Author, activist and presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson visited Grinnell, Iowa on Saturday.
Walking into the Ahrens Family Center basketball court, Williamson took the stage in front of approximately 30 people. This trip was the kickoff for Williamson’s Spirit of America: Iowa Bus Tour that will make its way through Iowa from Saturday to Tuesday.
Iowa Unitarian Universalist Witness Advocacy Network held a climate change workshop before hosting the forum. The group invited all current presidential candidates to speak on the issue of climate change.
Williamson was the only candidate who participated in the forum.
Attendees came to the two-hour workshop to discuss Project Drawdown, a climate change mitigation project. After the workshop, Williamson spoke to attendees about her stance on issues such as big corporations, people’s role in politics and climate change.
“[Climate change] is a top issue for voters, but it’s not talked about as much as other topics like health care,” said Matt Ohloff, senior campaign organizer for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
David Lang, an attendee at the event, said he wanted to use this time to talk with Williamson about the issue of food nutrition in America. Lang has been participating in local events with candidates to talk with them about his stance.
“She’s the only candidate that addresses my issue, which is institutionalized nutrition,” Lang said. “The reality is that if we’re going to tackle climate change, we have to take responsibility.”
Williamson talked about the important role people have in politics. She said the suffrage movement, the Civil Rights movement and abolitionism were started by people, rather than the government. Though she did not qualify for the Oct. 15 Democratic Debate, Williamson has not dropped out of the race.
“Fox is not the decider, CNN is not the decider and the [Democratic National Committee] is not the decider. The people who are making a decision are people like you, and I honor that,” Williamson said.
Williamson said she is running for president because she hopes to change the notion only politicians can run for office. She said the opportunity should be open to others that bring new ideas.
“If it's just climate change policies that we want to enact then we would elect Jay Inslee, but the president has a different function,” Williamson said. “[Franklin D. Roosevelt] said the primary job of the president is not the administrative aspect to articulate a moral vision, and we need a moral core.”