Lowell resident and blog contributor Nancy Pitkin traveled to Cambridge last night for a book talk by Senator Elizabeth Warren. Here’s Nancy’s report:
On April 1, tickets for the Senator Elizabeth Warren book talk sponsored by the Harvard Bookstore went on “sale” for $5.00 and the event was to be held at Zero Church St on April 24. Since we assumed the tickets would go fast, at 9:00 AM I was on the Harvard Book Store web site, but unable to connect. I was also hitting redial on my phone, and I was able to get through on the phone by 9:10 AM and ordered 2 tickets. Later we found out the event was sold out in three hours.
On April 24, we got in line about 6:00 pm, and chatted with the people around us. One young woman with 2 Warren buttons on had worked on the Warren campaign in Amherst MA. About 6:15 the line started going into the church. Senator Warren entered to a standing ovation. She began by telling us she would read a couple of passages from her book and then answer questions that had been submitted on index cards.
Her first tale was about burning toast in a toaster oven and the fire it created. She almost threw water on the plugged in toaster, but she realized that wasn’t a good idea and threw the water on the curtains that were also burning instead. She went on to say that you can’t purchase a toaster oven today that doesn’t have a timer and an automatic shut off, thanks to government regulation that protect us from faulty appliances. She is concerned that financial devices do not have these same level of protections.
Senator Warren went on to say that 3 out of 4 students in college today are in public universities and the funding has dropped to 1 out of 4 dollars in government support of higher education from the 1960’s when she went to school – it was $50.00 a semester and the government supplied 3 out of 4 dollars.
One line that stuck me was “ No one who works full time should live in poverty” Raise the minimum wage. When her mother took a minimum wage job at Sears when her father had a heart attack, you could support a family of three on a that wage.
The last question was about Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the 21st Century” – he was at the Harvard Book Store last Friday – and she summarized his 700 page book: inequality matters. And he has the data to prove it.
I received the book ‘Fighting Chance’ today and was able to look over it before we started down to Cambridge. One thing I noticed was it includes a photo from Ramalho’s gym. Senator Warren mentioned this is her tenth book, and the first missing charts and diagrams. For people from Lowell you need to check the picture carefully to see a number of local figures.
I wore my Elizabeth Warren sweat shirt (thank you Andrew and Ariela) and because of it, I was interviewed by ABC for a segment that will be aired on Sunday morning and I may be in it – though I would not give them the sound bite they were looking for a positive answer to: Will Senator Warren run for President? I want her as my senator – she will do great things for Massachusetts and the country. I was also interviewed by BuzzFeed.com. Similar questions, and again, I think Senator Warren is a fantastic SENATOR.