Democratic candidate and outspoken progressive, Sen. Bernie Sanders rallied folks of all ages at Long Beach City College Tuesday, discussing issues that have popularized his campaign.
Nearly 5,400 people attended the event according to LBCC Vice President of Business Service Marlene Drinkwine. Many of the attendees expressed enthusiasm for a candidate they hold in high regard.
“I supported him last election [cycle]…there’s an ability he has to make people realize the power of the working class,” attendee Angel Maldonado said. “[Having] the power to change things [and] not rely on public officials.”
Sanders reiterated talking points such as Medicare for all Americans and ending corporate lobbying, policies he’s held for decades.
Sanders also spoke about the recent mass shootings in Dayton Ohio and El Paso Texas. He critiqued the current political system where he offered solutions such as: getting rid of the gun-show loophole, straw-man provision, as well as ban the sale and distribution of assault rifles.
Sanders noted that “deranged people” should not have such easy opportunities to shoot up active social areas.
He also geared his discussion towards issues that Los Angeles County has been dealing with for a long time— affordable housing and gentrification.
“Today in America we have some 18 million families spending 50% of their limited income on housing,” Sanders said. “Following this he stated that affordable housing is a human right just like healthcare and education should be.”
The speech led him into a discussion about gentrification where he said it is “unacceptable” for real-estate developers to buy up housing that working-class people were once able to afford. He then emphasized the communities should have access to the tools to fight the issue.
Long Beach has been troubled by the issues that result from gentrification, such as significant increases in housing costs . The median housing costs in the county have increased by over $200,000 over a 10-year span, and over $100,000 when accounting for inflation.
A sense of optimism filled the crowd, with chants of approval following his campaign proposals.