Wide-spanning economic reform is focus of Bernie Sanders’ speech in National City

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign made another stop in San Diego, holding an event at Kimball Park in National City. The presidential hopeful spoke to the large crowd gathered for approximately one hour, discussing the kind of reform and national priorities his campaign is built around. Sanders’ talking points included the economy, education system, lack of infrastructure support nationally, jail system, mental health, marijuana controlled substance laws, poverty and the youth movement propelling his campaign. 

"Brothers and sisters, I’m running for President so that together we’re going to transform this country," Sanders said as he took the stage following an introduction from comedian and campaign supporter George Lopez. Senator Sanders opened his wide-spanning speech by addressing income and wealth inequality that "every American should be ashamed of."

"I’m running for President because in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, too many people are living in poverty. In the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, not all of the new wealth and income should be going to the top one percent. I’m running for President because together we’re going to create an economy that works for all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors."

"This campaign is about ending a rigged economy."

Sanders cited that the 20 wealthiest people in the country own more than the bottom-half of America, with 58 percent of all new income going to the top one percent. 

"We are going to create an economy that works for all of us, and that means that in America, if you work 40 hours a week you should not be living in poverty. And that means that we’re going to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And that living wage is 15 dollars an hour."

The Democratic presidential candidate shifted his discussion from living wages to wage inequality for females, saying there’s "no rational reason" women are making 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. 

"We’re going to end that."

Investing into repairing and improving inner-city infrastructure like bridges, dams, levees, water systems and plants, schools and the rail system are ways Sanders would look to stimulate the economy by creating job opportunities. 

"We need a massive federal jobs program to put our people back to work at decent wages," Sanders said. "Put 13 million people back to work, rebuilding our infrastructure."

Sanders looked to reforming and regulating corporate America as another area he’d look to address as President. Large companies using off-shore accounts to evade taxes was one point he cited he’d immediately want to change, but he also cited international trade policies as problems in the current economy. Companies moving to international locations to cut costs, while still selling their products in the United States, came under fire.  

"Over the last 30 years, while we have seen the middle class of this country disappear. While we have seen more and more people living in poverty. While we have seen a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality, we have had a trade policy which has enabled corporations to shut down in California, Vermont, all over this country and move to cheap labor countries all over the world."

"Our message to corporate America is if you want us to buy your products, you better damn well start manufacturing those products in America, not in China." 

Sanders’ talking points hit different topics but often came home to economic reform. Poverty was a clear problem Sanders is focused on addressing as President. 

"When people are poor and they don’t know how they’re going to feed their families, they don’t know if they have enough money to put gas in the car to get to work, and if they can’t get to work they’re going to lose their job, and if they lose their job their whole family falls apart. That stress, day after day after day, impacts your very life and your body. Poverty kills people."

A problem Sanders sees contributing to is the alarming amount of young people "rotting in jail cells." Unemployment rates for young people inner-city and rural areas are a factor, according to Sanders. 

Reform was abound throughout the points Senator Sanders hit, discussing changes to student loan refinancing, climate change awareness, immigration, mental health treatment and more. Sanders’ message was clear that change is what he’d like to bring the American people should he be elected President, with wide-sweeping plans and new priorities for the nation to focus on. 

"With your help we can win here in California. With your help we can win this election," Sanders concluded. "What we have found up to now is that when the voter turnout is high, we win. Let us this June 7 have the highest voter turnout in California history for the Democratic primary. And let this great state, this progressive state, tell the world that California is going to lead us into the political revolution."

Categories: Local San Diego News