Senator on the line: Brooklyn rallygoers make public and literal call to Schumer demanding progressive action

Maurice Mitchell, the National Director of the Working Families Party, holds his phone up as Senator Chuck Schumer addresses the crowd.
Photo by Dean Moses

Activists at a Brooklyn rally on Sunday afternoon literally called Chuck Schumer to demand that the Senate Majority Leader live up to progressive policy promises.

Nearly a year since President Joe Biden and several other democratic representatives were elected, and with the passage of time some feel those who campaigned on the promise for swift change to policies regarding citizenship, immigration reform, climate change, healthcare, voting rights, and more have failed to enact meaningful advancements.

“Donald Trump could have kept things the same but we don’t want the same, we want to build back better,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said surrounded by protest signs at Grand Army Plaza on Sunday afternoon.

Over a hundred railed. Photo by Dean Moses
Protesters asked Senator Schumer to make progressive policy changes. Photo by Dean Moses

Over a hundred demonstrators shouted that it is “Time to deliver,” along with a series of coalition of advocacy organizations. While there were several groups attending the rally, including Make the Road New York and Vocal NY, Senator Schumer, the cause of the rally, ended up on the phone speaking to those protesting against him after Maurice Mitchell, the National Director of the Working Families Party dialed his number.

“We elected democrats to take historic action, and we elected you as Majority Leader in this historic moment. In order to change history. In order to deliver for all of us because we think that today, in this moment, it’s time to deliver,” said Mitchell, holding his phone with Senator Schumer on the line.

Schumer sounded unphased by the call and said he was in fact happy to hear about the rally, affirming he urges his constituents to keep on putting pressure as he fights in Washington.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Photo by Dean Moses

“I heard about the rally, I’m glad you’re all there and good numbers, and you know, we’re fighting hard in Washington for the big bold change you’re talking about that our country needs, because the future of our country depends on it. Go on with all the way, fighting for a robust and bold climate, affordable housing and public housing, a pathway to citizenship. Raise taxes on the billionaires who get away with paying no taxes and dramatically changing our tax system to make it progressive and go after the big shots and restoring democracy through protection of our voting rights,” Schumer said. 

While those at the rally began by booing the Senator, Schumer managed to win the crowd over, even receiving cheers at the end of his speech. Jumaane Williams applauded Schumer for “doing a lot of the right things,” but the public advocate charged that he must keep it up.

“I’m a basketball fan. The game is 48 minutes. You could play good for 30 minutes, 35 minutes. You could play excellent for 47 and a half minutes. But if you don’t play well for the whole game, everything can go down the drain,” Williams said.

“It’s about us,” protesters said at the rally. Photo by Dean Moses