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To read more about Episode 214, visit the main episode page.
Michael Moore [00:00:30] This is Rumble with Michael Moore and I am Michael Moore. We have a great guest with us today. India Walton is a registered nurse from Buffalo, New York. She’s a union member and a union organizer. She’s a Democratic Socialist, and she is now the Democratic nominee for mayor of Buffalo, New York. This is New York State’s second-largest city, and she has an amazing story that we will get to shortly.
Michael Moore [00:00:57] Let me tell you, first of all, that for the paid members of my Substack, there’s going to be a live Q&A with me. You and me personally happening Tuesday, October 12th. This coming Tuesday, October 12th at 8 p.m. 8 p.m. Eastern Time. It’s for Substack members, so only if you are a paid member, you will get a thing on Tuesday that you can just click on the link to join me. There will be no pre-screening of the questions or anything. You’re just going to be on the Zoom or whatever we’re using with me and we will talk to each other and you can ask me whatever you want to ask me or say whatever you want to say to me. I’m looking forward to the first live Q&A for Substack members only this coming Tuesday, October 12th at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. So I will look forward to that with you.
Michael Moore [00:01:50] Thanks to everyone also who listened to our emergency podcast with Rep. Ilhan Omar last week and made those calls to the senators and the members of Congress, especially to Senators Manchin and Sinema. Thank you for that. Many, many reports every day in the past week of the switchboard being flooded, the voicemail being overwhelmed, people having a hard time actually leaving a message because so many of you did that. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And thanks to everyone who has read and shared my satirical piece that I emailed you here this past Sunday, my Sunday Substack about how I think we can compromise and give Manchin and Sinema some of what they need.
Michael Moore [00:02:35] Because I’ve learned over the years how to talk to these corporate Democrats. And I think if you have a chance to read that, that was this past Sunday’s Substack here on October 3rd. So if you want to receive all of my writings and all my podcasts for free in your inbox, just become a free subscriber to my Substack email list. That’s it. That’s all. Go to the link here on the podcast platform page or go to MichaelMoore.com That’s MichaelMoore.com where you can put in your email address. Just mark the free box and boom you’re in. You’re a member of my Substack, and I will automatically email you this podcast every week. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to go looking for it. It will come to you. Open your email. Click on the podcast. It’s that easy and quick.
Michael Moore [00:03:24] Before we bring India Walton on, I want to explain the importance of her race. The only way that we will get the change that we need in this country, and not just by defeating awful Republicans, but by defeating the three pandemics that we now face: COVID, Climate, and Coup. The only way we’re going to defeat any of that is by removing and replacing as many corporate Democrats as possible and replacing them with working-class candidates who are not funded by or tied to the establishment. The only reason we’re even talking about a $3.5 trillion human infrastructure bill that would help fund child care and health care [and] education, so many of the things that we need. The only reason we’re talking about these things is because good people are out there running against the tired, tired old Democratic Party that is beholden to big money. We are winning race after race. We’re winning the war of ideas. We’re winning over the people. The people were already there and it’s about time, my friends, that we have more people holding office who share our values and our ideas.
Michael Moore [00:04:39] I mean, this is how crazy, how crazy it is, how much we’re winning. We’ve got Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on board pushing our agenda. This 3.5 trillion dollar bill? Bernie wrote it. Biden backs it. And we’re winning. That’s the good news. We’re winning. Bernie is winning. Ilhan, Rashida, AOC, Rep. Jayapal, Cori Bush, Ro Khanna. I mean, just go down the whole list. They’re all winning. They’ve gone from being a squad of four to being 60. Progressive Democrats in the House have said we’re not moving ahead unless we also are taking care of our American people in these bills. Let’s face it, my friends, we have not, we’ve not seen this. Some of us have not seen it in our lifetime. It’s a huge shift that’s taking place here. You’re part of that shift. Your pressure on your members of Congress and on your senators. And on these two senators, the one from West Virginia, Mr. Manchin and the one from Arizona, Sinema.
Michael Moore [00:05:44] They are all feeling the heat because this is how the majority of the American people feel. So we need to do this at every level – federal, state, whatever, but especially the local level. Which brings us to Buffalo. In June of this year, India Walton shocked the political world by defeating the four-term incumbent mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown in the Democratic primary and setting the table for her to become the favorite to win the mayoral race in Buffalo in November. Because, of course, it’s a heavily Democratic city. She would be the first Democratic Socialist to be elected mayor of a major American city in more than half a century, and the first woman and the first Black woman to lead New York’s second-largest city. As you would expect, the political establishment in Buffalo is not taking this lightly.
Michael Moore [00:06:39] So while she should coast to victory in November because Buffalo is an overwhelmingly Democratic city, and she won the Democratic primary, she has a very difficult opponent that she’s facing. The loser, Byron Brown, the guy that she just defeated in the primary, he’s now announced that he’s still running. He’s not giving up. He’s got huge money behind him. And he is now trying to get on the general election ballot as a write-in candidate. My friends, let me tell you something, this is such an important race. And are you saying, Mike, Buffalo really with everything that’s going on? Buffalo, yes, Buffalo is everything that’s going on. All the issues that we’re facing across the country – Covid, policing, mass incarceration, racial discrimination, labor, the environment, gender equality, they all play a significant role in this race in Buffalo and India Walton is an amazing, thoughtful and forceful candidate and leader that you should know about and get behind.
Michael Moore [00:08:01] Please welcome to Rumble the Democratic primary winner for the mayor’s office in Buffalo, New York, India Walton. Thank you so much for coming on Rumble today.
India Walton [00:09:25] Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I think this is probably comparable to being interviewed by Rolling Stone. So now here we are.
Michael Moore [00:09:35] I know that feeling. Now, that’s high praise. This is not as good as being interviewed by Rolling Stone. And if you make the cover of Rolling Stone, nothing, well, nothing will top that. But, but thank you for saying that. It’s very kind of you. Listen, let’s just jump right into it. I tell your story here because none of this, the way the pundits describe our electoral system makes any sense because you are not supposed to be running for office. And in fact, now it looks like you could be the next mayor of Buffalo, New York having won the Democratic primary. But I know that this has upset a lot of the hardcore old-school traditional Democrats. Did I say the word white in enough ways possible? But it’s a new day in India. Tell us, where did you come up with the idea of running for mayor? Because was it as you were doing rounds in the hospital and you go, you know what? I should be the mayor of Buffalo.
India Walton [00:10:33] You know, it was a lot of the experiences that I’ve had, not only growing up as a poor person in Buffalo, not only seeing the dysfunction of our health care system and knowing that we were sending people home who were sick. And we’re not going to get better because poverty and racism and systems that are set up for people to continuously fail. And I think I finally reached my breaking point last summer after the murder of George Floyd during the midst of a global pandemic. The response that came out of leadership from our city government here in Buffalo was disappointing. That would be a compliment, right? The protesters were ignored and we watched a seventy five year old man, a friend of mine named Martin Gugino, be pushed to the ground bleeding from his head.
Michael Moore [00:11:29] That was Buffalo. Yeah, that was buffalo.
India Walton [00:11:31] That was Buffalo. And you know, at the time, I was executive director of an organization that built affordable housing. But during the pandemic, our senior citizens in our neighborhood were calling me because they didn’t have food. So I’m like, where’s the mayor in this? And at the same time, I had been out in the streets. I had built up enough of a base of support to really think that I could take him on. And I knew in a certain sense that he was going to continue to ignore the cries of the people and not really put forth much effort. So what wound up happening was just that the combination of groundswell around the uprisings last summer and also just his failure to respond to what he thought wasn’t a very serious challenge, allowed us to come out victorious.
Michael Moore [00:12:16] Wow. So what, did he just take you for granted? Or, I mean, and just walk me back to, because I think we all saw that horrific image of Marty being [pushed], he’s probably, what, 70 years old, you know?
India Walton [00:12:29] Yeah, he’s 75.
Michael Moore [00:12:34] When the camera tilted down to him on the ground, he was bleeding from his head and the one cop stopped, because he’s worried. You could see. He’s worried. And the other cop says, no, no, no. Forget him. Wow, that was so awful. And yet, as I remember it, the law enforcement or the prosecutor or the mayor or somebody there in Buffalo wanted to prosecute him for causing his own fault.
India Walton [00:12:59] Their response was awful. He was blamed for that incident. No officers were held accountable, but I’m happy to report that I saw Marty yesterday. We were both out on the picket line with our comrades and siblings from Communications Workers of America, who are out on strike right now, from one of our local hospitals. So Marty is still up and alive and still standing in solidarity with people who are in the struggle.
Michael Moore [00:13:23] So walk us back here because, look, a Democrat who’s the mayor of a large city like Buffalo, who’s been in office for some 15 years?
India Walton [00:13:32] Mm hmm.
Michael Moore [00:13:32] You know, they don’t leave at that point till they say they want to leave – generally in these elections. So how was that to you? I mean, I read something about you were on Clubhouse one day? Explain to anybody over 50 what Clubhouse is? But somehow the genesis of this idea happens, in part, while you’re on Clubhouse.
Michael Moore [00:13:59] Yeah. So knowing how heavily entrenched politics are in Buffalo, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to get much help or even encouragement or advice about how the process worked as a first-time candidate, and Clubhouse is a social media platform, but it’s just audio, so you don’t see the people you’re talking to. They’re from all over the country and folks go into these chat rooms around subject matters. And I was in a lot of political rooms and with a lot of downstate people, you know, from New York City and the surrounding areas. And I would go in and say, listen, we need progressive politicians elected here in Buffalo. You have to help me. And people were, you know, that was how I got my first little handful of small dollar donations in my first little tranche of support outside of the Buffalo-area. It was from folks on Clubhouse. And through that, I met a lot of New York City DSA folks, who got me connected with folks like Tiffany Cabon and Jabari Brisport, Phara Souffrant. You know, a lot of those elected down there who really provided a lot of moral support and encouragement that helped me believe that I could really run as a regular person.
Michael Moore [00:15:16] Had you decided by then to run or did the inspiration for that come out of that and other experiences you’re having?
India Walton [00:15:23] I had already pretty much decided. I hadn’t gone public at that point yet. But just having that type of camaraderie and having that encouragement and seeing people who were teachers and nurses go on to run for office and win outside of the establishment really motivated me and let me know that I could do it. But I was pretty well sold just around July of last year, knowing that the mayor was vulnerable, knowing that Buffalo was being painted in a very bad light nationally. And just knowing that we could do much better if someone was just brave enough to step out. And I figure, why not me?
Michael Moore [00:16:02] Wow. Except the reason why not you is, I’m sure you had friends and family, people who love you say to you when you first brought up this idea of don’t do this to yourself. You know, or there’s no way. I mean, you’re a good person, but there’s no way you’re going to beat this guy who’s entrenched. He’s got the whole apparatus behind him. He’s got the money. You must have heard that, right?
India Walton [00:16:27] So, so many times. I actually made a promise to my mother because she’s been trying to get me to leave Buffalo for a long time. And I told her that if I did not win the primary, that I would pack up and commit to moving with her to Phenix City, Alabama, for at least a year.
Michael Moore [00:16:48] Wow. So basically, we prevented that or those who voted for you in the in the primary
India Walton [00:16:54] And thank you to each and every single person who saved me from Phenix City, Alabama. Thank you. God bless you.
Michael Moore [00:17:03] It’s so night and day. People told you, come on, you’re a great person, yes, you’d make a great mayor, but that doesn’t happen in the real world. That’s not going to happen. And then it happened. How did you get through all those months leading up to the primary where you’re just saying, you know, you can’t not hear what people you love and respect are telling you?
India Walton [00:17:26] You know I just had too much riding on it. Number one, I didn’t want to move to Alabama, but number two, I had to step down from my position. I worked for a non-profit and it was in my contract that I was prohibited from seeking any elected office while I was employed. So, you know, I had to do it, and I also just have to do it because I’ve seen the conditions in certain parts of my city deteriorate unnecessarily. So, you know, we knew that we would be out fundraised. We knew that we would be outspent. But the one thing that I knew because I have such deep ties to working folks, working class folks, that we weren’t going to be outworked. So from the very beginning, we were on doors, we were on phones and, you know, I brought in people with skill sets and told them, Hey, look, I can’t pay you, but this is going to be exciting. There’s a good chance that you know that we could win and you want to be involved in this. And people came on board and we did a really, really good job.
Michael Moore [00:18:29] How many doors do you think you and your campaign knocked on?
India Walton [00:18:32] On the primary we knocked on 20,000 doors.
Michael Moore [00:18:39] Oh, wow.
India Walton [00:18:40] And since then, we are up to maybe 40,000 doors. You know, 60,000 phone calls. 100,000’s of texts because, you know, we’re hitting people more than one time. So multiple text banks per week, multiple canvases per week. We have other organizations who have these adapt, so they’re not even always coming out of the campaign. So the amount of support that we’ve gotten has been really incredible and I am happy to be involved in this. We’ve become a part of the national conversation around what local politics could and should look like.
Michael Moore [00:19:25] And the incumbent, I mean, he must have been loaded in terms of campaign money or whatever. So you’re up against that. You didn’t have those resources. And yet you were able to knock on those doors, make those calls. Was there a debate?
India Walton [00:19:39] Funny, you should ask. He refused to debate me in the primary, even though I had made the ballot, even though I made my…my fundraising wasn’t what his was, but it was. It was enough that it made me a legitimate contender. But he said that for him to debate me would be a dereliction of his duties as mayor. So he refused in the primary, and once I beat him in the primary and he was no longer on the ballot, he began to demand it.
Michael Moore [00:20:09] Because I assume when he lost the primary, he must have just gone crazy. It’s the last thing he would have expected to happen. By the way, we’re talking about the incumbent mayor, Byron Brown. Is that correct? That’s his name.
India Walton [00:20:22] That’s his name.
Michael Moore [00:20:22] Yeah. So here you are. The day after the election, you have beaten him as a political novice. How do you take it?
India Walton [00:20:31] From a political novice with an all volunteer team of political novices.
Michael Moore [00:20:39] And how many kids do you have?
India Walton [00:20:40] Four.
Michael Moore [00:20:41] OK. And you’re a single mom.
India Walton [00:20:43] I’m a single mom with four kids.
Michael Moore [00:20:45] Mm-Hmm. Yeah. Again, how did he take that?
India Walton [00:20:49] He didn’t. He didn’t call and congratulate me. He didn’t concede. We still have not had a single conversation since the primary election, about three or four days after he stood with a handful of supporters, most of whom are employees of him, and declared that hundreds of people reached out to him and said that people should write down. Byron Brown. So rather than him accepting defeat gracefully and providing a productive transition for the betterment of our communities, he doubled down and decided to wage a write-in campaign that right now is being heavily funded and supported by members of the Republican Party and some known white supremacist groups. It’s a really weird time in Buffalo right now.
Michael Moore [00:21:34] Wow. So he is a write-in candidate in the November general election. And yes, I had read somewhere about the kind of support he was getting, and it’s significant. It’s not like he’s going to go away with 150 votes.
India Walton [00:21:47] He’s definitely not. I mean, this is a guy with 16 years of name recognition. You know, really, really more like 30 years because he was a state senator. Before that, he was a city councilperson. He’s had a very long career in local politics, but he’s also a person who has the potential to raise millions of dollars. And the political analysts locally are saying that this could be one of the most expensive mayoral campaigns in the history of Buffalo.
Michael Moore [00:22:16] So there’s a chance he could defeat you in this general election with write in votes if he’s got enough millions of dollars behind this and the kind of old school apparatus of the old Democrats, plus all the Republicans who do not want to see you a Democratic Socialist in the mayor’s chair. I mean, just lay out for us here, what are you facing?
India Walton [00:22:40] Yeah, the unfortunate part about it is that this is a serious threat, right? People are saying, well, right, write in campaigns are a long shot and it’s like, well, they’re a long shot, except when you’re set up for success and you’ve been able to skirt the rules and not follow the rules already. And that’s just the system that folks are used to playing with. So for me, it just looks like we can’t stop. We can’t stop trying as hard as we can. We can’t stop working. We can’t stop canvassing and knocking on doors and having this many engagements with voters as possible.
India Walton [00:23:14] But I mean, like the environment here in Buffalo, I get lots of community support. I walk down the street and people are blowing the horn and screaming, Go India, we love you. But you know, in certain neighborhoods, I walk and people throw their own cups of coffee at me. There are some very negative ads that are playing on a constant loop on our local television stations. So, you know, it’s not the most comfortable place to be in, but I believe that the voters and the residents of Buffalo deserve something better. I think that’s what I represent. So we’re just going to continue to work hard and not only hope for the best, but you know, use what we have learned over the course of the last year of running this type of campaign to make sure that we come out victorious on November 2nd.
Michael Moore [00:24:03] What are these kinds of hateful ads? What are they? What do they say?
India Walton [00:24:07] It’s saying that I’m going to cut 7.5 million dollars from the police budget. I am too risky. I am going to make the community unsafe. I’m going to lay off 100 police officers. There’s also fear being stoked that I’m a Democratic Socialist so I’m going to seize people’s private property and businesses are going to fail and flee the country. And we just know that none of those things are true. And what is true is that communities do better, everyone does better when the people are less poor overall. And there are some truths about humanity that we’ve allowed capitalism to take away from us, like access to affordable health care, housing, inequality, and education that we should be focusing on as a community. Buffalo being the third-poorest city of its size in the country, we should be focusing on how we tackle poverty, right, and not how we use police and punishment as a way to make people conform when we’re not giving them the resources necessary to keep crime down.
Michael Moore [00:25:07] Tell us what your platform is. Tell us some of the things that you’re campaigning on and that you hope to do once you’re fully in office in November.
India Walton [00:25:17] Sure. So our campaign, you know, our slogan is: safe and healthy Buffalo. But we really focus on poverty reduction and social determinants of health as a way to move our community forward, meaning that we focus on affordable housing, but in a way that’s not reliant on rental units, that’s really focused on closing the racial wealth and homeownership gap, using municipal resources to be able to extend mortgage financing. I mean, Cleveland, Detroit, right? Oldest housing stock in the country, property values that are for a lot of folks, you can’t mortgage them. It doesn’t cost in that sense.
India Walton [00:26:01] You know, if you don’t buy it in cash, then you can’t get a mortgage. So extending micro-mortgages to folks supporting small businesses being super concerned about the environment. Buffalo was going to be, Buffalo already is a climate refuge city. We’ve seen disasters all over the country and world. We’re a very immigration friendly city. You know, we just brought in 300 Afghan asylum seekers. So just making sure that we have infrastructure in place to be able to receive folks when they come and be able to support everyone having a quality standard of living and not relying on putting investments at the top and waiting for them to get to the bottom. Because that is the strategy that has not worked. That does not work. And we’re going to do the reverse. Bottom up economic development and I think we are going to be successful.
Michael Moore [00:26:49] So when you say that your slogan for your campaign is a safer and healthier Buffalo, you define safety in a more 21st century way, in the sense of it’s not just about cops and robbers, it’s about if we have so many of our people living in poverty, if we have children that can’t eat, then there’s a problem.
India Walton [00:27:14] It is and I mean, that also includes infrastructure, right? Buffalo has one of the worst lead poisoning childhood rates of any other city of our size as well. It’s about streets, well lit streets and sidewalks, and curb cuts and bike lanes and all of those other things as well. We have a much broader definition of public safety. And, you know, as much as the current mayor likes to brag about his support of police, crime is up in Buffalo as it is in many other places in the country. But five of the last six years we’ve had really sky high violent rates of violent crime. And unless we get to the root causes of a lot of these incidents, then we’re not going to see any decrease. We know that more money for police, the hyper-militarization of our police force is not what’s going to get us there. We have to make more investments in people themselves. And also, you know, have a just transition for officers who may want to phase out of that sort of warrior mentality and go into more service oriented roles where they’re actually abiding by some of the slogans of our police departments. And that’s to protect and to serve and not to police in clinics.
Michael Moore [00:28:27] So you call yourself, as you said, a Democratic Socialist. Why don’t you explain to people what that means to you?
India Walton [00:28:33] Mm hmm. Being a Democratic Socialist to me means that we put people first. We put people before profit, we put the planet before profit. I think coming into this race and running a Democratic primary, knowing that the Democrats have been in control of Buffalo for the last 50 years, I wanted to not only be able to differentiate myself from the status quo in the establishment, but also have something about me that would be attractive for people to pay attention outside the Buffalo area. Being a member of DSA has given me the language to speak about the very complicated values that I hold, sometimes in a way that’s understandable and digestible to a lot of people. And it basically boils down to – we take care of people and working-class folks. We prioritize healthy housing, health care for all, quality jobs and workers rights. Solidarity economies and that we just aren’t our caregivers of our communities.
Michael Moore [00:29:33] And you said all these things when you ran in the primary?
India Walton [00:29:36] I did. I don’t think that people paid much attention to it. Well, I think what we saw was there were folks who were appreciative that I came to their neighborhoods and knocked on their door and asked them what their experience had been and what they thought. And then we also saw people who just thought that Brown was a shoo in, so they stayed home. And that combination is what allowed us to win. But now, you know, we have an audience, we have a platform and we’re beginning to have more of these conversations and people are saying, you know, it doesn’t matter what they call you. I believe in the same thing that you believe in. And I see that they’re trying to make me afraid.
Michael Moore [00:30:11] Right. And everything I’ve read about your race, the incumbent who lost to you has every intention of crushing you, as do the old-school Democrats up there in the way that when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was running in New York City, they knew that they better pay some attention. Some of them knew that they didn’t really pay attention. She defeated a long-time party leader in Congress. And the same thing happened with Jamaal in the Bronx for Congress. This happens, and it’s happening more and more. As you said, teachers are running. Nurses are running, people are running and they’re winning. But now that they’ve gotten their wake up call, everything I’ve seen is they are raising money. They are doing whatever they can. As you said, these TV ads to stop you. To crush you. To not let this happen.
Michael Moore [00:31:12] It’s so important that somebody who believes in the things that you believe in and the way you believe in them, get elected in the general election in November and the people who are listening to this, what can we do, especially those of us who don’t live in Buffalo or the Buffalo area? What can we do to help you? Because I personally think that your success and the successes here until the November election, but your success will be a beacon of hope and inspiration to all those other nurses and teachers and people who are not big, famous political names, but are just good people, hard workers, standing for all the right things if you succeed. I think a lot of people are going to think they could succeed. That’s why, to me, it’s very important that you do succeed, that they do not crush you. Come November, what can we do to help?
India Walton [00:32:13] Yeah, I think that, you know, to hear you say those words. They’re trying to crush you. It gives sort of a visceral reaction through me because not only is he trying to defeat me, but I mean, they are trying to crush me, right? Like going after my personal character like, this is something and I think a lot of evenings like, I think, I haven’t done anything wrong, right? Like, they’re trying to make it seem like I’m the one who is a criminal. I’m the one who’s cheated. I did everything on the up and up.
India Walton [00:32:43] I won fair and square, and what’s happening to me is just not fair. But you know, this is politics and this is what we got into. But I do agree that I hope that this will inspire someone to step out and have the courage to do it and know that all over the country we are coming together to support one another. And we don’t have to feel alone in our pursuit for justice and equity. And you know, folks can go to our website at www.IndiaWalton.com. That’s IndiaWalton.com. They can donate. They can sign up to volunteer. We’re phone banking from all over the country. You just log into it and you’re good to go.
India Walton [00:33:18] But if folks are in Cleveland and want to travel up or folks who are in Detroit and want to come over the Queen Elizabeth Bridge, you can get back into the states now. You know, I will say, come lend a helping hand. We need your time, talent and treasure to make sure that we make it over the finish line and bring home a very convincing win in November so that there will be no doubt about Rust Belt cities. The working class folks in Uniontown, they’re tired of being poor and taking advantage of from large corporations, and that we’re going to start doing things differently and we can win in electoral politics as well.
Michael Moore [00:33:54] So give that address again and people want to go online to help you.
India Walton [00:33:58] Sure, it’s www.IndiaWalton.com
Michael Moore [00:34:03] India Walton is spelled just as it sounds. Well, that’s easy. And then people can contribute to you also through that, right? What does the campaign finance law say about what they can contribute and how to contribute?
India Walton [00:34:14] Yes, the individual contribution limits for New York state for a race of this size are seven thousand seven hundred ninety seven dollars and sixty cents, and the contribution for LLC’s, corporations or PACs is five thousand dollars.
Michael Moore [00:34:31] OK, so that was my first big question about how can we help you because it’s very important to me in terms of not just for you and not just for Buffalo, but I think that if people go to your website, if they go and look at the videos, the things, the interview you did with Al Sharpton a week or so ago, it’s so powerful what you’ve done, what you were already doing for the people of Buffalo that you described in this one interview. That was your first baby, you had your first baby at 14 years old.
India Walton [00:35:02] Mm hmm.
Michael Moore [00:35:02] You know, 14 year olds. I’m not encouraging 14 year olds to have babies, but 14 year olds are told when they find themselves in that situation, well, that’s the end of that, that’s the end of you.
India Walton [00:35:15] Yeah.
Michael Moore [00:35:15] And just describe to me how you had this baby that you loved and love to this day and to be in high school. You rose up.
India Walton [00:35:30] Yeah. And I fight so hard for people because I know what I’ve been through and where I’ve come from. And I don’t believe that my story should be the exception. I think that all people deserve an opportunity. And I don’t think that making, you know, one questionable decision should mean the end of your life. We all grow. Life is a learning process, and we should allow people the space and the grace to be able to do that, but also the support to make decisions, you know, and not feel caught in a system where you end up a statistic.
Michael Moore [00:36:01] Right? And so you went on through your teenage years and into your 20s and 30s and decided to get involved.
India Walton [00:36:11] Mm-Hmm.
Michael Moore [00:36:11] To not sit back. To have your voice heard. It’s very powerful.
India Walton [00:36:15] Thank you.
Michael Moore [00:36:15] So I guess then the second half of the question is for the people listening, what would you say to somebody who’s listening to you right now? And they live in Milwaukee, they live in Kansas City, they live in what’s that city that you almost had to move to?
India Walton [00:36:30] Phenix City, Alabama.
Michael Moore [00:36:31] Phenix City, Alabama. What would you say to the people who are listening to you right now in all these other cities and they’re thinking, Yeah, you know, I have thought about that. I should run for state representative. Or, you know, why don’t I run for city council? And then right away, there’s a voice that comes into all of our heads. It goes, no, no, don’t do it. Don’t do it, Mike. You don’t need the trouble. You don’t need the hassle. Look at those commercials that are running on India. But somehow you were able to kind of leap over that. And I’m just curious for the people who are thinking about this because we need other people to run this year and next year. What do you have to say to them?
India Walton [00:37:10] I would say to envision the world you want to live in and then pursue it. I think the most important thing for me was having people like me. I know that I didn’t know everything, but I could find someone who could help me figure it out. And that’s, I think, the number one way that we begin to win for people who are on this side of the fight is by finding our people, getting our people together and keeping them together. And then you make a really strategic plan and you execute it. Look up the last four elections for the office you’re running in, see how much money that campaign raised and then go help someone. They’ll find someone that can help you raise money. And I know that we want to pretend like just knocking on doors is enough, but you need both.You need a strong fundraising strategy. You need paid media.
India Walton [00:38:08] We have to couple deep relationship building and organizing along with traditional methods of winning campaigns because we’re going to have to continue to appeal to the broader electorate as well. So I think, like, find your people and just don’t be afraid, right? Like, I’ve always maintained that unless someone is going to literally kill me, there’s nothing that’s going to stop me from pursuing what I believe is right. I have friends out of Oakland, California, who are members of an organization called Movement Generation, and they have a saying: if it’s the right thing to do, we have every right to do it. We can’t wait any longer. We waited for corporate Democrats to serve our needs, and they have not done that, so we have to put our own people in place.
Michael Moore [00:38:53] So if you just heard all of that and you live in whatever city or town you live in and you’ve thought about doing this, as India said, the first thing is just to sit down for a second. Have some quiet time. Think about what your vision is for your town, your district, whatever it is, and then start putting some people together and don’t ignore the fundraising part of this. That has to happen. Those of us, all of us, we’ve all known how to make a lot happen with very little. I’ve had that experience and I’ve learned to just smile and thank people who love me, who say that this is a crazy idea. If you don’t think it’s a crazy idea, it may not be a crazy idea.
Michael Moore [00:39:34] I think everything you just said in terms of how to organize the field campaign, organize the fundraising, put your vision together, you know, it’s the things you believe in and you got to trust that the majority of people actually believe more in the way you believe than the way the old, the old 15 year incumbent has been thinking. You know, he’s long left the people in his head to do what he’s had to do when he felt like he had to do. But once the sell out happens, once the compromises begin, the corruption sets in, et cetera, et cetera. And you know, see, you know that.
Michael Moore [00:40:10] And I think you’re right. I think the people in Buffalo have just had it, and they got lucky that there was an alternative in you, right, that could speak to the way they want Buffalo to be. I mean, come on, you already live in Buffalo? Why, I don’t mean this the wrong way, but I know I’m just being, you know, from Flint, if you’re from Detroit, we already live it. We didn’t ask to be born here. We were born here. OK, we’re going to make the best of it, and we’re going to make sure everybody here gets to go to a decent school, has food on the table, a roof over their head, a job, a decent job and a life for our kids.
India Walton [00:40:49] Yes, right.
Michael Moore [00:40:50] So have any of your kids been helping you in this campaign? The oldest one must be in his 20s by now.
India Walton [00:40:57] He’s twenty four.
Michael Moore [00:40:58] Twenty four. Oh my goodness,
India Walton [00:41:00] Yes he’s twenty four and he does help quite a bit. I actually have three children who are of voting age. I have a twenty four year old and I have twins who are 19. But my biggest supporter and the person who works the hardest on the campaign is my youngest Mason. He’ll be 12 on the fifteenth, so he’s waiting patiently for the campaign to come to an end so he can have his mom back. But he’s been great.
Michael Moore [00:41:26] Well, it’s all very inspiring. And I hope this has helped a little bit. I hope those of you who are listening, if you can contribute to this. You know, we don’t have many large cities that have someone like India. We’re going to be running them with her politics, her values and her courage to stand up for these things that we know. We talk about this enough on this podcast. The window is closing. We don’t have much time and we can’t mess around anymore. So India, I’m just so grateful to you for doing this. I’m so happy when I heard the next day that you had won the primary. I just thought, that’s the world I want to live in. And that can happen. I know it can happen and that it is that beloved teacher that should be running in your town, that wonderful nurse, that union leader who organizes the garbage workers in your town. Right? That’s who I want making these decisions because I know they’re going to put the people first and not the corporate entities, not the people getting their tax breaks and, you know, and all that stuff. So any final words that you like to share with the people who are listening today?
India Walton [00:42:49] I just really want to thank you for this opportunity and thank you for the work that you do making sure that the stories that are most important are told so thanks. Thanks a lot.
Michael Moore [00:42:58] Thank you. Well, everybody, let’s make sure we contribute to India’s campaign at IndiaWalton.com, right?
India Walton [00:43:07] That’s right.
Michael Moore [00:43:07] And if you live in the Buffalo of your state, think about running next year. It Is possible. You can win. And we need you to win. We need a different society and the so-called people who represent us actually end up representing us. And Walton, hopefully soon to be mayor of Buffalo New York, winner of the Democratic primary in June. The general election is coming up in November. If you live there, be sure to vote and we’ll have you back on when I can officially address you as mayor of Buffalo, New York.
India Walton [00:43:42] Can’t wait.
Michael Moore [00:43:44] All right, my friend. Thank you so much. Be well. Good luck. Let me know if there’s anything else we can do to help.
India Walton [00:43:49] All right, thanks a lot. Have a great night.
Michael Moore [00:43:51] All right. Take care. Well, that was great, thanks. Thank you again, India, and thanks to everybody who was listening to this. And remember this coming Tuesday night, Tuesday, October 12 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 7:00 p.m. Central Time. 5 p.m. Pacific. I’m going to do a live Q&A with all of you who have signed up to be paid members of Substack. This is one of the little perks if you want to help support us in our work by making a contribution and in return each month, I will do a live Q&A with you. And also, we’re going to have a Mike’s movie night again coming up here in another month or two. So stay tuned for that.
Michael Moore [00:44:34] But that’s what you get if you go to our Substack site here at MichaelMoore.com and say that you want to be a supporter. We’re grateful for that. But you don’t have to be because everybody gets all the writings, all the weekly letters, the podcasts, all that stuff is free and will continue to be free. So thank you to everybody who is a free subscriber here on my Substack and on this podcast. You may be subscribed to the podcast, but if you haven’t signed up on the Substack, go on there. But believe me, I do not flood your inbox every day with five things. You hear from me once or twice a week, probably at most. So please do that. That’s it, everybody for today’s Rumble with Michael Moore. My thanks to Basel Hamdan, Donald Borenstein, thanks to Nick Kwas. Thanks to Harrison Malkin. Thanks to my family and everybody who gives me a hand in this. It’s much appreciated, and I will see you next week here on Rumble. I’ll see some of you at the live Q&A with me on that Tuesday night, and I’ll have a new Substack offering for you. Free to all this coming Sunday. Be well, everybody, hang in there. There’s lots of work to do, I know, but we can do it. We are the majority. I’m grateful to be able to do this with you. Thanks, everybody. This is Michael Moore.