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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 2, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 05
Jayapal on President Trump's State of the Union
Section One
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Jayapal on President Trump's State of the Union

'This is the Trump way: he simply offers no leadership.'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - [On Tuesday, January 30], Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal [U.S. Representative for Washington's 7th Congressional District] did not attend Donald Trump's State of the Union address. Instead she headlined a State of OUR Union event with nearly 1,000 activists and community leaders to offer an alternative vision for the country. Her remarks follow this statement.

She also issued the following response to President Trump's State of the Union:

'Donald Trump has sown the seeds of division during his entire presidency. This speech, while calling for unity, in the next breath propagated the same divisive stereotypes that pit neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother, and sister against sister.

'Let us remember that Donald Trump created the crisis of the Dreamers and is now holding Dreamers hostage to build a wall that American taxpayers will fund. He is cruelly trying to end our family-based immigration system and diversity lottery system. He proposes protecting 1.8 million Dreamers in exchange for cutting legal immigration in half, and not allowing U.S. citizens and permanent residents to bring their parents or adult children into the country. And he continued to scapegoat and stereotype immigrants, making it seem as if immigrants are all gang members. This is not a real proposal and Donald Trump is not interested in being an honest negotiator.

'When it comes to our infrastructure, Trump's vision appears to be another giveaway to his own wealthy allies and donors. What we need is a $1 trillion public investment into our infrastructure that can create good, sustaining, family-wage jobs - not a privatization of our roads and bridges.

'Trump continues to claim that the GOP Tax Scam benefited the middle class, even though 81 percent of the $1.3 trillion goes to the wealthiest 1 percent in our country. We can't keep doling out cash to billionaires and large corporations. We need a fair and progressive tax system based on shared responsibility that supports small businesses and workers, and funds the vital services that our communities need.

'This president boasted about stripping away environmental protections and promised to create jobs. The reality is his slash-and-burn agenda only helps big oil and gas companies. The administration is working furiously to undo regulations that ensure clean air and clean water, exposing our communities to ill health. Inexcusably, the president has pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accord and said nothing about tackling the global crisis of climate change. This is the Trump way: he simply offers no leadership.

'I chose not to attend tonight's address not because of policy differences, but because I cannot sanction or normalize Donald Trump's hate and indecency. The state of our union is strong when our people are strong - and I am fully committed to supporting and strengthening all of our communities, not dividing them.

'As I said tonight in my joint address with women leaders and organizers, the state of our union is strong when fearless people stand up against tyrannical policies and do not confuse xenophobia with patriotism, or vitriol for values.

'We are strong when we call people in even as we call them out, and recognize that it is generosity and abundance, not scarcity and fear, that always win.

'We are strong when we recognize that, as a minority party, we are an opposition party. But that, to build our movement, we must also be a proposition party, putting forward our vision.

'We are strong when we organize and build our power, when we refuse to be intimidated or patronized, and when we give gratitude for those whose shoulders we stand on and allow others to stand on our shoulders.'

Courtesy of U.S. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal's Congressional Office

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