By Luis Castilla
The beating sun wasn’t the only thing making hundreds of Bernie Sanders supporters “Feel the Bern” Saturday at a political rally in Woodrow Wilson Senior High School.
Sanders visited the El Sereno high school as part of his 2020 presidential campaign. There was a strong representation of Latinos and youth in the crowd.
Sanders began his address expressing disappointment in president Donald Trump. “We have a president who is a pathological liar,” Sanders said.
The Vermont senator spoke about a wide range of issues, promising to fix the legal status of all students who receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and their parents among other things.
Sanders said he would raise the national minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, give equal pay to women and make it easier for workers to join unions.
He said he would create millions of jobs rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, including schools.
Sanders’ campaign recently acquired the endorsement of United Teachers Los Angeles. Continuing on the topic of education, Sanders said he was going to make sure all teachers earn at least $60,000 a year.
He said he promised to make all public colleges and trade schools tuition free and cancel all student debt by taxing Wall Street speculation, the act of purchasing stock.
Free health care has been one of Sanders’ top issues since his last presidential campaign in 2016. On Saturday he talked about it again, calling it a human right.
“When you get sick, you go to the doctor you want to and you don’t have to take out your wallet or your credit card,” Sanders said.
President Trump believes climate change is a hoax. “Trump is a danger to the world,” Sanders said.
The senator said he would take on the fossil fuel industry and implement a Green New Deal that would create a system that uses clean energy that would create up to 20 million jobs.
“The future of this planet is more important than short-term profits,” Sanders said.
Sanders said he would “end the broken and racist criminal justice system.” He said he would end the war on drugs by legalizing marijuana and expunging past marijuana convictions.
Sanders also said he would not allow the marijuana industry to be monopolized. Instead, he would create a system that benefits the black and Latino communities that have been the most affected by the war on drugs.
Sanders addressed the Saugus High School shooting in Santa Clarita, in which two students were killed. He said he would make sure gun policy will not be determined by the National Rifle Association, but the American people.
He said he would end the selling and distribution of assault weapons in the country.
On the topic of abortion, Sanders said he would not let a few politicians decide what a woman should do with her body.
The senator said he would do away with the Electoral College. “Democracy is one person, one vote,” Sanders said.
Former East Los Angeles College student who attended the rally, John Contreras, 21, said he found comfort in Sanders’ words.
“He actually made me feel some comfort I haven’t had in a while due to our current president’s position and beliefs,” Contreras said.
“I’m looking forward to the change in environment the people are going to go through, in a positive way that is.”