Sanders travels to St. Louis looking to win Missouri primaries

Vermont+Senator+Bernie+Sanders+traveled+to+Missouri+Monday%2C+March+9+and+spoke+to+a+crowd+at+Stifel+Theatre.

Thora Pearson

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders traveled to Missouri Monday, March 9 and spoke to a crowd at Stifel Theatre.

By Kate Schreiber, Kirkwood High School

 “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” 

A crowd chanted and waved blue and white signs reading the name of presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as he took the stage Monday, March 9 at the Stifel Theatre. The senator addressed the crowd, hoping to encourage one of the largest voter turn-outs in history for the Missouri Democratic primary in order to beat fellow 2020 Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders came to St. Louis instead of his previously scheduled rally in Kansas City, Mo.

Before Sanders spoke, several introductions were made on his behalf such as Megan Green, 15th ward alderwoman, Sara Katz, co-chair of the Washington University Graduate Workers Union (WUGWU), Rasheen Aldridge, state representative of the 78th district, and Cori Bush, first congressional district candidate. All four endorsed Sanders and shared why they support him in his campaign for president. 

Sanders started with the topic of income and wealth inequality and the need for more healthcare providers, teachers, childcare workers, and increased educational opportunities. He also emphasized the idea of increasing infrastructure. 

“It is not radical to say that all of those people earn living wages, that all of our people get the education they need, regardless of income,” he said.

Sanders covered many of his other major policies in his 45-minute speech, including Medicare for all, banning private prisons with criminal justice reform, gun reform and increased funding for Planned Parenthood. 

“What is so radical and extreme about those ideas?” he asked.

Discussing climate change as “an existential threat to this country and the world,” Sanders talked about his plans to implement the “Green New Deal” which would “transform energy away from fossil fuel energy efficiency” and according to Sanders, would create 20 million jobs.

“Whether it relates to the coronavirus or whether it relates to climate change, we believe in science.”

Sanders also addressed defeating President Donald Trump, calling him “the most dangerous president in modern history” and a “pathological liar.” He said that to defeat Trump, “non-traditional voters” will have to come out to vote and that they will need “the largest voter turnout in history” to win the presidency. 

In contrast to Biden’s silence about Sanders at his Saturday St. Louis rally, Sanders brought up his opponent. Sanders mentioned that Biden voted for the Iraq war, the “Wall Street bailout”, and wants to make social security cuts which oppose Sanders’ positions. However, Sanders said that he and Biden are friends who have agreed that they will support each other if the other wins the Democratic nomination. 

Sanders ended the rally asking voters to show up to the polls: “Let’s go forward tomorrow, let’s win the primary, let’s win the nomination, let’s defeat Trump, let’s transform this country.”

The Democratic primary elections in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington took place March 10. Sen. Sanders and Biden both canceled election night events in Cleveland due to the coronavirus. 

According to CNN,  Joe Biden won Missouri at 60% while Sanders polled at 35% on March 11.

This story was originally published on The Kirkwood Call on March 11, 2020.