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Bernie Sanders Stumps for Progressive Candidates in Manassas: Talks Heathcare, Workers Rights

| November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

On the eve of the Virginia elections, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democratic Primary Candidate for U.S. President, spoke to a crowd of local Democratic volunteers and supporters at Jiranis Coffee House in Manassas City.

Sanders came to support like-minded progressive candidates in Prince William and Manassas local races especially Del. Lee Carter (D-50th District- Manassas, Manassas City, Bristow), who invited the senator, and Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-31st District- Woodbridge, Dale City, Fauquier County).

Other candidates who attended and/or received support, include Raheel Sheikh for Coles District Supervisor, Kenny Boddy, candidate for Occoquan Supervisor; Lisa A Stevens for Manassas City School Board; Maggie Hanson for Brentsville Supervisor; and Qasim Rashid for Virginia Senate District 28; and Adele Jackson for Brentsville School Board Representative.

Key issues were universal healthcare, workers’ rights, offering protections for immigrant refugees, passing the equal rights amendment and fighting climate change through green initiatives.

Bernie Sanders took the stage around 7 p.m., delivering a message of progressive change.

“It always seems impossible until it is done. Nelson Mandela said that,” Sanders told the crowd. Mandela went from being locked in a hard labor prison to the president of South Africa because his country changed. “It’s our job to change the world in the U.S.A.”

Why can so many other advanced countries have guaranteed healthcare, and we can’t, Sanders asked. Why must a young man die in the U.S. from rationing his insulin? The United States has the wealth to support our people and is one of the few advanced countries without universal healthcare programs.

Sanders said you first have to believe you deserve it, but we have been programmed by the uber-wealthy who control government to believe that we’re not. You have to first believe healthcare is a human right. You have to believe you deserve a living wage such as $15 an hour.

Today’s President is the worst, Bernie told the crowd, calling Donald Trump a “pathological liar,” who runs the “most corrupt administration in U.S. history.” He thinks he’s above the law because he was born a billionaire and he is also a racist, sexist, homophobe, Xenophobe and religious bigot, said Sanders.

Other presidents have tried to unite the country despite differences, but Trump purposely tries to divide people, said Sanders. That is why it is important to vote Democrat. It is important that he not continue his presidency in 2020 the senator said.

“Bernie, Bernie,” people chanted, but Bernie quieted them, saying he is not the most important person in the room; they are the most important people in the room, the people working to get Democrats elected and knocking on doors.

“It is truthfully about you. You are doing the most important work that can be done. Change is through human contact, person to person contact” He encouraged them to get people to come out and vote Tuesday.

Del. Lee Carter said he never thought he would be where he was today. Growing he never knew if his family could pay their electric bill. Then a few years ago he was injured on the job. He had to fight for compensation because Virginia is the last state in the country in terms of workers’ protections. It took years before he received his compensation. Today as the delegate of the 50th District, he advocates for allowing unions in the commonwealth to support workers’ rights. He asked that voters truly make Virginia a “commonwealth.”

A Democratic Socialist like Bernie, Carter is the only socialist in a Republican majority held house. He said he hopes to be the only socialist in a Democratically controlled house tomorrow.

Del. Elizabeth Guzman said she decided to run after hearing Sen. Sander’s concession speech in which he said, “politics takes place at the local and state level,” and “Change happens from the bottom up.”

She said Virginians should vote for universal healthcare, commonsense gun legislation a livable living wage and to pass the ERA because “when we lift up women we lift up communities.”

Raheel Sheikh, Democrat running to be Supervisor of the Coles District, emphasized the need to bring workers’ rights in Virginia. How is it right that Jeff Bezos doesn’t pay taxes? Not by accident. The people need to take the country back from the corporations. They need to win for LGBTQ people, the military and immigrants’ struggles.

National Co-Chair Nina Turner of the Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Presidential campaign worked up the crowd before Sanders came on stage. She said they need “progressive folks on all levels of government.”

Am I right? Virginia only needs to take two more seats in the House and two more seats in the Senate to win a majority, she asked.

“Main Street continues to suffer while we bail out Wall Street again and again,” she said. “Under President Bernard Sanders that comes to an end.” She told people to get out the vote and work hard because we need a “political revolution.”

© 2019, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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