Tuesday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and Rep. John Conyers (D–Mich.) met with a crowd of 2,000 at the Fellowship Chapel in Detroit to discuss their new bill on universal healthcare. The event also became a rally for progressive values as cheers of “Bernie 2020” came from the audience along with multiple standing ovations.

https://twitter.com/mnisakhan/status/900136659999744001

Conyers said his Medicare for All bill now has 117 cosponsors. He emphasized the government needs to combat high youth unemployment rates as well.

“There are two fundamental human rights in our great democracy: everyone should have health care from the minute they’re born, and then of course, after you get born, you got to get a job,” he said.

Conyers also discussed water activism, referencing instances when Detroit’s water has been shut off, stating it was a U.N. human rights violation.

https://twitter.com/mnisakhan/status/900148937746677760

Sanders touched upon the Charlottesville violence, as he criticized President Donald Trump’s “both sides” argument. What was scary to U.S. citizens, he said, is that the United States has seen Nazis and white supremacists before, but have never seen a president — Democrat or Republican — who could not condemn them.

“There are no nice Nazis,” he said.

Sanders moved on to echo Conyer’s speech on universal healthcare. He also added the government should invest in education to combat youth unemployment and automatically register 18 year olds to vote, arguing his ideals are not radical if other countries do them as well.

During the Q&A session, an audience member asked if progressives should make their own party, leaving behind the Democrats and Republicans. Sanders, who is the longest running Independent senator in the United States, said while he welcome critiques of the Democrat party, it would not be accurate to equate them to the Republicans.

“Don’t lump Democrats and Republicans together,” he said, explaining he made the choice to work with Democrats so the conservative party does not have another four years. He also emphasized the wish for the Democrats to open to the working class. 

Vibha Venkatesha, a Wayne State University 2015 alum, said she came to the townhall interested in hearing about Sanders’ and Conyers’ healthcare policies. She wanted to see more about the Medicare for All push.

“A lot of Democrats rally about keeping the Affordable Care Act—which I agree with and I am on the Affordable Care Act—I really wanted to see if there is any push to go beyond that,” she said.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.