From IEB Member and event volunteer Kat:
The town hall with Senator Feinstein on Monday was a really powerful and interesting exchange. Her interaction with the audience evolved over the course of the event as she grasped more and more what Indivisible’s purpose as a group is (Indivisible members from various chapters dominated the event).
She opened with her very polite and very general prepared remarks. As she opened up the floor for questions, the very first answer she gave elicited the rowdy folks in the audience to interrupt her, challenge her. There was a back and forth among the audience about how we as a crowd wanted this thing to go.
She saw both the intensity of emotion we held and that we really take this seriously. We didn’t (only) want a chance to berate her, we really wanted a chance to talk. It seemed like the rest of the time she slowly started to understand a little bit more what it is we are trying to do.
When audience member Aram Fischer of Indivisible SF asked her to please be more vocal and public about her beliefs in response to Trump was an essential moment. It was really interesting that her response was basically, “How can you look at my career and think I’d support fascism and anti-semitism? I’m insulted.” And he did a really good job of telling her that right now, we need senior leaders like her to actively lead, even when a solution isn’t available yet.
Her response about the filibuster being imprudent and ineffective was telling of exactly where she stands on this tactic of vocal resistance. One can totally see her point, and also totally disagree. The Democrats lost a figurehead when Obama left office and right now we really need strong, vocal leaders who represent us even when they don’t have a solution to our problems.
I have a glimmer of hope after today that she can be convinced to be more on the offense and more vocal. She responds best when convinced with either personal storytelling or data, rather than brute force. People with personal stories really perked her ears. Of course.
Update: Highlights from our friends across the bay, Indivisible SF.
4 thoughts on “Feinstein Town Hall Personal Perspective”
Thank you for this, it’s insightful and concrete.
sorry but it’s been my experience that it’s like beating a dead horse – she’s been a middle to right democrat her entire career. even when she was mayor of sf. she stood by when immigration came down to the mission and harassed people; or when the police clashed with the youth (still ongoing); she did not and would not stand up to the establishment and protect the people that voted for her. she sucks time for her to go if she is unwilling to fight he who shall not be named!!!!
Though it may appear that she was friendly and open to new ideas, The reality is quite different. She is a staunch neoliberal, and should not be reelected in 2018. We must have a progressive candidate to challenge her in the primary, And Indivisible should find somebody very quickly to run against her. Some of us who are quite older are very experienced with her and her conservative/moderate stance on all political issues. We can no longer afford to have her as our senator from the most progressive state in the country.
Thank you Kat! I was there on Monday and agree with your “summary” here. It was “lively” and fascinating and certainly a necessary step creating a better relationship with her.