While Donald Trump was getting ready for his controversial prime time address about border security on Tuesday, two California lawmakers from the Bay Area had a message of their own for the president. North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman and Bay Area Representative Jackie Speier personally delivered a garbage bin labeled “Trump Trash” to the White House in protest of the partial government shutdown.
The bin was filled with an assortment of trash that had been collected by the representatives, as well as by volunteers, during the shutdown, according to CBS. Volunteers spent the weekend at Land’s End and Ocean Beach, which are located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area of San Francisco. As the government shutdown continues on, garbage has been piling up — and local citizens have been banding together to help out.
“As the condition of national parks worsened these community members sprang to action and dedicated their personal time to pick up after their own president,” said Huffman in a Facebook post addressing the issue. This involved gathering large amounts of the refuse that has been building up while the national parks remain in a state of limbo.
“We don’t need a nationally televised address from the White House to solve this problem tonight,” said Huffman. “What we need is for President Trump to wake up to smell the coffee cups, the diapers, and the burrito wrappers and the trash that is piling up.”
And while the trash delivery didn’t seem to have any impact on Trump’s speech — or his determination to continue the shutdown until the border wall is funded — it did demonstrate the growing problem as the partial shutdown drags on. The shutdown has been going strong for over 18 days, and parks across the country remain closed. Many government employees have been furloughed, or are working on delayed pay schedules.
Representatives Huffman and Speier are hoping this move will raise awareness about what is going on with America’s national parks, and what people are attempting to do about the situation.
“But it shouldn’t be city workers, it shouldn’t be community members who just can’t stand the denigration of their national park,” Huffman said in an interview with KQED. “It should be folks who are paid to do this work and ready to do this work, and we should open the government so they can do it.”
Ultimately, the government officials want their gesture to lead to some accountability on the part of Donald Trump. Trump has repeatedly placed blame for the shutdown on Democrats, while Democrats point the finger at the president.
“We’re here to say, ‘Mr. Trump here’s your trash,'” Speier said.