A Solidarity Social and Endorsement Party was held at Liam Flynn's on March 18, 2014. Below is Ian's speech.
Solidarity Endorses Ian Schlakman
I can't thank you all enough for for coming tonight. Thank you to Liam and Jessica for letting us use Liam Flynns.
And of course thank you so much to the Baltimore chapter of Solidarity for endorsing my campaign to be the next congressman from MDs 2nd district.
I am so proud to accept this endorsement tonight. However given my opponents, pro defense industry, pro NSA, anti-enviroment stances I think this may of been an easy call for solidarity.
Yes I am the only candidate running that's calling for universal healthcare. I am also the only candidate running that's calling for a universal right to housing. I am the only candidate calling for a universal right to food. I'm also calling for net neutrality laws that safeguard the internet as an independent and free system from corporate and government control. But I'm the only candidate who has actual experience defending networks from hackers which is why I cringe every time these politicians like my opponent start blowing hot air about cyber security. They have no idea what it takes to defend a network and they have no idea how to "secure" anything let alone our Internet.
I'm anti fracking and anti incinerator and I'm the only candidate to stand in solidarity with the students at Ben Franklin High in Curtis bay about stoping the incinerator being built near their school.
So again I say, this may of been an easy decision for solidarity to make. Solidarity has worked tirelessly to ally themselves with so many wonderful peoples movements here in Bmore. I'm honored to continue that tradition.
Becuase This campaign, the crux of our work, is about uniting groups of under represented people. Something that solidarity, the green party, and many of the activisits here tonight know very well.
We all know politicians, especially my opponent Dutch Ruppersberger, listen to and represent the rich. But what we tend to see from more liberal candidates, your so called liberal democrats, is pandering to the middle class. This campaign is not about the middle class.
I'm 29, and it was really important to me to run for office before I turn 30. Why? Becuase young people, millennials, 20 somethings, whatever you call them overwhelming know that the middle class is gone. Our parents were (maybe still are) middle class but that world that lifestyle is over.
We're not gonna buy houses at under 100grand and watch them triple, quadruple or more in value. We're not gonna all get rich working hard at our good paying corporate job. That world is over. And when you're young you know that.
I bet everyone in this room also knows some other hard truths. That Baltimore city has some of the worst poverty on the east coast. We have some of the most underserved, underemployed and disenfranchised people living right here.
We need to make it clear to the underserved, underemployed and disenfranchised people in this district that their issues are real, their issues are important and that they deserve power in decisions that are made about their future.
And we need to link up and demand power. We're here tonight not simply witness the start of another political campaign. We're here tonight create a movement.
Lilla Watson famously said - If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.
We need a campaign of contrasts working in unity. We need to empower. We need an economy that works for the 99% not the 1%. We won't be tricked into the notion that one day we'll be rich. If we just get one more degree, if we just get one more investment if we just get one more slightly liberal politician elected. We need a campaign of young, old, college grads, and workers standing up for themselves and for their community. Standing up in SOLIDARITY.
I know there's a lot activist here and I know many of you are involved in some fantastic organizing efforts throughout the city. Your time is more precious than gold. And I can't thank you enough for being here tonight.
I also know that a lot of you work on community empowerment projects right here in Baltimore. When Vanessa and I decided to make Baltimore city our home it was becuase we were amazed at how much serious organizing work was being done here. Please, I humble myself before you, Help me make a statement.
When I first decided to run for office one thing I kept hearing over and over again from sympathetic politicians, political strategists, etc... was this. "Ian - young people don't vote. radicals don't vote. homeless people never vote and young people don't vote" These career political operatives would say "you can't make a movement out of the those groups, they don't vote" - They're saying that you and the people we care about don't vote and therefore don't matter.
I'm not here get elected. You're not being asked today to help get me elected. I'm here to make history. The ask I am making today is for your help in making history. Baltimore 2014 is the right place and the right time to link up these groups and make a clear statement to the world, WE MATTER, WE'RE EMPOWERED and we're so well organized that we can do more than vote. We can take power and we change the course of history.
Please give in whatever way you can. Every dollar we raise right now goes to us hiring paid organizers and other crucial roles for the campaign.
Please volunteer, with whatever small amount of time you have left.
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