Bernie Sanders

Sanders Campaign Press Release - Chicago Feels the Bern, Sanders Meets with Rev. Jackson

August 17, 2015

CHICAGO – Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Monday brought his call for a "political revolution" to a crowd of more than 820 people packed inside a historic theater here on the Windy City's North Side.

Earlier Monday, the U.S. senator from Vermont visited the South Side headquarters of Operation PUSH for a meeting with the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. Long-time friends, the senator and the civil rights leader held a very productive, hour-long meeting on important issues confronting the country and the African-American community.

Civil rights and criminal justice reform were among the key topics Sanders addressed in remarks at the Park West theater. "As somebody who has one of the strongest civil rights records in Congress, no one will fight harder to end institutional racism in this country and, equally important, reform the criminal justice system," Sanders said.

He said he will soon propose legislation to stop private corporations from making money on the incarceration of prisoners. He also called for reforming sentencing laws and providing better ways for those in prison to return to society.

"We are going to end this horrendous distinction of having more people in jail than any other country on earth and instead work to create the best-educated population on earth," Sanders added. "In my view, it makes a hell of a lot more sense to be investing in jobs and education instead of jails and incarceration."

A spotlight beamed on Sanders at center stage as he thanked the standing-room-only crowd for joining him in "fighting for a country that belongs to all of us and not just a handful of billionaires."

The event was a small-dollar fundraiser with tickets starting at $50. It was only the fifth formal fundraiser in the nearly four months since Sanders launched his campaign last spring. Since then, more than 350,000 supporters have donated to his campaign. Unlike other candidates who have relied on Super PACs and the unlimited donations they can take from wealthy donors, Sanders said the average donation to his campaign so far is $31.20.

"We are seeing in America today a campaign finance system which is corrupt," he said of the campaign funding mechanism created by a disastrous 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which opened the floodgates to unlimited spending by corporations and wealthy individuals.

"I don't believe in the agenda of corporate America. I don't believe in the agenda of the billionaire class. And I don't want their money," Sanders said. "But at the end of the day money doesn't always win. What we are showing is that millions of people agree with us."

Sanders was introduced by Cook County Commissioner Jesús G. "Chuy" García, 10th Ward Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Rosa and Robert Peters of the National People's Alliance.

The first Chicago Teachers Union member on the Chicago City Council said her successful campaign and its "people-powered politics" was a model for the grassroots movement Sanders is building.

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Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Chicago Feels the Bern, Sanders Meets with Rev. Jackson Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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