Perez talks right to repair, views of Congress on podcast

Earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Skamania, appeared on the political podcast The Next Level to discuss her views of Congress, her efforts to recruit a diverse staff, and more.

Below are some excerpts from Perez’s conversation with host Tim Miller.

On Democrats dismissing rural communities

“(Older Democrats) said, ‘we don’t need blue collar, working class people. We don’t need rural America anymore.’ And I think the math is wrong on that.”

“I think the (Democratic) party is not smart enough to get what we’re doing. There’s a real wisdom, I think, in rural communities and blue collar communities, and to just say, ‘oh, you know what, we don’t need to understand that anymore’ and walk away is a real impoverishment of the values of the Democratic Party.”

On right to repair laws for farmers

“One of the most pragmatic ways you can support the trades and support rural communities is by supporting right to repair legislation.”

“Imagine being millions of dollars in debt, you’ve got a quarter million dollar piece of equipment sitting in the yard as yard art now, and you can’t work on it because some a–hole with an MBA locked you out of it.”

“We’re really at this fulcrum point where we have to start assuring our right to fix our own stuff … it’s one of those cultural things, we are a nation that really believes in DIY. Other countries aren’t like this.”

On recruiting a diverse staff

“There’s a lot of lip service for egalitarianism, but … it just becomes like groupthink of who’s qualified and who’s smart … I think people are tired of that. I think people want a congress that looks like America.”

“There’s a real homogeneity to the kinds of people that want to be in DC. When I’m trying to recruit staff, I want people that don’t really want to be in DC, that’s not their life, you know, they haven’t been trying to do it since they were seven.”

— Carlos Fuentes

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