California can drive political revolution by June 7 vote, Sanders says in Vallejo

Originally published in the Daily Republic on May 19, 2016 By Ryan McCarthy

Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd at his "A Future to Believe In" rally along the Vallejo Waterfront, Wednesday. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)
Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd at his “A Future to Believe In” rally along the Vallejo Waterfront, Wednesday. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

Bernie Sanders said Wednesday that California should show the world the state is driving a political revolution with the June 7 vote in the Democratic presidential primary.
“If we stay together brothers and sisters, there is nothing we can’t accomplish,” Sanders said.
“Starvation wages paid by the billionaire Walton family to workers at Walmart, demilitarizing local police departments, free college education and “a rigged economy” were among topics raised by the contender for the Democratic presidential nomination during his hour-long speech in front of thousands at the Vallejo Waterfront Park.
Sanders also told the cheering crowd that if he were a California citizen, he’d vote to legalize marijuana.
“Thank you, Vallejo,” he said at the start of his speech. “I didn’t know there were this many people in Vallejo.”
He joked how when he began his campaign people remarked that he was “kind of a GQ kind of guy” – a reference to the magazine and its male models – but that he couldn’t be president because he was “too old, too radical.”
Wins in 20 states and about 9 million voters later, Sanders said he continues to pursue an America of social, economic, racial and environmental justice.
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, wants tax breaks for the rich, a $7.25 minimum wage and insults women, Muslims and others, Sanders said.
A plane that flew with the sign “Bernie’s Done, Vote Trump” drew boos from the crowd.
Sanders referred to critics who call him Santa Claus for promising such benefits as free college educations. A tax on Wall Street speculators will provide more than enough money to provide such schooling, he said.
Joe Key, a Sacramento musician who was among performers appearing before Sanders’ speech, called Vallejo a workingman’s town and Sanders a workingman’s candidate. Los Angeles rapper Jason Chu said the powerful try to get people to turn on each other.
“A small fire can divert the whole herd,” he said during his performance.
Vallejo resident Josh Serge, a 1997 graduate of Fairfield High School who teaches at a charter school in Vallejo, said before Sanders’ speech that he supports the Vermont senator for president and opposes Hillary Clinton.
“Clinton is the ultimate crony capitalist,” Serge said. “I don’t believe she represents liberals or progressives one bit.”
San Rafael resident Jenny DeMaria, 47, arrived at the campaign event at 3:30 p.m. – four hours before Sanders’ scheduled speech.
“I see a lot of concerts,” DeMaria said. “I don’t have a problem waiting for the main event.”
DeMaria, who has a Deadheads for Bernie sticker on her Prius, was attending her first campaign event.
“Bernie’s for the common man,” she said, while all other candidates pretend to be.
Carroll Fife, co-chair of the Oakland Alliance and among several speakers before Sanders, told the crowd: “The people united will never be defeated.”
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