Sen. Elizabeth Warren, candidate for governor Jay Gonzalez visit UMass to encourage early voting

Democratic politicians spoke in front of 100 people at the Cape Cod Lounge

Alvin+Buyinza%2FCollegian

Alvin Buyinza/Collegian

By Alvin Buyinza, Assistant News Editor

As part of the first day of early voting in Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with candidate for governor Jay Gonzalez, visited the University of Massachusetts on Monday morning to discuss the issues at hand this November election. The pair spoke to a crowd of roughly 100 people in the Cape Cod Lounge.

With only 15 days remaining until the midterm elections, both Warren and Gonzalez energized their bases for early voting in hopes of beating their respective opponents Republican Rep. Geoff Diehl and Republican Governor Charlie Baker.

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts deserves a governor like Jay Gonzalez who will fight for the future of working families,” said Bahar Gokcek, a UMass alum who now works for the Elizabeth Warren campaign. Gokcek was one of the first people to speak during the event, introducing the two politicians.

“We need Senator Warren to be back in Washington to keep fighting for students, immigrants, low-income families and veterans,” she continued.

After a round of applause from the crowd, Gonzalez came up to speak about his plans if elected governor.

“We need a governor that will see the world the way the world should be and take us to that place. Let’s aim high! Let’s aim high, let’s be us, no one has reached higher, worked harder and accomplished more together than the incredible people of Massachusetts,” he said.

Part of Gonzalez’s plan to improve Massachusetts as governor is to invest an additional $3 billion each year into transportation and education by taxing the wealthy, as well as creating affordable access to quality preschool for all families, and working toward making all public higher education in Massachusetts debt free.

Gonzalez then criticized Governor Baker for his support for Republican Rep. Geoff Diehl.

“Let’s be clear – by helping Geoff Diehl to go to Washington to be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump’s agenda, Charlie Baker is supporting Trump’s efforts to take this country backward and he’s backing an anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, pro-NRA agenda.”

After Gonzalez, Warren spoke.

“If you need just a little extra motivation to get out there in vote, I got three words for you: Governor Jay Gonzalez. What do you think?” Warren asked.

She then criticized House Republicans and President Trump, who she said “embarrassed our country on a daily basis,” calling the Trump administration “the most corrupt in living memory.”

“For almost two years now, the only thing that the American people have gotten from Donald Trump is chaos, corruption and hatefulness,” Warren said. “Listen up, Mr. President. Tick-tock, tick-tock. November is coming!”

The crowd then broke into another wave of claps and cheers.

Warren advocated her support of affordable healthcare, namely for Americans from low socio-economic backgrounds, affordable higher education and efforts to tackle the growing issue of climate change.

“We are in this fight for everyone who has been unfairly cut out of the criminal justice system; we are in this fight for families who’ve been devastated by hurricanes in Puerto Rico; we are in this fight for our fellow U.S. citizens!” she exclaimed.

Toward the end of the event, Warren took questions from members of the audience. Celena Lopes, a junior double majoring in theater and social thought and political economy, asked how elected officials should respond on “racial incidents,” referencing the Black UMass employee who was racially profiled entering Whitmore and the racial slur that was written on a bathroom in Melville Hall.

Warren responded by stating that there needs to be a change in leadership, namely from the Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, who Warren criticized for her lack of support for public schools and her support of for-profit colleges.

Additionally, Gonzalez also responded to Lopes’ question by saying that President Trump has led the country into an atmosphere of divisive bigotry, opening the door for more racial intolerance.

“We can’t let these incidents go unchecked. We have to stand up as a community when something like the incidents you referenced happen, and it’s important that we change our president so that we have someone setting an inclusive tone.”Alvin Buyinza can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @abuyinza_news.