The Parkland students, now traveling America pushing for gun control in the wake of a mass shooting at their high school, are receiving help from some of the shining stars of the progressive universe — and even from some well-placed Democratic legislators — in their quest to change the nation's gun laws.
According to a report from Buzzfeed, which reads almost like a press release done on behalf of the March for Our Lives set to take place shortly in Washington, D.C., the Parkland students are getting help from everyone from Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety, to the George Soros-funded MoveOn.org, to that notorious organization known for its impeccable commitment to child safety, Planned Parenthood.
Even the Women's March is getting in on the act, helping the Parkland students to apply for permits and organize transportation and security for their March for Our Lives. And Giffords, the organization started by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her family, says they "will be lending support in any way the students need, especially helping to operationalize these marches from logistics to programming" in Washington and at the "sister marches" across the country.
They're even getting help from labor unions, including the American Federation of Teachers, and the students (and their parents) have now hired the national public relations firm, 42West, to handle their booking, media relations, and personal management.
It seems to come as a surprise to Buzzfeed that the students are receiving so much high-powered help. But a quick glance at their travel and meeting itinerary from the last week — which took them from New York to D.C., and involved a number of national cable news interviews and meetings with high-profile legislators — reveals that they would not have been able to make such an impact alone. Such a national campaign takes time, money, and connections these kids simply don't have.
Until now, though, many, including those in the left-leaning media, have refused to admit that the Parkland students had help, insisting instead that the gun safety push was simply the end result of good old grassroots activism.
But even if the Parkland students wanted to "go it alone," so to speak, they could hardly believe that major progressive organizations, who could use crying children to promote their political agenda, would somehow remain on the sidelines, particularly given how much money is to be made in supporting the March for Our Lives. The GoFundMe for the March has raked in nearly $3 million, and everyone who helps organize or "operationalize," as Giffords put it, will get a piece of that pie.
Organizations like MoveOn and Planned Parenthood, although they have only a marginal connection to gun policy, will fundraise off their support for the March, from progressive activists who can't make it to D.C., and from those who believe "intersectionality" is the key to winning major legislative battles.
But if their involvement is creepy, Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's involvement is downright ghoulish. The senior legislator from Broward County barely let a day go by before she was on the phone with Parkland students, organizing meetings and making introductions, in the hopes that the students could quickly accomplish her . . . errr . . . their legislative agenda.
Democratic US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Broward County resident for nearly 30 years, told BuzzFeed News she has been in touch with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas since the day after the shooting, helping them connect to state legislators and plan their trip to Tallahassee last week.
Wasserman Schultz said that because this is the first time many of the students have interacted with legislators, she advised them on communication strategy. She also said she been in contact with Mark Kelly — Gabrielle Giffords' husband and one of the founders of the Giffords foundation.
Rahm Emanuel would be proud; Debbie Wasserman Schultz knows how not to let a good crisis go to waste.