Good evening from Safeco Field! It’s a beautiful spring evening here in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood, where Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is making his final Evergreen State appearance ahead of Washington’s 2016 Democratic precinct caucuses. Sanders is hoping for a big victory in Washington to demonstrate that Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the nomination locked up yet.
Sanders greets the crowd with fresh humor, saying he had dreamed of standing at home plate in a Major League Baseball stadium as a child, but thought he would be at bat rather than giving a speech.
After thanking supporters for the massive turnout, Sanders announces that he foresees the momentum from a victory in Washington translating to subsequent wins in California and Oregon.
In his now famous call-and-repeat about the average donation of $27, Sanders announces that his campaign has now received over 6 million individual donations, a new record for American political campaigns. Reminding voters that Hillary Clinton’s campaign relies heavily on super PAC spending, Sanders calls for his Democratic primary opponent to release the transcripts from her paid speeches to large corporations and Wall Street banks.
Sanders congratulates the City of Seattle for passing a $15 an hour minimum wage, and calls on the nation as a whole to follow suit. Without noting last years ballot measure in Seattle, the candidate also calls for public campaign financing nationwide.
The stump speech takes a somber tone as Sanders shifts from wealth inequality to discriminatory policing, calling for demilitarization of police departments and prosecution of officers who break the law. He announces legislation that he has introduced to remove cannabis from its current status as a schedule I controlled substance.
“They deserve the whole damn dollar!” Sanders declares in reference to the fact that women still make only 79 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.
Emphasizing the importance of infrastructure investment, Sanders notes that Flint is just one of many cities where Americans are being forced to endure conditions that make aspects of the standard of living (i.e water source) in the world’s most prosperous nation comparable to third world countries.
Reminding the crowd of a time before women had the right to vote, before same-sex couples had the right to marry, Sanders declares that there will always be those who say “think smaller.” Despite his detractors within his own party, Sanders doubles down on the importance of taking on the insurance lobby to establish a single payer health care system, and establishing a $15 an hour federal minimum wage.
“Real change comes from the bottom up… when millions of people come together and say ‘enough’ with the status quo… if we stand together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish!”
In closing, Sanders declares that with a high voter turnout, his campaign will secure a win in Washington on the way to the Democratic nomination.