It's about shaping young minds. That's what I do, when I'm not on strike anyway. And maybe I'm doing that even when I am standing out on the sidewalk in front of my school. "Mister Caven, what does 'on strike' mean?"
It has meant that I am watching the news more as a participant rather than a simple observer. Which is how the article about Dianne Feinstein filled up my browser this past weekend. It seems that a group of students decided to drop by the Senator's San Francisco offices on Friday to share their views on climate change and the Green New Deal. The fifteen minute discussion was not the friendly photo-op that one might have expected.
Senator Dianne was not going to be kid-shamed into agreeing with this Green thing just because there were cameras there. "That resolution will not pass the Senate, and you can take that back to whoever sent you here and tell them," she responded after the students insisted the legislation was badly needed. "I've been in the Senate for over a quarter of a century and I know what can pass and I know what can't pass."
The "whoever" in this case was the Sunrise Movement, a group who say "We're building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people." It is true that these kids did not ride their bikes over to the office, and there were adults there with them, but that dismissive tone wasn't lost on anyone in the room. Maybe they should have had an appointment. "I've been doing this for thirty years. I know what I'm doing," Feinstein said. "You come in here and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don't respond to that."
Later in the day, she did refer to the exchange as a "spirited discussion" and said "I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear."
Twelve years, Di-Fi. The clock is ticking.