Bernie Sanders came to Springfield, Ma on Saturday drawing an impressive 6,000 enthusiastic supporters. Not bad for a little city like Springfield.
While standing in line to enter the Mass Mutual Center, I had the opportunity to talk with a group of students from Mt. Holyoke College in nearby South Hadley. I asked them why they are supporting Bernie. The answers were, "He supports us", "He supports minorities" and " He's not a flip flopper."
Bernie was introduced by fellow Vermonter Bill McKibbon of 350.org. He said, "Bernie came out against the Keystone XL Pipeline in September......2011". A little jab at Hillary who just came out against it this September. He said of Bernie that he means what he says and is building a movement.
The crowd erupted wildly as Bernie took to the podium. He started out by saying
We're doing a little better than the establishment media thought we would. One million have contributed an average of $30 a piece.
We need to build a grassroots political movement.The president can't do what needs to be done without a political movement. When we come together we can create a government that works for all.
He went on to discuss the outrageous inequality that exists in this country that is the worst it's been since 1928. "The simple message to the billionaire class is your greed is destroying the country." He mentioned the staggering statistics of the drop in middle class wages and youth unemployment that is worse for minorities.
He hit on the horrible problem of having more people in jail than any other major country. "We need more jobs and education than more jails."
He wants to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour and have equal pay for women.
He wants the US to have the best educated nation on Earth.
He declared his support for gay marriage and paid family leave. He proposes that a new mother should be allowed to have paid family leave for 3 months to stay home and bond with her newborn.
He slammed disastrous trade deals that export US jobs stating we need a trade policy that demands corporations invest in the US.
The greed and illegal behavior of Wall St. was next on the hit list. "Too Big To Fail means too big to exist."