Bernie Sanders stops at Eastern Michigan University

Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate for the 2016 election, made his first Michigan campaign stop on Monday, Feb. 15,  at Eastern Michigan University.Sanders was elected as an independent to the House of Representatives in 1991. In 2007, he became the senator of Vermont.

Over 9,300 supporters welcomed Sanders on stage by shouting, “Bernie! Bernie!”

Sanders began by stating that he had just come from visiting residents of Flint who were affected by the water crisis. He talked to a mother who explained that over the last two years her talented daughter’s ability to do school work well significantly decreased.

“Can you imagine being a mother, seeing your own baby’s, your own child’s intellectual development deteriorate in front of your very eyes?” said Sanders. “And that is happening all over the city.”

Noting that the water crisis has been going on too long and that the government could not protect the children of Flint, Sanders called for Governor Rick Snyder’s resignation.

A member of the Michigan Nurses Association introduced Sanders and stated that the association will endorse Sanders.“America must join the rest of the industrial world. Healthcare for all,” said Sanders. He stated that 29 million Americans do not carry health insurance and that the United States pays some of the highest prices for prescription drugs. He wants to change this situation by having a Medicare-for-all health care system.

Sanders proceeded to discuss the political revolution and began by addressing a relevant issue Americans are facing about how representative the government should be.

“Are we going to have a government that represents all of the people of our government or are we going to have a government owned and controlled by wealthy campaign contributors?” asked Sanders.

Regarding the federal minimum wage, Sanders supports raising it to $15 an hour.

He told a story about meeting several young working Detroit residents that had to jump on the bus after working one shift to get to another job because they could only get 20 hours for each position. Many of these people, he said, have kids and are trying to support their families. Sanders also wants to work towards establishing equal pay for women.

Next, Sanders moved onto the disproportionate cost of college tuition. “A college degree is what a high school diploma was 50 years ago,” he said. He believes that everyone should have the right to higher education and that no one should be held back from this opportunity because he or she does not have the financial resources.

Sanders called for free tuition at public colleges and universities. He believes that this will “revolutionize education.” He wants people with current student loans to be able to refinance these loans with the lowest possible interest rates that they can find.

The middle class bailed out Wall Street after they “crashed the economy.” Sanders believes it is Wall Street’s turn to help the middle class. Consequently, he plans to impose a tax on Wall Street.

Sanders emphasizes the idea that people want Americans to think small, but that it is “time to think big.”

Sanders concluded by saying, “Together we have an opportunity in this campaign not only to elect a new president but, more importantly, to create a political revolution which transforms our country.”

Sanders will return to Michigan on March 6 to debate against Hillary Clinton.