Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders talks Green New Deal at Sacramento rally

Sanders spoke about education, criminal justice, climate change, women’s rights and economic reform.


Cory Jaynes

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd at Cesar Chavez Plaza on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. Sanders speech focused on his platform of climate change, Medicare for All, and student debt.

A rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders filled Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Sacramento on Thursday afternoon, following the release of the senator’s Green New Deal.

Most of those in attendance, like Majed Altaian, a Sacramento State senior and political science major, said that they supported Sanders’ 2016 run for Democratic presidential nominee, which he lost to Hillary Clinton. 

“I’ve been supporting his campaign for about four years now since his 2015 and 2016 run,” Altaian said. “I saw him speak in Stockton (during that campaign) and it was just really exciting.”

Nafissah Timmons, a 2019 graduate of Monterey Trail High School in Elk Grove, was too young to vote during Sanders’ first run but supported him then and continues to.

“I just think he’s the only one that’s really for the people,” Timmons said. “It’s still the continuation of the same old politicians saying stuff but then their record isn’t showing it, and I’m just really hoping he’s gonna win.”

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Stevante Clark, a local activist since the death of his brother Stephon Clark, was also in attendance.

RELATED: No charges filed against officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark

“I came to recognize Bernie and to see if he knows about Stephon Clark or the Stephon Clark law that just passed,” Clark said. “I believe that you should not be able to run for any office and come through Sacramento without mentioning or knowing the name of Stephon Clark.”

The Stephon Clark law, or AB 392, redefined when police use of deadly force can be deemed “necessary.” It was signed into law on Monday. 

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The list of speakers included Sanders supporters Claire Lau, Karen Bernal, Eric Sunderland, Joaquin Chavez and Sammy Nunez.

Jane O’Meara Sanders, a social worker, college administrator and Sanders’ wife, introduced the candidate for his speech. 

“It’s not just about the policies. It’s not just about the thoughts and the well thought out programs he wants to do, the way he wants to transform this society,” Jane Sanders said. “It’s the heart. It’s the fact that he is in this, not just to become the president of the United States. He’s in it to help improve the quality of life for every one of us.”

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Sanders took the stage to a crowd of cheering attendees.

“In these unprecedented times, we need an unprecedented political movement,” Sanders said. “We need millions of people from Vermont to California standing up and making it clear to the corporate elite that this country belongs to all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors.”

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Sanders supporter Lau said that the campaign was asking for $27 donations. 

Sanders also spoke about health care, criminal justice reform, women’s rights, educational reform and climate change.

Sanders visited Paradise, CA, where the Camp Fire occurred last year, earlier on Thursday and later spoke about his new Green New Deal plan, a 10-year plan to “consider climate change in every policy,” according to his website.

RELATED: Residents and donors work to rebuild Paradise after Camp Fire

The rally ended with Sanders saying “the one percent in this country, they have enormous wealth and they have enormous power, but at the end of the day, the one percent is just one percent and last I heard the 99 percent is a hell of a lot larger than the one percent.”

Sanders’ next stop in Northern California will be a town hall on “college affordability and student debt” in San Francisco.