“I can’t accept the free tickets when the price for the bleacher seats is unaffordable for those that make less than $25.00 an hour.”
Marcos Rubinstein issued a letter just prior to the beginning of the 2017 Iowa Democratic Party Fall Gala gracefully declining the free tickets he received for the event in order to stand in solidarity with those who could not afford the event. Below you can find the letter he wrote in its entirety.
“I hope that all of you that will go today to the Gala Dinner would have a good time, and I hope that it will be the financial success that those who organized dreamed of.
But you will not see me there. I can’t accept the free tickets when the price for the bleacher seats is unaffordable for those that make less than $25.00 an hour. I stand in solidarity with the working people of Iowa, the unemployed, the students, and those that barely survive on Social Security benefits.
I understand the need to raise funds and have no problem having very high prices for the dinner and preferred seats. But we are (or should be) the Party of the Working Class.
We could have used a “sliding scale” pricing; free for those making up to $15.00 an hour (or the equivalent to it,) charged $25.00 for those making more than $15.00 and up to $25.00 an hour, and full price for those making more than $25.00 an hour.
In that way, the Gala could also have been an organizing tool, a way to inspire and activate the grass root and we would have had the arena completely full. Imagine also the organizing experience of every County Party getting transportation, raising $$$ for buses, organizing carpools, etc…
We would have been able to show that we really are the Party that learned from past mistakes, the Party of inclusion, the Party that not only works for the Working People but stands in solidarity with those that need it the most.
At the same time, I do understand that change can take a while. And I didn’t want to work against the objective of the Gala Dinner. That’s why I didn’t ask anybody else to join me. That’s why I’m sending this at the 11th hour.
But I do ask all of you to really think how we can raise money without compromising our most important purpose: being the Party of the People.
In peace, with justice.
¡Sí se puede!
IDP SCC member representing Iowa 1st Congressional District”
Rubinstein is an active leader in the Progressive movement in Iowa and served as a member of the National Platform Committee representing the Iowa Sanders delegation at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.