By Karen Rubin, News-Photos-Features.com
Pointing to how the park had to be closed once 20,000 people had jammed in, leaving some 5,000 more to take over the street, Senator Bernie Sanders declared, “There is no doubt revolution will sweep the country, sweep Trump out of office and bring the country the change long needed.
“This campaign is not just about defeating most dangerous president in history, it’s about transforming the country, creating economy and government that works for all of us, not just 1%.
“For 45 years, class war has been waged against working families by the billionaire class and corporate elite. I have bad news for them: things will change. We will have government of working people, not 1%.”
Sanders acknowledged the endorsement of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying she “is the youngest woman elected to Congress. In one year, it is hard to believe the degree she has transformed politics in America. She has electrified the country with the concept of Green New Deal. She has been an inspiration to millions of young people who now understand the importance of participation and standing up for justice.”
In his first major campaign rally since undergoing heart surgery, he said, “As far as my health, I am more than ready, more ready than ever to carry on. I am back.
“I was faced with adversity over last couple of weeks, but Americans throughout country are facing own adversity: 500,000 homeless. In NYC over 130,000 including 45,000 children slept in homeless shelters last year. Half our population – working class – is living paycheck ot paycheck, dealing with incredible stress of struggle just to stay alive and feed family.
“87 million are uninsured or underinsured, unable to go to doctor when get sick because the United States maintains the most dysfunctional and cruel health care system in the world.
“In a country that once led the world in education, millions of working class families search for affordable child care, thousands are unable to fulfill their dream because they can’t afford outrageous cost of higher education, tens of millions struggle with student debt.
“Millions of senior citizens unable to afford prescription drugs – government allowed price fixing and political bribery by the pharmaceuticals industry, while Trump and the Republicans cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.
[Chant: “We will win.”]
“Damn right,” Sanders said. “Justice is coming to America.”
“Income inequality: people are working two to three jobs to pay their bills, while 49% of all new money goes to the top 1%.
“The richest people live 15 years longer than poorest; poverty is a death sentence. We will end that.
“The average white family owns 10 times more wealth than blacks; a black woman is three times more likely to die; the rate of infant mortality in black family is double white [boo].
“We have a broken and racist criminal justice system: blacks get 19% more jail time for the same crime; African Americans are jailed at 5 times the rate of whites.
“These enormous problems can’t be solved by same old approach to politics. We tell corporate elite, enough is enough, no longer accept greed, corruption, attacks against working class.
Brothers and sisters, need new vision for America – that’s what this campaign is about.”
Quoting Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” Sanders said, “They want us to believe real change is impossible – not just Republicans, Democrats on the Ohio debate stage, too.
“We disagree on the kind of America we will fight for:
“End all forms of discrimination.
“Education, universal affordable child care, rebuild public education that gives teachers respect, compensation they deserve, make public colleges and universities tuition free, fund HBCUs, cancel all student debt.
“If Congress 11 years ago could bail out crooks on Wall Street and provide zero interest loans to banks and Trump and Republicans give over $1 trillion in tax breaks to big corporations and the 1%, if we can spend $750 billion year on military [boo], we can cancel all student debt with a modest tax on Wall Street.”
A Federal Jobs Guarantee program that pays good wages and affords union representation. “There is an enormous amount of work to be done – we need new skilled workers.15 million jobs rebuilding crumbling infrastructure; expand child care, education, health care and services for senior citizens.
Health care: “We must end the international embarrassment of the USA as the only major country that doesn’t guarantee health care to all. End the absurdity of spending twice as much per capita as every major country when 87 million are uninsured or underinsured.30,000die each year for lack of care; 500,000 go bankrupt [over medical bills]. We will pass Medicare for All single payer.
Green New Deal to address climate change – the most comprehensive plan of any candidate. I propose legislation holding the fossil fuel industry accountable. A Green New Deal would create 20 million jobs as we transform away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy, and develop the tools we need to help lead the world in combating climate change and save planet.
“A Green New Deal will end environmental racism. It will clean the environment and end environmental racism.
“In the richest country in history of world, Alexandria and I believe every American should have fundamental right to safe, decent affordable housing. It is unacceptable and un-American for veterans and families with young children to sleep on the streets.
“18 million families pay over half of their income on housing, and wealthy real estate developers are gentrifying neighborhoods.
“We will fund 10 million apartments and homes, eliminate homelessness in America, end gentrification in New York, Seattle, San Francisco and across America. I will create a National Rent Control Standards, and provide $20 billion to the New York public housing authority to repair, modernize, make accessible and access to hi speed broadband.
“I will end broken, racist criminal justice system in America, end the embarrassment of having more people in jail in America than any country. We spend $80 billion on jails and incarceration instead of investing in jobs and education. I will end the war on drugs, legalize marijuana [big cheers]. End the disgrace of 400,000 locked up because they are too poor to afford cash bail. I will redefine criminal justice –it is absurd to jail someone for selling marijuana when the crooks on Wall Street and at drug companies who killed thousands are not facing criminal charges. Equal justice under law, rich or poor.
“Instead of demonizing undocumented immigrants, I will pass comprehensive immigration reform and create a path to citizenship. On my first day, I will sign executive order legalizing the status for 1.8 million DACA recipients and extend it to parents. I will develop a humane border policy for those seeking asylum; I won’t snatch babies from mothers, throw children in cages; I will end ICE raids.
“Our administration will take on the NRA, move aggressively to end the epidemic of gun violence, pass commonsense gun legislation that an overwhelming majority of Americans want. People who should not have guns will not have.
“Women have the right to control own bodies, not politicians. I would never nominate anyone to Supreme Court not 100% pro-Roe v Wade.”
As for how he would pay for his progressive agenda, Sanders said, “I will tell the wealthiest they are going to start paying their fair share of taxes; rescind the Trump tax breaks for billionaires and corporations, end the insanity of tax breaks and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. And we don’t’ have to spend more than next 10 nations combined on defense.”
“I believe more than ever we are going to win.”
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