“Wake Up, Tony!”: Youth Demand a Green New Deal, Medicare for All at Rep. Tony Cárdenas’s House in 6:45 Am Protest
PANORAMA CITY, CA — Early this morning, over 30 young people with Sunrise Los Angeles Youth and other climate and social justice groups marched to and protested at D-29 Rep. Tony Cárdenas’s house, aiming to “wake up” the congressman to the urgency of supporting a Green New Deal and Medicare for All amidst a health and climate crisis.
Youth activists were motivated to speak against Cárdenas, who is currently seeking the position of Assistant Speaker of the House, because of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions he’s taken from large pharmaceutical and fossil fuel companies. These donors include PG&E, Edison International, and Sempra Energy, the last of which being the owner of the Aliso Canyon storage facility responsible for a devastating 2015 gas leak in Cárdenas’s neighboring district. The action is inspired by “Wide Awake” abolitionist actions of the mid-1800s where young abolitionist organizers would show up at politicians’ houses in the middle of the night.
“We need a leader who stands up for us and our futures now, before it’s too late,” said Ozzy Simpson, 18, who led today’s protest. “We can’t have leaders like Rep. Cárdenas that sit idly by and watch fossil fuel companies destroy our planet while insurance companies profit off of the sick. Tony needs to wake up, or we will vote him out.”
Cárdenas is facing a progressive challenger in November, Angelica Dueñas, who has added to criticism of Cárdenas for leaning towards centrist policy positions despite representing one of the most Democratic and progressive districts in the nation.
"Injustice is not an investment,” said Lizbeth Zambrano, 16. “Cárdenas profiting off of unethical and destructive industries while putting frontline communities at risk is unacceptable."
Sunrise L.A. Youth is the Los Angeles hub for high school students of the Sunrise Movement, a movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.