I love Hetty Rosenstein. We are lucky we have an organizer of her gravitas and her fearlessness who is with us. Last night, Hetty, who runs CWA in NJ was honored along with several other Labor leaders.
Here’s the thing: There aren’t many people who have the constituency (she reps 70,000 workers) to be feted by the NJ Democratic State Committee, and once standing at the podium have the guts to get in their face, and wake them the hell up. She told them hundreds of thousands of people – in the absence any leadership from them – have organized right past them, creating their own political home. That the Resistance is leaping ahead of the Democratic Party: If Dems want the Resistance to bring their energy to the party, the Party will have to show up “in the streets as well as the voting booth.” And “no longer pretend organizing goes on only between September and Election Day.” And meaning all of us, she said: “They want to show us what Democracy looks like.”
Hetty took head-on on their obsession with petty political fiefdoms: “We are setting things up so that it’s Democrats that have to cut the budget, Democrats that take away people’s pensions and healthcare. While outside, hundreds of thousands of people are marching, calling, and fighting for justice, inside there are people who are figuring out how to shove in the last patronage appointment before Christie leaves. That is cray. Let’s turn this shit around!
There is so much good and tough and thrilling here. But it’s unclear to me after this bone-deep reading of the riot act, how much of what Hetty warned them about sunk in. Applause, but no standing ovation – after all that. Carve 15 minutes out of your day if you can. This is worth it: