Newsflash:
Issues End Mass Criminalization Economic and Social Justice US Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont launches Progressive Democrats of America 10th anniversary in Northampton
Monday, 12 May 2014 13:09

US Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont launches Progressive Democrats of America 10th anniversary in Northampton

Written by  Gena Mangiaratti | GazetteNet.Com

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders does not believe his support for the working class makes him unusual.
 
Though he finds that many people who call themselves progressives believe they are in the minority, he does not believe this about himself, he said.
 
“Every idea I ever espoused, I believe, is what the vast majority of our country believe,” Sanders told a crowd of around 400 people who filled the sanctuary at First Churches Friday for “A Conversation with Senator Bernie Sanders,” an event sponsored by The Nation magazine, Progressive Democrats of America, and radio station WHMP.

“The Koch brothers and their friends are a small minority. Never, ever forget that,” Sanders said.
 
The independent senator was invited to Northampton by Tim Carpenter, founder of the Progressive Democrats of America, to speak as part of the national organization’s 10th anniversary celebration. Carpenter, of Florence, died April 28 at the age of 55.
 
Friday’s event featured a dialogue between Sanders and John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, on what the senator believes to be the important issues facing this country. Audience members were also given the opportunity to ask questions.
 
Sanders, 72, drew national attention when he told Nichols in a March interview that he is “prepared to run for president of the United States,” including a petition organized by Carpenter urging Sanders to run.
 
During Friday’s conversation, Sanders spoke about growing up in a working-class family in Brooklyn, and expressed his support for expanding retirement benefits and making sure everyone has access to health care and education.
 
“In the U.S., we spend almost as much as the rest of the world combined on defense,” Sanders said.
 
He pointed to a growing income disparity between social classes in the United States, alluding to a statistic on his website showing that the top 1 percent of American income earners owns more than 35 percent of all of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom 60 percent owns only 2.3 percent.
 
He said he believes the most important current issue is overturning Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that removed limits on political spending by corporations.

 While he does not believe Scandinavian countries such as Norway have created “utopia,” he said, he believes the United States can learn from these countries’ abilities to offer strong retirement programs and free college education.
He criticized the media for not showing this, and added that in his 23 years as a member of Congress — 16 in the House and seven in the Senate — no reporter has asked him what he is going to do to eliminate poverty and to make sure everyone has health care.
 
When Sanders noted the rising cost of college education and attributed it to increasing student debt, audience member Johanna Hibbs, who came from Stafford Springs, Connecticut, for the event, called out that she is now $100,000 in debt after obtaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
 
In an interview outside the sanctuary, Hibbs, 29, said she took the first full-time job she could after finishing school, but at $30,000 a year, still could not pay all of her bills. She has since had to move away from that job because she could not pay the rent, and now works part-time jobs, she said.
 
Michelle Serra of Florence, a member of Progressive Democrats of America and an event organizer, said she believes Sanders is able to present complex issues in a straightforward way.
 
“I just really feel that he is the real thing,” she said. “He’s talking about issues that affect all of us.”
 
On Saturday, the Progressive Democrats of America will also sponsor an all-day celebration of their 10th anniversary beginning at 9 a.m. at First Churches. Speakers will include Sanders, Jim Hightower, Rep. James McGovern, Thom Hartmann and others who will talk about topics such as health care, the media and Congress. There will be a memorial for Carpenter from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Link to original article from GazetteNet.com

Read 3124 times Last modified on Monday, 12 May 2014 13:17

End Mass Criminalization Articles

Brave New Foundation - For Profit Prisons

Brave New Foundation For Profit Prisons

Henry Rollins narrates the Prison Profiteers video series profiling the powerful institutions benefiting from locking up too many people for too long. See all the vids and take action here: http://prisonprofiteers.org #prisonprofiteers

Henry Rollins On Prison Profiteers. Better Watch It.


Henry Rollins On Prison Profiteers. Better Watch It.
The Get-Rich-Quick Plan That’s Actually Killing People
Could Anyone Possibly Think This Phone Company Isn’t Horrible?
Sometimes Cops Find Your Stolen Car. Sometimes Cops Stole It.

Should It Cost Less to Get Out of Jail If You’re Rich?
We’re Being Robbed But The People Doing It Will Never Go To Prison
Mistreating People + Lobbying = More Money
 

PDA In Your State

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

 

Like End Mass Criminalization on Facebook

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently a supporter, they may not be aware that the legislation exists. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request for support. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

Button-HandDeliver

School to Prison Pipeline

Abolish the SHU - CA Legislative Testimony

50 Years After I Have a Dream - We Have a New Dream Ending Mass Incarceration

Do You Think Mass Incarceration Matters? Depends Who You Are.

Dream Defenders Demand End to Racial Profiling, School to Prison Pipeline, End Stand Your Ground

Mother of CA Prisoner On Hunger Strike: The System Is Designed to Drive You Insane