CALIFORNIA'S OWN ELIZABETH WARREN
- Stronger Communities
- Improved Quality of Life
- Hope for Tomorrow
Our Liz is a wife, mother, former news reporter, and community leader. She comes to politics with a fresh perspective, having spent years in the trenches as a fierce defender of environmental, economic, and social justice.
She never considered a run for office--until now. Why did she step up? Because she's lived long enough to realize that something needs to change, so that our kids will HAVE a future. These uncertain times offer an opportunity for California to lead by example. Liz will listen, and be your voice in Sacramento. Working together, we CAN improve our quality of life, strengthen our communities, and give our kids hope for tomorrow.
THE BIRTH OF AN ACTIVIST
Her personal story is like that of many Californians. Liz began her career as a newspaper reporter, moved into public relations, and went to work for herself to have more time for her family. In 2006 she had a professional “AHA!” moment when a prospective client asked her to create a misleading PR campaign. With her husband's encouragement she made the career shift to freelance writer.
The Warrens had refinanced their home to complete a needed remodel. Less than 18 months later the American economy began its collapse. Their neighborhood fell into foreclosure. Suddenly they were "upside down" on their mortgage. Her husband’s industry had been an early casualty of the financial crisis. The Warrens survived for more than a year using their savings, but when it ran out they were forced to file bankruptcy and lost their home in an illegal foreclosure. The modest amount they received from the national mortgage settlement was poor compensation.
Destitute but determined, Liz put her reporter’s hat back on, researching economic policy in an effort to understand what forces had put her family and so many of their neighbors out of work and out of their homes. What she learned infuriated her, and this one-time soccer mom became a political activist. She received organizing training from MoveOn.org and was soon supporting MoveOn organizing councils of regular people just like her, all across the country.
TAKING ON A NASTY GLOBAL TRADE DEAL.
In 2012 a news blurb in the San Diego Union Tribune caught her eye. Negotiations for a global trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership were being held in San Diego. A GLOBAL TRADE DEAL meeting in San Diego? Why wasn't anybody talking about it?
Some digging revealed that the public, the media, and even her Congressman (Darrell Issa) were barred from witnessing the talks, which the White House had classified “secret.” But the biggest corporations were INSIDE, acting as “trade advisers.” More digging led to leaked documents shared by Public Citizen that described, to her horror, provisions included in the proposed 12-nation deal.
Wall Street recklessness had claimed her home. Now, the corporate-driven TPP threatened to usurp America's right to self-govern. It would actually allow multinational corporations to SUE countries in a private court—run entirely by corporate attorneys—if any law (state or federal) interfered with their profits.
It was too much. This time, she vowed, the little people would fight back! Her goal was to make the TPP an election year issue in 2016. Many said the idea was crazy—the deal was too complex; most people’s eyes would glaze over at its sheer "wonkiness." And what could possibly drag activists away from other important issues such as economic justice, reproductive freedom, climate change, LGBTQ rights, food safety, immigration, healthcare and the rising cost of prescription drugs—the list went on and on.
She realized that EVERY ISSUE would be eclipsed by the TPP,; if the deal went through, years of hard work by many good people would be WASTED. The TPP as written would supersede every member country’s own laws. Now it was her job to convince grassroots activists and national issue-focused groups that she was right, and get them to work together to build awareness.
HOW A GRASSROOTS TEAM TOOK ON MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS—AND WON.
Elizabeth reached out to fellow MoveOn organizers across the country, and together they built a “team” to stop TPP. The “TPP Team” mobilized people in their own communities, and contacted national organizations that worked with trade law, including Public Citizen, Popular Resistance, Sierra Club, Progressive Democrats of America, labor unions, internet freedom advocates, food safety groups, and more. They asked public policy leaders to join them, and the community leaders and activists from coast to coast they had recruited, on interactive weekly webinars. Hundreds of grassroots leaders regularly logged on to hear leading authorities on issues that would be affected by the TPP. The webinars created an ongoing dialogue that kept volunteer leaders engaged and helped propel a movement.
THE TPP, AND THE ELECTION.
The Stop TPP movement began with a simple plan: build awareness, community by community and state by state, so that by the next presidential election, the TPP would be on the nation's radar. In 2016, the team was thrilled to see that Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ALL publicly opposed the deal. Bernie asked Liz to speak about TPP at THREE of his California rallies, and invited her to sit on a standing committee at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
By the end of 2016, under pressure from Americans from coast to coast, Congress opted NOT to bring TPP to a vote. It was a banner day for people power!