Politiwatch: TDR 2020 Coverage- Senator Bernard (Bernie) Sanders


Basic Information:

Name: Bernard (Bernie) Sanders

Age: 77 Years Old

Occupations: Carpenter, Teacher, Psychiatric Aide, Writer, Filmmaker, Former Mayor of Burlington VT, Former VT Congressman, Current Senator Representing VT since 2007

Party Affiliation: Independent (In VT) Democrat (Nationally by way of a loyalty pledge)

Announcement Date: February 9 2019

Motto: Not me. Us.

Accomplishments as Senator:

  • Filibustered for 8 ½ hours on the senate floor fighting against the 2010 Tax Relief Act, after he stated “Enough is enough …..How many houses can you own?” commenting on the disparity between the hyper-wealthy and working class. (Source: Filibuster)

  • Introduced legislation that raised the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $15 dollars an hour. (Source: Minimum Wage)

  • Sponsored the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013, helping increase benefits for disabled veterans. (Source: Veterans Act of 2013)

  • Restored Glass-Steagall Legislation to break up big banks and prevent them from having a monopoly over the banking market. (Source: Glass-Steagall )

  • Supported the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015 to reform the auditing process for the Federal Reserve Program.

(Source: Act 2015)  

Signature Issues:

Senator Sanders advocated for many policy changes during his candidacy in 2016 and has reasserted the public in the race for the 2020 election. He stands firmly on medicare for all, free college tuition for students, supporting The Green New Deal, Jobs for All, slowing the influence that billionaires/banks have enjoyed in our current political system (Overturning Citizens United), and has advocated for giving prisoners the right to vote. (Source: Sanders)

Additional Positions on:

Disability Rights:

  • Guarantee jobs that pay living wages to all persons with disabilities who want to work through a federal job guarantee program. In addition to the job guarantee, Bernie Sanders will end the sub-minimum wage for individuals with disabilities.

  • Ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • Work to ensure no person with a disability experiences discrimination or barriers to living a full and productive life.

“We as a nation have a moral responsibility to ensure that all Americans have access to the programs and the support needed to contribute to society, live with dignity, and achieve a high quality of life”

(Sanders Campaign on Disability Issues)

LGBT Rights:

  • Pass the Equality Act, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act and other bills to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people.

  • Support police departments that adopt policies to ensure fairer interactions with transgender people, especially transgender women of color who are often targeted by police unfairly, and by instituting training programs to promote compliance with fair policies.

  • Strongly oppose any legislation that purports to “protect” religious liberty at the expense of others’ rights.

“People have the right to love who they want to love and get married regardless of their sexual orientation. Incredibly, today in many states, it is still legal to fire someone for being gay. That is unacceptable and must change.”

(Source: Sanders Campaign on LGBT Equality)

Native Americans:

  • Honor Native American tribal treaty rights and sovereignty, moving away from a relationship of paternalism and control toward one of deference and support.

  • Stand with Native Americans in the struggle to protect their treaty and sovereign rights, advance traditional ways of life, and improve the quality of life for Native Americans by upholding the trust responsibility.

  • Implement the 10-20-30 legislation introduced in Congress to prioritize federal funding for Indian country and ensure that significant percentages of federal funds are invested in Native communities that lack access to quality schools, health care, and job opportunities.

“Time and time again, our Native American brothers and sisters have seen the federal government break solemn promises, and huge corporations put profits ahead of the sovereign rights of Native communities. I will stand with Native Americans in the struggle to protect their treaty and sovereign rights, advance traditional ways of life, and improve the quality of life for Native communities.”

(Source: Sanders Campaign on Empowering Tribal Nations)

Racial Justice:

  • Re-enfranchise the right to vote to the 1 in 13 African-Americans who have had their vote taken away by a felony conviction, paid their debt to society, and deserve to have their rights restored.

  • Bring about major police department reform.

  • Address the inadequate environmental cleanup efforts of Superfund hazardous waste sites in communities of color.