Congress is going to be changed by this year’s elections, because the incoming class of representatives includes some people who will not go along to get along, will not just say yes to power. Take Thursday’s bipartisan orientation and issue briefings—it’s the kind of thing we don’t usually hear much about. But thanks to Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, we now have a sense of how power works and how new members are pressured into the same old mold.
Right now Freshman members of Congress are at a “Bipartisan” orientation w/ briefings on issues.
Invited panelists offer insights to inform new Congressmembers‘ views as they prepare to legislate.
# of Corporate CEOs we’ve listened to here: 4
# of Labor leaders: 0
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 6, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez later tweeted that the event was “co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group. Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance,” and highlighted the lack not just of labor voices but of other activists and community leaders.
And there’s no question that the event was designed to teach new members where they rank and who they need to be deferential toward:
Gary Cohen, former CEO Goldman Sachs addressing new members of Congress today: "You guys are way over your head, you don't know how the game is played."
No Gary, YOU don't know what's coming – a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits. https://t.co/ZLML2qzAW6
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) December 6, 2018
Yes. Yes yes yes. More of this, please! Show us the day-to-day of how corporations get the power and the people aren’t heard, so that activists can better see what rooms we need to be getting into and finding ways to push back against things we didn’t even know were happening behind closed doors.