Health, education, Green New Deal

Submitted by AWL on 26 February, 2020 - 9:55 Author: Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders wins Nevada

We are bringing our people together around an agenda that works for the working people of this country, not the one per cent.

All over this country, workers are sick and tired of earning starvation wages. You can’t make it on 9 bucks an hour or 11 bucks an hour or 12 bucks an hour. We are going to raise the federal minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. We are going to provide equal pay for equal work for women. We are going to make it easier for workers to join unions. We are going to create millions of good-paying, union jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and building the ten million units of low-income and affordable housing this country desperately needs.

We are going to win this election because we believe in education. We are going to have high-quality, affordable, universal childcare. We are going to triple funding for low income Title 1 schools. And we need great teachers in this country. We need more Latino teachers. We need more African-American teachers. And because we know the vitally important work that teachers do, we are going to fight to ensure that no teacher in America earns less than $60,000 a year.

And because we believe in education, we believe that all of our people, regardless of their income, are entitled to a higher education; and that is why we’re going to make public colleges and universities tuition fee — and we’re going to cancel all student debt in this country, by imposing a modest tax on Wall Street speculation. Twelve years ago we bailed out the crooks on Wall Street — now it’s their turn to help out the working families of this country.

And together we’re going to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America, our great country, being the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people. So let me be as clear as I can be: healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. We are going to end the absurd situation in which we now are spending twice as much per person as any other country, yet 87 million of us are uninsured or under-insured. 30,000 die each year and 500,000 people go bankrupt because of medically-related debt.

In America you should not go bankrupt because you’re struggling with cancer.

The function of a rational and humane healthcare system is to guarantee healthcare to all, not to make $100 billion in profit for the drug companies and the insurance companies. And we are going to take on the greed and corruption of the pharmaceutical industry. Under our administration, the American people will not pay, in some cases, ten times more for the same prescription drugs sold in Mexico, in Canada and in Europe.

And when we talk about the major crises facing this country, it is a sad state of affairs when we have a President of the United States who believes that climate change is a hoax. Well, the scientific community has a slight disagreement with Mr Trump. They think that climate change is an existential threat to this planet; and our administration believes in science, not right-wing extremism. That is why together we are going to adopt the principles of the Green New Deal — which creates up to 20 million good-paying jobs as we transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and towards energy efficiency.

Brothers and sisters, this is a moral issue. We must make sure that the planet we leave our children and grandchildren is a planet that is healthy and habitable.

And when we talk about issues that must be dealt with, we in fact are going to reform a broken and racist criminal justice system. We do not want to continue a situation where we have more people in jail than any other country, including China, four times our size. And the people in jail are disproportionately African American, Latino and Native American. And that is why we are going to invest in our young people, in jobs, in education, not more jails and incarceration. That is why we are going end private prisons and detention centres. That is why we are going to end the “war on drugs” and legalise marijuana in every state of this country.

Let me ask you all a question — let me ask you a serious question. How many people in this room tonight know somebody who was arrested in possession of marijuana? We are going to move forward to expunge the records of those arrested for possession of marijuana.

And when we talk about broken and racist systems, we’re going to bring about fundamental reform to our immigration system. I am the son of an immigrant. My father to came to this country from Poland without a nickel in his pocket, couldn’t speak a word of English, had very little education. I know something about the immigrant experience. Together we are going to end the demonisation of the undocumented in this country.

On our first day in office, through Executive Order, we rescind all of Trump’s racist immigration Executive Orders.

On our first day in office, through Executive Order, we restore the legal status of the 1.8 million young people and their parents eligible for DACA. On our first day in office, we end a border policy which allows federal agents to grab babies from the arms of their mothers and throw children into cages. That is not what America is about.

And together we will do what the American people have wanted to do for years — and that is pass comprehensive immigration reform and a path on citizenship.

Earlier today Jane and I were in El Paso at the memorial for that terrible shooting in El Paso at the Walmart store there. And this my promise to you: the gun safety legislation which the American people want because they are disgusted by the amount of gun violence and killing in this country — our gun safety legislation will be written by the American people, not the NRA. We will have universal background checks. We will end the gunshow loophole. And we will do what the American people want, and that is end the sale and distribution of assault weapons in this country.

You know I am a United States Senator, and I’m on the floor of the United States Senate very often listening to speeches from Republican Conservatives. And as you know their mantra, what they talk about all the time, is they believe in small government, they believe in getting government off the back of the American people. What I say tonight to those hypocrites: if you believe in getting the government off the backs of the American people, understand, it is women who have the right to control their own bodies, not the government.

And my promise to you is I will never nominate anyone for the Supreme Court or the federal bench who is not 100% pro-Roe v Wade. We will codify Roe v Wade and put it into law; and we will significantly expand funding for Planned Parenthood.

As a United States Senator, I do understand the power of the corporate elite and the one per cent. They have literally unlimited amounts of money, they have significant control of the media, over our economy, and over the political life of this country. But at the end of the day the one per cent is one per cent. I don’t have a PhD in mathematics, but I do know that 99% is a heck of a lot bigger number than one per cent.

So what this campaign is about is understanding that if we do not allow Trump to divide us up by the colour of our skin, or where we were born, or our religion, or our sexual orientation — if we stand together; if we fight for an agenda that works for working families and the middle class; if we get involved in the political process; if we stand for justice; if we stand for compassion; if we understand that we are all in this together — then my family has to care about my family, your family cares about my family.

Brother and sisters, if we stand together, we will not only defeat Trump — we will transform this country and create a government and an economy that works for all of us, not wealthy campaign contributors. Thank you all very much.

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