In North Texas, San­ders chal­lenges Trump agenda

San­ders ral­lies vot­ers in bid to re­vi­tal­ize Demo­cratic Party

The Dallas Morning News - - FRONT PAGE - By MARC RAMIREZ Staff Writer mramirez@dal­las­news.com

Call­ing for an end to cor­po­rate wel­fare and greater op­por­tu­ni­ties for the mid­dle class, former pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Bernie San­ders stormed North Texas.

Call­ing for an end to cor­po­rate wel­fare and greater op­por­tu­ni­ties for the mid­dle class, former pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Bernie San­ders stormed North Texas on Thurs­day to rally lo­cal vot­ers against the agenda of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

“We have to have an econ­omy that works for all of us, not just the top 1 per­cent,” he said to a crowd of about 2,000 sup­port­ers at Grand Prairie’s Ver­i­zon Theatre.

The Ver­mont se­na­tor was in town as part of the na­tional Come To­gether and Fight Back tour, in which he and Rep. Keith El­li­son of Min­nesota, deputy chair­man of the Na­tional Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee, are vis­it­ing red and pur­ple states around the coun­try in a bid to mo­bi­lize vot­ers and re­vi­tal­ize the party.

In Texas, San­ders was joined by Na­tional Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee vice chair­man Michael Blake.

Backed by a huge Texas flag, San­ders said he would once again in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion within the next sev­eral weeks that would raise the min­i­mum wage to $15 an hour. He also pushed for com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion re­form, making pub­lic col­leges and univer­si­ties tu­ition-free and a tax-sys­tem over­haul that would re­quire the wealthy to pay a pro­por­tion­ate share.

Other speak­ers at the event in­cluded state Demo­cratic Party chair­man Gil­berto Hi­no­josa, as well as Carol Dono­van and Deb­o­rah Peo­ples, the Demo­cratic Party chair­women of Dal­las and Tar­rant coun­ties, re­spec­tively.

Texas’ Repub­li­can Party is­sued a state­ment from chair­man Tom Mech­ler.

“Th­ese di­vided Democrats have no clear mes­sage or vi­sion, which is why over 50% of Amer­i­cans con­tinue to have an un­fa­vor­able view of this Party,” it read. “So­cial­ism has no home in Texas, and the Texas Democrats em­brace of two avowed so­cial­ists will on-

ly push them fur­ther to­wards ir­rel­e­vancy in our con­ser­va­tive state.”

Signs at Thurs­day’s mid­day event read “Tex­ans for Bernie” and “Fi­nally, A Rea­son to Vote,” and chants in­cluded “Bernie” and “This is what democ­racy looks like.”

Fort Worth re­tiree Jack Smith said he wasn’t sur­prised by any­thing San­ders said, hav­ing been a fan for years. The se­na­tor stands out in a po­lit­i­cal field in which vot­ers don’t re­ally trust ei­ther party, he said, adding that he came mostly to show his sup­port.

“Just to let him know we’re still there for him,” he said. “He’s the most pop­u­lar politi­cian in Amer­ica today.”

Photos by Smi­ley N. Pool/Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher

San­ders, a former pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, was in Grand Prairie as part of the na­tional Come To­gether and Fight Back tour in red and pur­ple states.

Tar­rant County Demo­cratic Party chair­woman Deb­o­rah Peo­ples holds up box­ing gloves as she takes the stage.

Sup­port­ers wait ex­cit­edly for Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders to take the stage at Ver­i­zon Theatre.

Smi­ley N. Pool/Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher

Sup­port­ers cheered on Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders at a rally in Grand Prairie on Thurs­day. About 2,000 showed up at Ver­i­zon Theatre.

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