Peter Welch has been Vermont’s lone congressional representative since 2006. Welch is the chief deputy whip of the House Democratic Caucus and serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He’s a member of the House Progressive Caucus. Faced with the increasingly visible effects of the climate crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, the rise of white supremacy and other threats, Welch says, “I’m extremely worried. I’ve not seen anything like this in my lifetime.” Welch has clashed with the Trump administration, and he is concerned about the president’s attempts to undermine the integrity of the upcoming election. “We have a president,” Welch says, “who does not believe in democracy and is doing everything he can to erode it and to kill it.”
Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) discusses how the federal government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it has evolved from “a slow response, to a little bit of denial, to a cavalier response…to a sense of urgency and action.” He explains emergency funding that Congress is approving to assist businesses and individuals, and guarding against bad legislation slipped through during the emergency. “There is going to be massive unemployment. This is a time when there absolutely has to be a governmental response. We are in such a state of urgency that all of our energy has to go into how best to respond. It’s really really serious.” We also discuss Bernie Sanders’ presidential run and how the pandemic will affect the 2020 election. (March 18, 2020 broadcast)
Ron Dellums is an American political legend. A native of Oakland, California, Dellums was first elected to Congress in 1970 as an opponent of the Vietnam War. He became an expert in military and foreign policy, he rose to become chair of the powerful House Armed Services Committee. He was re-elected 13 times, retiring from the House in 1998.
Dellums used his leadership positions to question US policy on weapons systems and foreign intervention.He also led the fight against apartheid in South Africa, winning passage of the US Anti Apartheid Act of 1986 over the veto of President Ronald Reagan. His efforts helped win the release of Nelson Mandela. In 2006, Dellums emerged from retirement and was elected mayor of Oakland from 2006 – 2011.
Dellums reflects on his lifetime of social change and service, from Vietnam to helping free Nelson Mandela to his advice to Black Lives Matter activists today.