed the Democratic party’s goal in light of this outrage as “Replace and Repeal.” That is, replace the lawmakers who voted for the GOP tax scam so that they can then repeal it.

Leader Pelosi also declared that while this meeting was focused on tax policy, she would be holding another public town hall to focus specifically on Democratic political strategy.

This sort of in-person constituent conversation was exactly what we at Stand Up SF have been encouraging of our elected officials all along; we’re thanking Nancy Pelosi for making it happen and urging her to continue doing so.

As we prepare for our next meeting with Pelosi’s staff this week, we’ll be referring to her remarks from this conversation, and following up on unanswered questions and additional topics. The Stand Up SF Policy Team would love your input going into this (and any) congressional staff meeting. Please tell us at policy@standupsf.net.

And don’t miss our next all-group meeting this Sunday at 2pm, when we’ll be discussing how we as a group want to handle the 2018 election season.

Paul