OWS Activists Meet With Progressive Caucus
By Jessica Brady
Progressive America Rising via Roll Call Staff
Dec. 12, 2011 - An Occupy Wall Street group will take to the House later this week, only this time the meeting is a planned occasion with the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Ten organizers from New York’s OWS group will speak to the caucus about their legislative priorities, according to an email sent to Members and obtained by Roll Call.
“This is the very first meeting of national occupy organizers and members to discuss specific legislation in the country,” the email to Members states.
An aide with knowledge of the meeting said the protesters “are uniquely concerned with getting money out of politics and with a jobs agenda.” The aide also said OWS representatives “may be reaching out to other caucuses both Republican and Democrat in the future.”
Although OWS supporters quickly note they are not affiliated with a political party, Democrats have sought to embrace the movement just as Republicans successfully channeled the energy behind the tea party movement for electoral success.
The Progressive Caucus held a meeting featuring three D.C. protesters in October, and in recent weeks Democratic leaders have talked up issues of interest to the OWS.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for example, has renewed her own push for campaign finance reform legislation in recent weeks. Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), co-chairmen of the CPC, issued a release last week praising the movement for protesting Congress and reminding “lawmakers that people are facing very serious problems.”
Borrowing from the Occupy group’s rhetoric, members of the CPC will also unveil Tuesday a jobs bill dubbed Restore the American Dream for the 99% Act. JessicaBrady@rollcall.com | @jessicalbrady