OK, Boomer: Markey and McGovern Town Hall Draws the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Image courtesy of Gari De Ramos

Gari De Ramos, Scarlet Staff

On November 3, Massachusetts’ renown politicians Senator Ed Markey and Representative Jim McGovern convened a town hall open to the public at Clark University’s very own Atwood Hall to discuss the Green New Deal. 

As with most town halls open to the public, the event attracted the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of people. While the congressmen were substantive and engaging, questions from the audience were used as a free for all. Some youngsters in the crowd would shout “OK, boomer!” at older hecklers, in an attempt to silence them. One heckler, confused, did respond with “I’m not a boomer.”

“There were people who knew what they were talking about and people who didn’t know what they were talking about,” said Jay Abdella, Director of Communications of the Clark Democrats club. 

While many came to the two-hour event to hear substance, the first half hour of the event consisted of various politicians introducing the next speaker who would then introduce the next speaker. District 4’s City Councilor Sarai Rivera, President David Angel, Mayor Joe Petty, State Rep. David LaBeouf, State Rep. Daniel M. Donohue, and State Senator Michael Moore all took the stage to express praise for the Green New Deal, a 14-page document that aims to bring the US’ greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030.

The Green New Deal was introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York and Massachusetts’ very own Senator Markey on Feb. 7, 2019. The resolution also promises to protect people who will be most vulnerable in this monumental transition into a zero-fossil fuel economy, and explicitly names frontline communities such as Indigenous people, communities of color, migrant communities, low-income workers, people with disabilities, and more. 

While many in the audience are in support of the Green New Deal, the town hall did attract opponents to both the resolution and President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry. Rep. McGovern has played an important part in the impeachment inquiry as chair of the House Rules committee. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, the House passed a set of procedures to govern the president’s impeachment inquiry. “What is happening to the president is a witch hunt,” said a woman named Jennifer, who identified herself with LaRouche, a pro-Trump super political action committee founded in the name of Lyndon LaRouche, a political activist, convicted fraudster, and cult leader. 

Jennifer was quickly booed by audience members who shouted things like “this is about climate” and “OK, boomer.”

Later, an older woman in a wheelchair voiced her concerns about not having access to reliable public transportation. She shared how there is only one wheelchair-friendly taxi cab and her commute to her temple costs her $70. In the middle of sharing her story, someone from the back shouted “Trump 2020.” 

“It was a display of the American electorate,” Abdella said.

Afterwards, a Clark student brought the subject back to climate change and asked the congressmen why the resolution was nonbinding. Both congressmen’s responses echoed a sentiment reflected throughout the entire event: climate change is political. They stated that if people want meaningful climate action, people need to vote Democrat in all levels of government.