Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) delivers a speech Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, at Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Archiebald Browne)

Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) held her first town hall in Oklahoma City and focused on wealth taxes, public education and corruption.

Warren spoke this evening at her high school alma mater, Northwest Classen High School. Warren focused her speech on how government only works for people who have money.

“Big structural change starts with rooting out corruption in Washington,” Warren said. “And I’ve got a plan for that.”

Warren said her changes would include proposals like her $0.02 wealth tax and closing the “revolving door” between Washington and Wall Street.

Letting lobbyists drive decision making is something Warren said she hopes to end if she wins the presidency in 2020.

“I don’t think we ought to have a coal lobbyist as the head of the environmental protection agency,” Warren said. “I’m pretty opposed to having a defense industry lobbyist as the secretary of defense.”

Jennifer Davis, 42, and Zac Davis, 39, attended Sunday’s event and said they will be voting for Warren during Oklahoma’s March 3 Democratic presidential primary because of her desire to end corruption and save public education.

“She sees the root problems of corruption (and) corporate America,” Jennifer Davis said. “And she has addressed that problem first before we can do anything else.”

Zac Davis said his favorite talking points from Warren regard student loan debt and Medicare for all. However, he said he is Native American and has better access to health care than many.

“To be able to go to the hospital, go to a doctor, get an MRI and not have to pay — I think that should happen for everyone,” Zac Davis said.

Warren talks secretary of education

Elizabeth Warren
A packed gymnasium at Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, waits for Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. (Archiebald Browne)

Mason Weaver, 38, attended the Warren’s town hall and said he mostly agreed with her stance on public education.

“Especially since things in Oklahoma aren’t great right now.” Weaver said. “Getting more money into public schools is very important to me.

Warren was asked during Sunday’s event to discuss her opinion on school vouchers. She quickly answered by saying, “public dollars should stay in public schools.”

Warren said that, when she becomes president, she will designate a public school teacher as her secretary of education, a jab at current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

“The secretary of education is the one who is out there on the front lines and the one who could help up get rid of high stakes testing.” Warren said. “And (who) could, instead of trying to drain money out into for-profit charters, but put that money into our public schools.”

Charter schools are public schools.

Jennifer Davis said she could not recall any other presidential candidate talking about such issues in detail like Warren.

“I haven’t heard anybody tell you how you’re gonna get there,” Jennifer Davis said. “So it sounds like a good plan to me.”

Her husband said the only candidate he could relate Warren to is Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) who held his own Oklahoma rally in Norman in September.

“Her plans are a little more specific, well-rounded and she’s very passionate,” Zac Davis said.

The town hall was Warren’s first visit of the year, a spokeswomen for her campaign said. She was in Oklahoma in September 2018 for an event intended to mobilize teachers for the year’s general election.

Other 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls in Oklahoma