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We're trying to win an election but we're trying to do something more. And that is build a movement of people who are prepared to fight so that finally we have an economy, an energy system, a health care system, a government that represents all of us, not just the 1%.    

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Rally with Former State Sen. Nina Turner and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal
State Historical Museum of Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa
Monday, January 20, 2020


NINA TURNER: ...Oh man, that panel was something else, wasn't it.

Well it's good to be back in Iowa. Reminds me of being at home in Cleveland, Ohio, kind of cold. But the hearts are warm, the passions run deep.

So Iowa as we reflect all of you know that this is the day that our nation recognizes the life and the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

And I thought how appropriate it would be to read a quote from his daughter, his baby daughter, Dr Bernice King.

And she put this on Twitter a few days ago, and I want you to let this marinate with you, Iowa. She said the night before he was assassinated, assassinated, many wish happy birthday, she puts that in quotes, to a man today that they would have hated then.

Come on somebody.

The authentic, comprehensive King makes power uneasy and privilege unhinged.

Hello somebody.

Never forget he's not here to hear happy birthday, because he was murdered.

Now Dr. Bernice King spoke a truth, that we don't like to deal with in this country but I am going to elaborate on her truth.

When she said that what her father stood for made power uneasy and privilege unhinged.

And here we find ourselves in the year of 2020 battling some of the same challenges that the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood up against, the challenges and the people that he stood up for and his contemporaries like Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer and other freedom fighters of that time.

The most important point that Dr. Bernice King was making is that we should not be comfortable in waxing poetic about how great her father was when some of the same people in this day would not
have supported what he was he was fighting for, what he was uplifting. Hello somebody.

She said he made power uneasy and privileged unhinged. And I started to think about that. About who, in that same tradition at this particular moment in time, is calling on the work-a-day people in this nation from all walks of life and saying to them that you deserve better than what you are getting.

The person in the face of power has said to Wall Street, I'm coming for your greed; to the pharmaceutical industry, I'm coming for your greed; to the fossil fuel industry, I'm coming for your greed; to the multi-millionaires and billionaires of this nation saying to them you cannot have it all.

A person who protested against the war in Vietnam. Hello somebody.

Somebody who voted against the war in Iraq. Hello somebody.

Somebody who got a resolution passed to say that Yemen no in this environment and that Congress, he led those efforts. Hello somebody.

Somebody who believes that we should not make war, but we should bring the leaders of this world together to try to make some peace. Hello somebody.

I think Senator Bernard Sanders makes power uneasy and privilige unhinged. Come on.

Dr. King talked about the triplets of evil, racism, materialism, and militarism.

Now we live in a nation, sisters and brothers, where we need the kind of leader that's not gonna hedge, that's not gonna play games. See it makes a whole bunch of people feel good to quote the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But my question and my question is to you and my question is for leaders, that it's one thing to talk the talk, but it's another thing to walk the walk. Hello somebody. Hello somebody.

We've got too many people in this state, too many people in this nation and too many people in this world who are suffering, and we need as the United States of America to be a real beacon of hope and to stand up for the downtrodden and the despised in this nation. We need somebody who's not going to equivocate on that and that person is Senator Bernard Sanders.

Racism kills. Materialism. They got us thinking that we always got to keep up with the Joneses, and that your value is tied into what you drive and what you wear. We have lost our ability to see that your intrinsic value is in who you are, who you love, what you stand up for. Hello somebody.

And then it comes to militarism in the 21st century, we don't need leaders who play with going to war. Going to war does not make you strong. Standing up and trying to bring leaders together on the global stage, that is our strength and that is what Senator Sanders is committed to.

We can't play with this thing. For MLK Day I just stopped by, sister just stopped by to remind you that our strength is what is with each other, that whether we are black or white, whether we are brown, indigenous, whether we're Asian American, whether we are gay or straight, agnostic, atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, whatever we identify as, our strength is together and that is why Iowa this movement is so important because Senator Sanders, we are building a multicultural, multiracial, multigenerational, multigender—hello somebody—movement. That's what we doing. That's what it has to be.

And the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood that because before he was assassinated he was assembling poor people from all walks of life, understanding that we rise and we fall together.

So we don't need folks who are just going to quote Dr. King, we need folks who are going to live Dr. King.

Dr. King talked about the injustice in the healthcare system. He talked about capitalism run amuck. He challenged this country to take a look at what we are doing to least the least of these, our sisters and our brothers and to act in away that shows that we have love.

And speaking of love, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said these words and I am paraphrasing him, but he said that light—he said darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can, and hate cannot drive out hate only love can. There is a song in the Christian tradition that says that love lifted me. It is because of the love of this nation that we are assembled here today to support a justice champion who is standing in the ready position because of love.

He's saying to this nation that we deserve Medicare for all because of love.

He's saying that we should cancel student debt and give relief to the people of this nation because of love.

He's saying that we must reform a criminal justice system that is unjust by every stretch of the imagination, that sees black man somehow as more criminal than anybody else, brown sisters and brothers, indigenous sisters and brothers as somehow more criminal than somebody or anybody else. He's saying that because of loveI am going to stand up and call this nation out and not only am I going to call it out, I am going to stand with my vision and say that we can do better, that you
deserve better. Iowa this is what this movement is all about. Love lifted me. It is because of love.
And love is strong. Love is not weak. Love confronts. Love lifts. Love speaks truth.

And the truth of the matter is we know better now, and that means we should do better now.

And so we will never get another chance quite like this to elect a champion that from his 20s to this moment has been on a journey that I'm not even quite sure that he knew that the creator was preparing hiim for.

This is our moment to come together and unite as sisters and brothers for what is just, for what is right and for what it's good, and to use our senator as that beacon of hope. Now he always says that I cannot do this alone. He knows that this is not about me; this is about us.

But Iowa it is you, you start this thing off, and we gotta tell the naysayers that we going to stand up behind, in front of and beside the champion of justice in this country at this moment, at this time, who is running for president of the United States of America to change this thing. Because of love. Love lifted me.

And as one of the leaders in this movement, I can tell you from this space right here, that when folks try to say that what the Senator is fighting for ,what we are fighting for is radical. If you are comfortable and you see skyscrapers out your window then maybe having health care for all is radical, but if you are among the 89 million people in this country who are either uninsured or underinsured what Senator Sanders is pushing is not radical, it is right on time. Hello somebody.

Iowa, if you're suffering from dirty water like your sisters and brothers in Michigan and places like Ohio and South Carolina, the Green New Deal is not radical, it is right on time.

And if you are a momma and a daddy in this country, and you want to be able to look into the eyes your babies and say these words to them. that if you want to go to college, you can go to college, and it doesn't matter how much money I make or don't make, what Senator Sanders is pushing, college for all, is not radical, it's right on time.

If you need your prescription, whether you are young or seasoned we all need medication from time to time. And what a sin and shame it is that the pharmaceutical industry is making money, their total greed on the backs and the necks of people in this country. So when the Senator calls them out and says not on my watch, what he is saying to the system is not on my watch will people continue to be denied or will people continue to die. It is not radical, it's right on time. Right on time, baby. Right on time.

So this movement is about all of you. And we need you to knock on doors and make phone calls. Now the choir, we're together, we're celebrating, but we need you Iowa to make the dominoes fall. We going to do this thing, and we are going to win Iowa. Hello somebody.

Oh no it's right on time. Love lifted me and it will lift us.

Now speaking of love, you know I got the opportunity here, because there's a bad sister here with me this evening and she hails from the great state of Washington. She's an activist, she's a Congresswoman she is a leading voice on Medicare for all. How many of y'all know it takes teamwork to make the dream work.

Congresswoman Jayapal is working it in the House of Representatives and Senator Bernard Sanders is working it in the Senate. Hello somebody.

When the Congresswoman was interviewed and she was asked about why she supports Senator Bernard Sanders she said these words. He has a clarity on policy prescriptions that go right to the heart of what the working class people need. Hello somebody. Goes to the heart of the matter. About love. So I bring to you Iowa, now I know its a little chilly outside, but its mighty warm in here, its burning up in here. Can you give an Iowa welcome, come on somebody, to the one and only Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

CONGRESSWOMAN JAYAPAL: Hello, Iowa. Hello, Iowa. Let me tell you a little secret. I am all in for Bernie Sanders. Are you all in for Bernie Sanders? Are you ready to work this thing until we win Iowa in two weeks?

Now listen my Iowa brothers and sisters. I'm here for the same reasons you are. My sister Nina, she talked about the suffering that is going on across this country. There is too much suffering. Too much greed and inequality, too much racism and sexism and xenophobia, too much Trumpism. All of that is expressed through Trumpism that has fallen on to America and is just lingering like that dirty old snow.

And maybe you're one of those ones in suffering. Maybe you are one of the people that cannot afford healthcare. Maybe you've seen somebody die that you love, somebody you know that can't get prescription drugs or health care for what ails them. Maybe you are one of those people that's suffering from an enormous burden of student loan debt. Maybe you are suffering from not having a good enough job that pays you what you need to put food on the table and a roof over your head. Maybe, maybe you are suffering because of the destruction of our planet, and you don't know where we are going to go in this world. Maybe you're suffering from the failure of our institutions and our democracy to stand up for working people instead of the wealthiest few and our corporations.

Let me be really, really clear about something. This guy in the White House, his trademark is cruelty. His trademark is cruelty. And I say that as the first member of Congress to go into a federal prison and talk to over 200 mothers and fathers who had been ripped from their children, did not know where they are, and for some of them still don't know where their children are. It ain't right.

I say that as a woman who has watched this administration rip away reproductive healthcare and do everything possible to take away that choice from women like me. That ain't right.

I say that as a mother of a beautiful gender non-conforming kid who deserves every right that you and I do not to be bullied and called out by hate but to be loved for who they are.

And I say that as an immigrant woman of color, somebody who came to this country when I was 16 years old by myself. My parents made that ultimate sacrifice of sending me across the ocean, putting an ocean between them and their beloved child, because they actually believed in the American Dream. They wanted me to have the opportunity that we hear about around the world.

And so that is why it is so important for me, for us to do everything we can to make sure that that American Dream is real. But I don't want you to be fooled about something, okay. Trump is both a symptom, and a cause. He's both a symptom, and a cause. Economic insecurity has been building for decades in this country because the system has not been working for working people and that's been for a long time. But here's the thing, where we are today is based on a series of choices we made. And that means we can make different choices ahead of us, right.

We can turn our nation around, away from cruelty to a sense of humanity and decency, away from me first-ism, to a collective belief in our interconnectedness and our humanity, away from greed and scarcity and towards love and generosity. The solutions are right in front of us. And so today as we honor the life and the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and Nina said a lot about Dr. Martin Luther King. He was deeply important to me as an activist and an organizer and  in his I Have a Dream speech, Dr. King said this, and it's just as true then as it is today. He said, this is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

The tranquilizing drug of gradualism—just think about that. I know that people are deeply concerned about the choice that's ahead of us for president and they shouldn't be. The consequences are real, and they are serious. But, and it may seem more comforting to go small, to do things that maybe don't disrupt the system. But the truth is, that is not going to address the systemic problems that are in front of us. We have deep structural inequities in front of us and we need more structural change, because if we don't do that, this suffering is going to continue, but even worse than that. We might get somebody into the White House, but if that president is not bold and doesn't really fix the problem of healthcare, the problem with the climate crisis, the problem of racism, all of these things that are in front of us, then we may get another Donald Trump down the road. His name may not be Donald Trump but we may get another one.

And exactly one year from today. Think about that, Iowa, one year from today, America will inaugurate a new president, and what we do between now and then, the way that we organize, the way that we build our movement, the way that we operate is going to mean the difference between four more years of Trump or a more hopeful future. And here in Iowa, we got two weeks. You got two weeks, right. We got two weeks because you are going to lead the Democratic Party with your choice at  this incredibly important moment in history. And Iowa I am here to tell you whole-heartedly that I believe that choice should be Senator Bernie Sanders.

Now people have asked me why Bernie, tell us why Bernie, why did you make that choice? And so let me tell you really clearly. I've spent my life organizing, okay. I'm an activist and an organizer. I helped to drive the movement for immigration reform across the country. I helped pass the $15 minimum wage in Seattle, te first major city in the country to do that. Way back in 2002, I was out in the streets organizing 15,000 people against the war in Iraq. I led the largest voter registration drive in the history of our state—23,000 new immigrants citizens to vote. And I believe the next president of the United States has to understand that organizing is at the center of everything, and Bernie Sanders is building that movement and organizing people across this country.

Now here's the other thing about Bernie Sanders. He brings an authenticity and a steadfastness. You know I my relationship with him goes back to 2015. I was a brand new state senator in Washington State and I became either the first or one of the first elected officials to endorse Bernie back then. And it was because of his authenticity, his steadfastness, his work over years to build the movement and to fight for the change we need. Back in 1993 Bernie Sanders was fighting for a living wage. And of course when I started running for Congress, I was so proud that I was one of the first three members, candidates that he endorsed for Congress. But here's the thing about Bernie Sanders. The thing about Bernie Sanders is, he exemplifies what I think of when I think of progressives. I'm the co chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, 40% of the Democratic caucus. We are working to make that bigger with your help.

And what I like to say is just what you see in Bernie. Progressives, true progressives, are just the first to the best and the most just idea, and then they build the movement to make that idea real. Is that right?

And here's the third reason. Bernie brings a clarity of purpose to his policy proposals, and let's just be very clear on this. Bernie Sanders helped to create the movement for Medicare for All and universal health care across this country. Without Bernie Sanders there would be no movement for Medicare for All. And as the lead sponsor of the Medicare for All bill in the House, let me tell you this, we have had four historic hearings in the House. Never before in the House of Representatives. We have over half of the Democratic Caucus, and I am so thrilled that now endorsing Bernie I'm going to be the national health policy chair for Bernie Sanders and together we are going to keep going and building that movement for Medicare for All.

Now let me tell you this. Bernie knows that our organizing cannot be limited just to the people who are already engaged. Okay, that's called the myth of the likely voter Bernie wants to move us past that to the truth of every voter. He wants to get out there and he wants you to get out there and help bring people in so that they believe again in democracy, and they come back out and they vote and they rock these caucuses. And it's not just the same people; it's new people who believe again that a president is going to stand up for them. That's what Bernie Sanders is ready to do.

So we've got two weeks to go in Iowa and the stakes could not be higher. No pressure. No pressure. Except we got a lot of pressure. Stakes could not be higher. This is not theoretical. Real lives are at stake. And so we cannot leave a single door unknocked, not a single person not talked to, we can't make a single contact where we don't make it clear what is before us. We can't be tranquilized by gradualists, we can't be anesthetized by polite solutions that may sound enticing but aren't going fix the problem. We need deep structural change that is led by a movement, demanding more, and a leader who does not turn away from working people. We need to kind of change that president Bernie Sanders will bring.

And so let's paint that vision.

Change like universal comprehensive health care for every single person in America.

Chang like student forgiveness and debt cancellation for millions of young people across this county.

Change like stronger labor unions and real collective bargaining to check corporate power.

Change like progressive foreign policy and saying no more to the military industrial complex.

Change like expanding Social Security and taking care of our elders as they go on in their lives.

And change like taking on climate change that puts frontline folks, black and brown folks and the workers that work in the fossil fuel industries at the front as we tackle and save our planet and our people.

Our next president must be courageous enough to say what is true and fight for it always, not just when it's easy or convenient.

Our next president must be a leader that reminds us all that there is real power in thinking big and building the movement to enact that change.

And our next president must be a leader who understands that the power is in we, the people.

And that is why I am here today to joyfully, fully, passionately introduce you to that leader, the next president of the United States of America, Senator Bernie Sanders.

MUSIC ["Power to the People" by John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band], CHEERING, CHANTS.

BERNIE SANDERS: Let me break the bad news. It ain't Bernie; it is all of us together.

Let me thank Dickie for their music. Let me thank the great supervisor from Linn County, Stacey Walker, for all of his great work. Let me thank Donna Langford for her remarks. Jeff Kurtz for the great work he's doing in the legislature and for his support. Nick Salazar's doing a great job for us. Barb Kalbach for all her good work. Chris Schwartz. Let me thank Senator Nina Turner. Senator Turner has been doing some of the most important work that anybody can do. Something all of us have got to do. She's been all over this country, bringing people, young people, working people, people of color into the political process, getting them to stand up and fight for justice. Senator Turner, thank you. And let me thank Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal not only for her support, not only for being here this evening, but for all of the great leadership that she is showing in the United States Congress. Pramila, thank you.

Before she was a member of Congress, Pramila was an immigration lawyer. She was an anti-war activist and as a member of the Congress, she has introduced our companion legislation for Medicare for All in the House. Pramila thank you so much.

As all of you know, all of you know this mike is falling, the message of our campaign, which is a very profound message, it's called us, not me. And what that message means, and what Senator Turner and Congresswoman Jayapal were talking about, is that if you look at American history, real change never takes place from the top on down—always from the bottom on up.

You know it is, it is never a president who wakes up in the middle of a night and says oh, I got a great idea; women should have the right to vote. Or, I have a brilliant idea; I think it's only right that gay people be able to get married. I think that's a wonderful idea. That is not the way history works. That is not the way change takes place.

And now, more than ever, we need a mass movement of working people, black and white and Latino, Asian American, Native American, we need millions of people to stand up, to look around them and to say, you know what, the status quo is not working. We need a government that believes in justice, not greed.

And oddly enough, oddly enough when we talk about us, not me, no one could have predicted it, but as all of you know, tonight I'm going back to DC; tomorrow I will be in an impeachment trial.
How long it lasts, honestly don't know.

So I will not be able to be back here in Iowa as much as I would like. We had originally planned a number of town meetings, rallies all over the state. We're gonna do the best we can. We have great surrogates; you've heard some of them. We have volunteers out knocking on doors. And thank you very much volunteers, you've been knocking on a lot of doors. As a matter of fact you've knocked on hundreds of thousands of doors. So ironically the us, not me is becoming very much of a reality in the last two weeks of this campaign because I'm not gonna be able to be here as much as I would like. So you guys are going to have to carry the ball.

And that means talking to as many of your friends and family and co-workers as you can, making sure they all come out to caucus two weeks from tonight.

Second point that I want to make is there is a lot of appropriate discussion about electability. You got people all across the political spectrum who say we have got to defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. We agree. We agree.

Donald Trump. And no matter what your political views may be—I do understand that not everybody in Iowa agree with everything we believe. Got it. 

But I think the overwhelming majority of people in this great state, no matter what your political view may be, do not think it's appropriate that we have somebody in the White House who is a pathological liar.

You know you want to be able to turn on the TV with your kids and not be embarrassed and have to rush to turn off the television because of some absurd remark that the president makes. We can disagree on issues, but we do not want a president who is, it gives me no pleasure to tell you, a racist, a sexist, a homophobe a xenophobe and a religious bigot. That is not the temperament of somebody we need in the White House.

So I happen to believe there are other good candidates out there, and you know you have heard everybody I think say, that no matter wins this Democratic primary process—and needless to say I kind of hope it is us—but that we will be united in doing everything possible to defeat Donald Trump.

So why do I think that we are the best campaign to do that? Let me tell you why.

Donald Trump will be a very tough opponent; that's the simple truth.

The only way that Trump is going to be defeated is if we have by far the largest voter turnout in American history. That's what we need.

So I would hope the people of Iowa, the people of America ask themselves, which campaign is the campaign of energy and excitement?

Which is the campaign that is reaching out to working class people, many of whom are disillusioned with the political process and too often do not vote?

Young people today, and this is very good news, are the most progressive generation in the history of the United States of America.

Historically, however, the simple truth is that young people have not voted in the kind of rate that they should have. Which campaign is capable of bringing in millions of young people into the political. Which campaign has already won the support not only of the Sunrise Movement, but of
People's Action, of other grassroots organizations who represent millions of people. Our campaign has.

You know historically in American politics what politics was about is an establishment candidate. sits down with a bunch of wealthy people, and they map out a campaign. That's the way it was not so many years ago. We have changed the rules of the game. We are not here to represent the political establishment or the economic establishment of America. We are here to represent the working class of America.

And one reason, one reason why we are best suited, best prepared to win this election has, you can see in terms of how we raise our campaign funds. You've got candidates out there who raised a lot of money from many, many billionaires. Well, we do it differently. We have raised, received over five million contributions from over 1.3 million Americans averaging $18.50 cents. No campaign. No campaign. No campaign in American history has done that at this point in an election.

So the reason that we are gonna beat Trump is we are redefining what politics is about. We don't go to rich people's homes to raise money. We don't go to donors to get support. Our support comes from the working class of this country, and that is something Trump will never be able to defeat.

Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the great leaders in American history Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

And I will date myself a little bit by telling you that when Dr. King gave his famous speech, I Have a Dream speech, I was actually there. Took a bus from Chicago.

And Dr. King and his vision has always been an inspiration to me, one of the motivating political forces in my life. Now sometimes the media kind of sanitizes what Dr. King was about. But I want all of you to know that he was a man not only of brilliance and a great writer and a great orator; he was a political revolutionary. And during his lifetime he took on not only the racists in Alabama and Mississippi, you all know that, and went to jail and was beaten and all that.

But he took on the economic establishment, he took on the military industrial complex, at great personal sacrifice.

He said you know what the three major evils in American society are racism, are poverty, and militarism. With great courage he stood up and opposed the war in Vietnam. And he said at that time, a lesson which is relevant today, why are we spending huge amounts of money fighting wars, when people in America are sleeping out on the streets.

So, in the spirit of Dr. King, in the spirit of Dr. King, what this campaign is about, what makes us different than other campaigns, is that we are not here just to defeat Donald Trump.

And of course that is our first goal, but we are here to transform the United States of America, and create an economy and a government that works for all of us, not just the 1%.

And that is what the political revolution is. It says that we need millions of people to step up to the plate, to stand up and fight for justice.

Now what is our program about, what does it mean? It means for a start in America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we are going to end the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that exists today.

We will not accept three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society. We will not accept the top 1% owning more wealth than the bottom 92%. I have been all over this great state, and I have talked to workers here in Iowa. I remember a woman right here in Des Moines. She raises, raising three kids, making $10 and 25 cents an hour working at a fast food place. Well you know what, you can't raise a family on $10 and 25 cents an hour. So what we believe is in America, if you work 40 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty. It's not a radical idea.

And that means that we're going to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour.

It means that we're going to do away with the absurdity of women making 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. Women deserve the whole damn dollar.

It means that we're going to make it easier for workers to join unions and engage in collective bargaining.

It means that we're going to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, our roads and our bridges and our water systems and our wastewater plants and we're going to build 10 million units of affordable housing. And when we do that, when we rebuild our infrastructure, we're going to put millions of workers into jobs that will pay them good union wages.

And when we talk about creating a government of the working class, for the working class, by the working class, it means we're going to fundamentally change the way we do education in America.
We are going to have high quality, affordable, universal child care in America. [mic. troubles] Okay there we go, thank you. And when we talk about education I want to just say this, because what our campaign urges people to do is to think outside of the box. Look at the world we exist in in a different way than Congress does, or that the media does.

And ask yourself, in terms of education, everybody here knows there is no debate, that to make it
into the middle class today by and large [mic. troubles] With some exceptions we need a higher education, is that right? Now a hundred years ago people fought for public education, but that was K through 12. It seems kind of commonsensical that [inaud.] changing world economy, changing technology, that when we talk about education that must mean free tuition in public colleges and universities throughout this country. Does anybody think that's a radical idea? And when we talk about education, we are also talking about the absurdity of millions of people in this country being in financial distress because they went to college.

Now if we could bail out the crooks on Wall Street, if we could give a trillion dollars breaks the top 1% and large corporations, do you know what a government that represents working people can do? We can cancel all student debt in America. And we do that with a modest tax on Wall Street speculation. [mic. troubles continue]

When we talk about education and changing our values as Americans, it means that we must respect those people who educate our young people.

We must make sure that the best and the brightest in this country want to go into education, say with pride, man, I am so excited, I am going become a teacher and influence the lives of thousands of young people.

And to do that, we've got to make that all teachers in America earn at least $60,000 a year.

Now there is an issue that I have been talking about my entire adult life and that issue is a profound belief that health care is a human right.

Now in America we are spending twice as much per person on health care as do the people of any other country, spending twice as much. And here's what you are getting for spending $11,000 for every man, woman and child. We are ending up with 87 million Americans who are uninsured or underinsured. [Audience member: That ain't right.] That ain't right. We are ending up with 30,000 people dying each [mic. troubles continue] 30,000 people dying each year because they don't get to a doctor when they should. And I want you to hear this as well.

And I want you to hear this as well. In our system today, despite spending twice as much per capita as the people of any other country, 500,000 people go bankrupt as a result of medically related debt.

I want you to think about it. People come down with cancer. They're struggling for their lives through no fault of their own; they're dealing with cancer, they're dealing with heart disease, dealing with Alzheimer's, whatever terrible illness they may be. It is unthinkable that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world hundreds of thousands of people suffer severe financial distress simply because they are struggling with some terrible illness. That is not acceptable and together we are going to end that absurdity.

Now here is the simple truth. Some of you are sayin, how is it that we are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people? How is it that we spend twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of any other country? How is it that we pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs? How does it happen? And the answer is not complicated. The answer is that the healthcare industry, the drug companies and the insurance companies, will do everything they can to prevent us from moving to health care as a human right. And tonight I got news for the greed and corruption of the healthcare industry. For over 100 years, from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama, presidents have been talking about the need to guarantee health care to all people.

Within the first week of our administration, we will introduce and we will finally pass a Medicare for All single payer system.

And what that means. what that means is no more premiums. No more co-payments. No more deductibles. No more out of pocket expenses. No more than $200 a year for prescription drugs.
And we're going to expand Medicare to include dental care, hearing aids, eye glasses and home health care.

And because we ends, we end the corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, where in some cases we pay 10 times more for the same medicine sold in Canada; because we end the profiteering of the healthcare industry that made 100 billion in profits last year; because we end the administrative nightmare of a system in which thousands of different private health insurance plans exist;b because we will have a simple system that provides comprehensive care to every man, woman and child, we can make certain that the working people of this country will pay substantially less for health care than they are today.

And I gotta tell you something. Something just happened today which is really monumental in this whole struggle. Pramila, who as I mentioned earlier, introduced legislation in the House; Ive introduced it in the Senate. You know we've got a bunch of people running around the country talking about the need for Medicare for All. Well today I am happy to tell you that the American College of Physicians representing 159 [ed. 159,000] doctors, has come out for Medicare for All.

And they understand, and the nurses, we have the support as many of you know, of the National Nurses United, that's the largest nurses union in America. And what the nurses understand and what the doctors understand, is they cannot do their jobs under the current system. Doctors are sick and tired of fighting with the insurance industry about what kind of medicine. what kind of therapy they can prescribe to their patients.

They are sick and tired of seeing people walk into their office much sicker than they should be, because they didn't have any health insurance and couldn't afford to go to the doctor. So what the doctors are saying, and what the nurses are saying, let us practice the medicine we were trained to do. Healthcare it's a human right, for every man, woman or child, Go to the doctor when you need to regardless of your income.

Donald Trump embarrasses us every day. Hard to keep track of what his latest tweet was, probably about me. but anyway, but one area where his absurd policies impact not only us as Americans, but the entire world is his ignorance in terms of the crisis of climate change.

So let me lay it on the line here. I'm going to tell you I wish—it's kind of frightening stuff. And what it's about, is that the scientists who for a long time, told us that healthcare, that climate change is real, that it is caused by human activity, that's already doing a lot of damage. This is what they're now saying. What the scientists are now saying is, hey, sorry, we underestimated the degree, and the severity and the speed in which climate change is ravaging this country and our planet. Polar ice caps are melting at a faster rate than they had anticipated. The ocean is warming at a faster rate than they had anticipated. The Earth is warming at a faster rate than they had thought, which means that by the end of the century, this planet, maybe 7, 8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it is. And what that means, if we do not address this existential crisis, is that cities in America like Miami.
New Orleans. Charleston, New York City and many others will be partially or maybe substantially underwater by the end of the century. It means that countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh and large parts of China will be significantly under water. It means that we will see increased droughts, which means that farmers here in Iowa will have a shorter, less productive growing season. They will be producing less and the quality of the food they produce will deteriorate.

And when you have more drought, you're going to have more wildfires. All of you are aware of the horror now taking place in Australia where that continent is burning and what happened in California with unprecedented levels of forest fires. If we don't get a handle on this, that is the future of this world. And when we talk about the acidification and warming of the ocean, we're talking about fish dying off. But tens of millions of people get their protein from fish. When we talk about extreme weather disturbances just a few months ago Venice, Italy, one of the most beautiful cities in the world under water. Houston, Texas underwater. That will happen more and more frequently at a huge expense of taxpayer dollars having to rebuild what has been destroyed.
When you're talking about climate change, you're talking about bacteria thriving in warm weather, disease spreading. When you're talking about climate change, the United Nations tells us that hundreds of millions of people may become climate refugees, forced to leave their home, their homes, because there's no water to drink or land to grow their crops. And when millions of people migrate, you're going to have an extraordinary level of international tension and more and more water. That is what we face. Well as President, we're not going to ignore this issue; ee are going to deal with it forcefully. And I am proud to tell you that we have introduced the most sweeping and comprehensive climate change proposal ever introduced by any candidate for federal office.

This proposal is based on the outline of the Green New Deal. And what it says that we will no longer allow the fossil fuel industry to put their short term profits ahead of the future of our planet.
And what it says is that we can create up to 20 million good paying jobs, transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energies.

Now the difficulty here—I'm trying to be honest with you, this is a really serious, serious threat—and the difficulty here is that even if we in the United States did the right thing, and transformed our own energy system, took on the fossil fuel industry here, that still would not be enough. What we need and what I will do if elected president is reach out to people all over the world, in China. In Russia, in India, Pakistan and Brazil, all over the world, because we are in this together. And to make the case that maybe, just maybe, instead of spending 1.8 trillion dollars a year on weapons of destruction, designed to kill each other, maybe we pool our resources, come together, and fight our common enemy, which is climate change.

This is a profound, this is more than an environmental issue. This is a moral issue. And the issue is will we leave our children and our grandchildren and future generations a planet that is healthy and habitable, or will we not. And I don't want anybody here, 30 years from now, 50 years from now, to be talking to your grandson or your granddaughter and answering the question, grandma, grandpa, why didn't you do something when you knew what was going to happen? Why didn't you listen to the science? Well I'm here tonight to tell you, we will listen to the scientists. We will act accordingly.

When we talk about a progressive agenda, an agenda based on justice, it is imperative that we look at a broken and racist criminal justice system. Again, I want you to think outside of the box.
And if you think outside of the box, you're going to ask yourself how does that happen that in the richest country on Earth we have more people in jail disproportionately African American and Latino and Native American, more people in jail than any other country on Earth. China has four times our population—communist, authoritarian country. Se have more people in jail than China does. How does that happen?

What we will do is an administration is rethink the entire criminal justice system, and what that means for a start, we will invest in our young people, in jobs, and in education, rather than investing in more jails and incarceration.

Second of all. Right now, tonight, there are 400,000 people in jail who haven't been convicted of anything. Do you know that? They were arrested. They were charged. They haven't been convicted. Why are they in jail?

They can't afford bail. They're arrested, maybe they're guilty, maybe they're not; they can't afford the $500 or $1,000 in bail they need to get out of jail. We in the year 2020 don't need debtors prisons in America. So we're going to end the cash bail system. We are going to end private prisons and detention centers. Corporations should not be making money by locking up fellow Americans.

And here's something else we're going to do. We are going to end the so called war on drugs.
We are going to legalize marijuana in every state of the union.

Here's a question. How many people here know someone was arrested for the possession of marijuana, raise your hand please.


We are going to expunge the records of those who were arrested for possession of marijuana.

And when we talk about broken systems in America, we're talking about a very broken and racist immigration system.

On our first day in office, we will end the demonization of the undocumented in this country.

On our first day in office, we will undo, repeal all of the racist immigration executive orders that Donald Trump promulgated.

On our first day in office we will re-establish legal status for the 1.8 million young people in the DACA program.

We will develop a humane border policy, which will not allow federal agents to snatch babies from the arms of their mothers of throw children in jail. And most importantly [mic. difficulties]
An most importantly, [mic. difficulties] I believe we can establish and pass a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation which will lead toward a path toward citizenship for all of the undocumented.

No matter how divided our nation may be, there's an issue that I think brings everybody together, and that is our horror at turning on the TV and hearing about another horrible mass shooting. And people kind of throw up their hands and they you know, it's just hard to understand how and why this continues to happen.

So let me simply say that in terms of gun safety, our policy will be determined by the American people, not the NRA.

And that means, that means universal background checks. That means ending the gun show loophole. And what the American people have now finally understood, whether rural states like Iowa or Vermont, whether urban areas like Chicago and New York is that we must end the sale and distribution of assault weapons in America.

Now as a U.S. senator from Vermont I am on the floor of the Senate often hearing my colleagues give speeches. Not exactly one of the most exciting things to do in the world. And very often I hear from my Republican colleagues who are conservative, and they say you know we are, we believe in small government. We believe in getting the government off the backs of the American people.

I say to those so called conservatives if you believe in getting the government off the backs of the American people, please understand that it is women who have the right to control their own bodies, not the government and politicians. [more sound difficulties]

I promise to you that I will never nominate anyone to the U.S. Supreme Court or the federal courts who is not 100% pro Roe v Wade.

Last point that I want to make if the microphone allows it.

We are living in unprecedented times. Massive levels of income inequality; a president who is trying to undermine American democracy; the threat of climate change; a health care system which is dysfunctional; the fact that over the last 45 years the average worker in America has not seen a nickel increase in his or her wages, while the very, very rich much richer. That's the world that we live in.

And what this campaign is asking of all of us is something pretty hard.. Yeah, I'm here to ask you to help me win and I want y'all to ask you to help me win the Democratic nomination. I'm here to ask you to defeat the worst president in modern American history, I'm asking all of that.

But I'm asking something more. I'm here to tell you what no other presidential candidate will tell you, is that no president, not Bernie Sanders, or anybody else, can do it alone.

Because here is the truth. You don't see this truth on TV. They're worried about gossip and this or that. But they're not worried about this one. And that is we have a power structure in America, and I'm talking about the power of Wall Street, who have endless, underline endless, amounts of money. Six major banks have assets of over $10 trillion. Got that. Six banks. I'm talking about the insurance companies; I'm talking about the drug companies;  I'm talking about the fossil fuel industry; I'm talking about the military industrial complex, who has helped create a situation where we're now spending more on the military than the next 10 nations combined.

I'm talking about the prison industrial complex. I'm talking about the 1% who have fought to make sure that they do not pay their fair share of taxes. That is who we are taking on. That's the simple truth. And I'm not here to tell you, hey vote for me and I'm going to do it all. It doesn't work that way.

The way it works is that millions of people are going to stand up. And as president, I will not only be commander-in-chief of the military, I intend to be organizer-in-chief as well.

And that means, that means I'm prepared to go to Kentucky as president; I'm prepared to come back here to Iowa, And to say to the senators and the members of Congress, hey, tell the people in this state why you think health care is not a human right. Tell the people of this state why you want to give tax breaks to billionaires and cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

And I think that when you have a president who's willing to confront those senators who continue to represent the rich and the powerful and ignore the needs of working families, when you have a president who will go around the country. You know what the American people will stand up and tell those senators, do the right thing—represent us, not your campaign contributors.

So that is what this campaign is about and it's kind of unprecedented. I mean candidates have come and gone for years; they try to win elections and that's fine. We're trying to win an election but we're trying to do something more. And that is build a movement of people who are prepared to fight so that finally we have an economy, an energy system, a health care system, a government that represents all of us, not just the 1%.

So want to thank all of you for coming out here. We need your help now, more than ever. I'm going to be you know stuck in Washington for God knows how long. So we need you to take my place, give two-hour speeches like I do, you know. Do whatever you can do. But let's make sure, you know Iowa goes first. You have an, a unprecedented role in American politics; you go first. And if we win here in Iowa, with your help, I believe we can win here in Iowa. I think we're going to win in New Hampshire. And if we win in New Hampshire, we're going to win in Nevada, and if we win in Nevada, we're going to do very well at South Carolina and we're going to win in California.

Four years ago. four years ago I came to Des Moines, came to Iowa, and I laid out a series of principles, many of which I talked about tonight. And the economic establishment and the political establishment and the media establishment said those ideas are very radical; nobody in America will support them. Well, the people in Iowa did. Iowa started the revolution; in Iowa, let's complete the revolution. Thank you all very much.


This event took place on Martin Luther King Day, two weeks before the caucuses and a year before the inauguration of the next president. State director Misty Rebik led a panel with Bernie 2020 Iowa co-chairs to open the event. Former Ohio Sen. Nina Turner, a national co-chair of the campaign, and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA) then spoke. Sanders spoke for about 50 minutes, battling through microphone difficulties in the latter part of his speech.