Children as young as seven years old recently went to the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) to ask her to support the Green New Deal.
But in a video posted by the Sunrise Movement — a youth-led organization pushing members of Congress to back the Green New Deal — Sen. Feinstein is seen acting condescending to the group, and dismissing their concerns.
“You’re looking at the faces of the people who are going to be living with these consequences,” one of the students is seen saying in the video.
“The government is supposed to be for the people and by the people and for all the people!” a young girl said.
Senator Feinstein continued to try and talk over the group as they pleaded with her to sign the Green New Deal — a policy platform aimed at curbing dependence on fossil fuels by encouraging development of sustainable fuel-powered infrastructure through massive public investments.
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know what I’m doing,” Feinstein told the group. “You come in here, and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that.”
This is a fight for our generation's survival. Her reaction is why young people desperately want new leadership in Congress. pic.twitter.com/0zAkaxruMI
— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) February 22, 2019
The Sunrise Movement tweeted that the Green New Deal was “a fight for our generation’s survival.” And they may be right. While people like Feinstein — who will turn 86 years old in June — won’t be around to see it, scientists with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected in October that humanity has approximately 12 years to solve climate change, or risk a massive environmental crisis affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
When the children reminded her that they were her constituents and that she’s in office to represent their interests, Feinstein retorted that she just won an election, and that the kids in her office were too young to vote for her.
“I hear what you’re saying, but we’re the people who voted [for] you, you’re supposed to listen to us, that’s your job,” one older student said.
“How old are you?” Feinstein asked her.
“16. I can’t vote,” she responded.
“Well you didn’t vote for me,” she responded curtly.
The meeting turned into a confrontation, with Feinstein saying she had her own “responsible resolution” she planned on introducing as an alternative to the Green New Deal, though she didn’t specify any policies that resolution would contain.
“Any plan that doesn’t take bold, transformative action is not going to be what we need,” a student said.
“Well, you know better than I do,” Feinstein said sarcastically. “So I think one day you should run for the senate.”
“Great. I will,” the woman said.
Grit Post reached out to Senator Feinstein’s DC and San Francisco offices for comment, and will update this article in the event of a response.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.