By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders returned to Dearborn not to a rally for himself, but to urge supporters to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in November.
Sanders told the crowd at UAW Local 600, 10550 Dix Ave., that in a democracy people don’t always have to agree, but that one person equals one vote.
“We need a strong labor movement to create a strong middle class,” he said. “We’re not going to let (Donald) Trump and the right-wing Republicans destroy the American labor movement.”
Sanders previously held rallies at Local 600 in February and the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in March for his own campaign before the primary election.
During his speech, Sanders touched on universal healthcare, tuition free public education after high school, raising the minimum wage, infrastructure improvement and creating jobs.
“There is something wrong when we’re the only major country that doesn’t guarantee healthcare to everyone,” he said. “Hillary plans on expanding healthcare coverage to everyone in America.”
He touched on the minimum wage, saying the current $7.25 an hour rate for someone who works 40 hours a week isn’t a livable wage.
For jobs, Sanders suggested that the future relies on rebuilding infrastructure, roads, bridges and water system.
He cited Flint as an area Clinton plans to improve infrastructure after its water crisis.
The push for tuition free public college and university education and “broken criminal justice system” were highlighted by Sanders.
“We have more people in jail than any other country,” he said. “It is much more important to invest in jobs and education then jail for our children.”
Finally, Sanders spoke about the ongoing police issues currently facing the country.
“Lethal force should be the last response,” he said. “Police need training on how to communicate with people who have a mental illness.”
His speech did not end without taking shots at the Republican presidential candidate and his campaign.
Sanders attacked Trump’s criticism on the North American Free Trade Agreement and racist comments.
“Instead of just talking about the trade agreements, why don’t you lead by example and start manufacturing your products in the United States and not in Bangladesh?” he asked the crowd. “Be a model for other billionaires.”
As for racism, Sanders said Trump’s campaign is “un-American” and “dangerous” because it represents the cornerstone of bigotry.
For the finale, Sanders urged those in attendance at the rally to vote for Clinton Nov. 8 in order to allow for the “transformation of the country with Hillary as president,” he said. “The future of America relies on us working together, not being greedy.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])