Bernie Sanders: “Nobody who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.”

Bernie Sanders Moda Center
Bernie Sanders at Moda Center March 25

Over 10,000 people turned up to Portland’s Moda Center on two days notice March 25 to hear Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Much of what he outlined in the mid-Friday rally synched up with proposals that organized labor has made, like paid family and medical leave, universal single payer health care (aka Medicare for all), the creation of millions of decent-paying jobs in energy efficiency and sustainable energy, and comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Sanders also called for the largest banks to be broken up, and for free tuition at public colleges, paid for by a tax on Wall Street speculation.

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Oregon Working Families Party organizer Cole Richardson before taking the stage to welcome Sanders to Portland.

Sanders said he’s not proposing to do all that alone, but with a political revolution in which ordinary people get involved. Real change comes from below, Sanders said, like the workers who came together a century ago to form unions and bargain collectively — or today’s fast food workers who went on strike calling for $15 an hour, which Sanders is proposing should be today’s federal minimum wage.

Before Sanders took the stage, Oregon Working Families Party field organizer Cole Richardson  reminded rally-goers that Oregon voters must register as Democrats by April 26 to vote in the Democratic primary on May 17.   The union-backed party has endorsed Sanders nationally.

Last month Sanders won Democratic caucuses and primaries in Washington, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma,  Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan, Maine, and Vermont. He captured 73 percent of the vote in caucuses held in the state of Washington on March 26.

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