COINversation with US Senator Ron Wyden

June 4th, 2021

COIN & Indivisible Advocacy

"To see COIN & Indivisible in every nook and cranny of the state is so helpful. Because that's what we've always said is the key to political change. My theory has been that rarely is political change started in Washington DC or in some government building and then magically trickle down. It's almost always just the opposite. It is grassroots up." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Building Back Better

"Let's think about what we've done with all of your help. We basically took that Trump era like it was a dilapidated stage from a play, and we pushed it out of the auditorium. And we brought in a very new, fresh approach, and look at what President Biden's done; he's gotten checks out to working class, you know folks rather than the people at the top and we got shots to people. And we turn back. Reversed the anti fairness policy that he had with respect to gay rights and transgender Americans, we've done a lot. And now the question is, let's show them what we're doing." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Voting Rights

"We've got to pass that voting rights legislation. And for everybody who's part of COIN and Indivisible, this is not a negotiable proposition, we must pass voting rights legislation giving what's being done around the country to suppress the vote." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Gun Reform

"I think that the fact that you know Moms Demand Action wanted us to go forward and particularly close the loopholes, so that abusers couldn't get access to guns. Is an example of kind of how we take an issue that is particularly in line with our principles; which are that we're talking about common sense. You just made the point that doesn't do damage to the second amendment quite, quite the opposite. It makes it clear that a very small, but common sense defined loophole exists in the gun rules that allows abusers to get a gun and kill the person that they've already abused." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Effective Grassroots Advocacy

"Whether it's videos, whether it's the kind of rallies that you all hold, what you're trying to do is create the kind of cumulative effect. That makes politicians, whether they're in DC, or Salem, or wherever, say, my God look at all of the interest in my community. If I don't respond to their grassroots concerns, they're gonna find somebody who will respond. So what you're trying to do is cumulatively create enough of a ground swell, in order to get through." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Personal Stories Are Critical

"Anything that's personal. It's about 90% of the way there. Yesterday at the childcare event, a young Black woman described how her schedule involves trying to take care of childcare for her little one, three hours a day going back and forth in the transportation. I guarantee you, you will hear that story in the Senate Finance Committee on the Senate floor by somebody that you know fairly well who represents Oregon in the United States Senate, count on it." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Rural Communities

"But I do think as a general proposition that too often, our friends and our allies, don't spend enough time actually showing up in rural communities, particularly when it's not an election. And that's something that I feel very strongly about and, I think, I think you'll go and you'll find people who will be sympathetic to where we are on things like post offices, who are sympathetic to...a lot of issues where there's common ground, but you got to show up." - US Senator Ron Wyden


"Yesterday in Central Oregon is make the connection to what I call human infrastructure and that's for example childcare. And I said, somebody asked me Well, what does childcare have to do with roads and bridges I said, look roads and bridges to a great extent, make it possible for companies and businesses to move goods and services from point A to point B. But if the people who are doing that work, don't have adequate childcare. They won't be in a position to help assist in moving those goods and services from point A to point B." - US Senator Ron Wyden


"I've said publicly that as long as I'm chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. If somebody brings up infrastructure. I'm going to make sure it includes expanded help. Excuse me. Expanded help for rural broadband, and we're going to take that position, and with every bill, until we get to that day in America, where we declare broadband is like, we decided electricity would be decades ago, where everybody's got it." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Climate Change

"We want a cleaner energy future there's very substantial support for electric vehicles tax credits that are refundable in order to get help to middle class, folks, one of the most important things I've ever been part of it also tracks. President Biden's clean energy program, but a number of people have called in written and said, Ron that bill that you got out of the Finance Committee, we never thought we'd see anything like that happen. Finance committee's never done anything close to this." - US Senator Ron Wyden


"We're starting with the proposition that one way or another, we're going to get this done this is that important. Certainly we know we've got a number of senators who have reservations about different aspects of this question, but I think when we lay it out as starkly as the issue, actually, is about that we cannot turn back the clock massively to the days when it was almost impossible for people to vote. I think we can prevail." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Every Day Counts

"I think we understand what makes progressive come together and say we've got to step up right now this is a unique time. We've come out of four years, Four years full of horrendous backward. Thinking ideas. And so every day and every hour counts, that's how I'm, I'm treating it." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Campaign Finance

"I'll just say, from my vantage point at the Federal you know level. I'm going to keep introducing my bill which I've done every Congress since 2002 to take Oregon vote by mail national. Until everybody in America gets a chance to vote by mail I don't think we'll really have a fair shake for American voters. I mean elections are about making a choice, but unless you have fair access to a ballot, democracy is giving people, you know, a choice." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Voting Rights

"So I think there are a lot of sweat equity built up here, in terms of protecting voting rights but let's make no mistake about it. If these states are able to turn back the clock on the sacred right to vote. I can't believe they won't be coming for Oregon system we can't let that happen." - US Senator Ron Wyden

Closing Address

"Thank you, thank you, thank you. What you're doing with COIN and Indivisible is just so extraordinarily important. We have a chance to get an awful lot done to really help people who've never have who have felt they've never had a voice and never had any political clout and we've been talking about what those issues are all about. And I just look forward to working with you to pursue these priorities in the days ahead." - US Senator Ron Wyden

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Transcript of COINversation

COINversation 6421 Transcript