Grassroots and Immigrant Justice Organizations Across the Country Targeted Corporate-Backed Sens. Manchin and Sinema Who Continue to Block Build Back Better
WASHINGTON, D.C.—A coalition of grassroots and immigrant justice organizations led by People’s Action, We Are Home, and Living United for Change (LUCHA) today hosted a Day of Action to demand that the Senate, specifically Sens. Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sinema (D-Ariz..), finally put people before profit and pass a strong Build Back Better bill. Participants held five events at corporate offices, leading up to a concluding rally in Arizona. The groups focused on Goldman Sachs as a proxy for the corporations spending millions to tank popular, progressive provisions in the social spending package that would deliver direct assistance to struggling people.
“Polluters, pharmaceutical companies, and corporations like Goldman Sachs have poured millions into Congress to obstruct a popular agenda that would help millions all over the country,” People’s Action Campaigns Director Sondra Youdelman said. “Senators Manchin and Sinema need to confront them instead of conspiring with them and pass a robust Build Back Better Act as soon as possible. Our communities can’t wait any longer.”
“Our LUCHA members, families, and community have constantly been in a state of survival. At this very moment we have the opportunity to center the needs and demands of communities, but instead our Senator continues to put her wallet over the lives of millions across the country, this is why we have joined our forces from New York to L.A. We are calling on Senator Sinema to stand with us,” LUCHA Organizing Director Stephanie Maldonado said.
“Corporations like Goldman Sachs are buying off Kyrsten Sinema and others in Congress in order to avoid paying their fair share in taxes, while the planet burns and people in our communities suffer,” said Cate Readling from The People’s Lobby in Chicago.
Luma Webster, who spoke at the Chicago action, said: “I am furious. Unreliable Democrats better show me why I, a potential future citizen, should care about them, because if they can’t get the Build Back Better plan passed, they will have me to reckon with. Every misstep made by politicians is being watched.”
“California needs Build Back Better to pass!” said Bay Area resident Tracy Zhu. “These investments will provide new learning opportunities for children, help working parents make ends meet, create good paying jobs for residents of California, combat climate change, and give our kids cleaner air and water.”
“I’m here to underscore the importance that people are more important than corporations,” said California state assembly candidate David Campos. “Passing this bill is what the country needs at the moment as we combat these colliding economic, climate and public health crises.”
Participating groups delivered a letter to Goldman Sachs’ demanding it stop lobbying against people’s lives and held direct actions in the following cities, with most using a “behind the curtain” theme:
- Phoenix, Ariz.: LUCHA, We Are Home, and Corazon AZ hosted a “Unite for our Future” rally with 24 organizations in Arizona;
- Chicago, Ill.: The People’s Lobby, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, One Northside and People’s Action staff hosted a rally with imagery including nefarious “Monopoly men” with Sens. Manchin and Sinema in their pockets, a big check written by corporations to Sens. Manchin and Sinema, and a graphic displaying decreased funds from the $10T THRIVE Act down to the $1.75T reduced new Build Back Better Act framework;
- Los Angeles, Calif.: Ground Game LA and the Pilipino Workers Center held a mock public meeting with Sen. Sinema, with the “behind the curtain” theme and a novelty check;
- San Francisco, Calif.: Bay Rising led a theater action in which Sens. Sinema and Manchin were portrayed as the Wizard of Oz in front of a curtain, Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion presented their demands and exposed a Wizard behind the curtain with several corporate logos affixed to them. The action ended with a rewritten version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”;
- New York, N.Y.: VOCAL New York stormed Goldman Sachs’ lobby in a ‘People’s Cease and Desist order’, bring a giant check signed to Sens. Manchin and Sinema;
- Detroit, Mich.: Michigan United held an action in front of the local Goldman Sachs’ office, using a “Monopoly” game to highlight the corporation’s greed.
Recently, People’s Action and Dēmos released Behind the Curtain: The Corporate Plot to Upend Democracy, an incriminating report that revealed the depths of corporate disruption to President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
Photos from the actions can be found here. Additional information from each action can be found on the participating groups’ social media feeds:
People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations in 30 states, united in fighting for justice. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. People’s Action and its member organizations coordinated one of the biggest distributed organizing programs in rural areas this past election season.