Published: Mon, February 25, 2019
Science | By Michele Flores

Feinstein Tells Off Kids Lobbying Her to Support Green New Deal

Feinstein Tells Off Kids Lobbying Her to Support Green New Deal

"How many wildfires and lost lives will there be before Dianne Feinstein treats climate change like the crisis that it is, and backs the Green New Deal?".

About 15 middle- and high school students in the San Francisco Bay area met with Feinstein on Friday, asking the six-term senator whether she would vote for the ambitious climate change proposal introduced earlier this month by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Sen. One of the Sunrise adults chimes in, "We're asking you to be courageous and do this for us and your grandchildren.Any plan that doesn't take bold, transformative action is not going to be what we need". Upon learning she was under 18, Feinstein stated, "Well, you didn't vote for me".

Judging by the video, Feinstein appeared prepared to negotiate at first. "I don't respond to that", Feinstein continued. But after being interrupted multiple times, Feinstein got a little feisty, and things turned testy.

"You know what's interesting about this group", Feinstein observes at one point, "is I've been doing this for 30 years". I was elected by nearly a million vote plurality. "You come in here and say, 'It has to be my way or the highway.' I don't respond to that".

The reaction online to the video was split, with those on the political left - many of whom attacked the Covington Catholic kids for smiling at a Native American - declaring that Feinstein was being rude to the children who were being disruptive in her office. "And I know what I'm doing", she tells the group.

Later, a young woman stresses the need for a climate plan with "bold, transformative action", and Feinstein replies, "Well, you know better than I do". "Because no one else has even tried", she said.

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Feinstein, in a statement to USA Today, did not apologise but said she wanted the children who visited her office to know they were heard and called the debate "spirited".

Feinstein countered that she understands the consequences of climate change.

"A man was just arrested last week with a stockpile of guns specifically trying to kill me & others,"Ocasio-Cortez added in her tweet". Her reaction is why young people desperately want new leadership in Congress. "But we're the people who voted you, you're supposed to listen to us". "I may do that, we'll see", she said.

Feinstein's liberal challenger in the 2018 election, Kevin de Leόn, did not mention Feinstein directly after the video spread across the Internet, but tweeted "Climate change is real, and we won't survive what's coming unless EVERYONE is part of the conversation".

The Sunrise Movement's capable moment on Friday shows the increasingly important tactic of recording direct contact with lawmakers to distribute on social media - executed most effectively by Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher, who confronted then-Senator Jeff Flake about his vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

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