The Following is the Full Endorsement of Bernie Sanders for President made by Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz:
I am Wilda Diaz and I am thrilled to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President.
Throughout his career, Bernie has been an advocate for the people. He has the guts to take on the special interests across race, class, and nationality, and for every American who has been excluded from the economic agenda of the political elites.
Bernie Sanders is the strongest leader in our fight for universal healthcare, for quality jobs and workers’ rights, for tackling student debt and ensuring that every person is able to attend college regardless of their income.
I support Bernie Sanders for President because he has been consistent on his policy positions. His ideas are not “radical” and “extreme” anymore. All Democratic Presidential candidates are running on a platform that resembles what Bernie has been fighting for all his life.
Bernie is the presidential candidate who communities like my own right here in Perth Amboy can rely on to advocate for all of us.
Medicare For All
Bernie Sanders believes health care isn’t a privilege–it’s a human right. That’s why he has been running on Medicare for All, a single-payer program that will guarantee comprehensive health care coverage to everyone in America.
Under our current broken system, the average total cost of employer-sponsored health insurance for a family of four is $28,000. We spend twice as much per capita than peer countries on health care while leaving 34 million people uninsured, and millions more unable to afford the care that they need.
We pay more for prescription drugs than any other developed country. And despite spending all that money, our health outcomes are worse on many counts than those in other countries.
People here in Perth Amboy know Medicare For All is an important issue as our Seniors and our families are at risk of bankruptcy just because they get sick.
Canceling Student Debt
Our young people are in need of relief from student debt. As a mother of two, I know first-hand the anxiety of helping your kids with the cost of higher education. I am grateful that my husband and I were able to help my kids with the cost of higher education, but many in our community are not able to do so.
Today young people mortgage their future with expensive student loans for the promise of a job when they graduate. But they are stuck with high levels of debt and jobs prospects that do not pay enough to get their life as adults started.
The children of working people right here in Perth Amboy deserve a President who has a vision to make college education affordable and debt-free. And that person is Bernie Sanders.
Bernie believes climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. Yet the giant, multi-national fossil fuel corporations have spent hundreds of millions of dollars furthering their greed and protecting their profits at the expense of our climate and our future.
The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it clear that if we fail to substantially cut the amount of carbon in our atmosphere in under 11 years, the human, environmental, and economic costs will be severe and irreversible.
Climate change is not a problem we will have to worry about 50 years from now. Here in Perth Amboy we already suffered devastation after Hurricane Sandy when our waterfront was destroyed. We have spent millions of dollars rebuilding and millions more preparing for the next disaster. But we should not just worry about the next disaster, we need to worry about preventing the next disaster with policies that reduce the potential for another Hurricane.
Our families in Puerto Rico have also experienced the worst effect of Climate Change. Many of them are still reeling from the damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Our families still need help to rebuild Puerto Rico. It is unconscionable that in the wealthiest nation in the world we have allowed our fellow citizens to suffer for so long under the current administration.
In 2017, Bernie introduced legislation to completely rebuild Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after the destruction of Hurricane Maria. His bill would provide $146 billion in federal funds to:
§ Build a resilient electrical grid powered by renewable energy.
§ Bring parity to the treatment of Puerto Ricans in federal programs such as SNAP, Medicare, and Medicaid.
§ Provide grants for economic development, local agriculture, transportation, housing, education, environmental remediation, and veterans services.
Bernie Sanders has committed that the full resources of the United States will be brought to bear on this crisis, for as long as is necessary.
Bernie has never waver in his vision for an America that offers opportunity for all. He has been consistent on his policy positions and his ideas are not “radical” and “extreme” anymore as every Democratic Presidential Candidate has adopted them and is running on them.
But with Bernie in the race, we have the opportunity to make sure these ideas remain a focal point of the debate and we can trust in his unwavering dedication to making economic, racial, social and environmental justice a reality, not just a promise.
That’s the kind of leadership we need in the White House today to repair the damage made to our communities by the current Administration.
This is our moment to complete the political revolution Bernie began and implement the vision that so many have fought for; a vision to save our planet, our children’s future and to build an American where everyone has equal opportunity.
Bernie’s ideas are not radical anymore. But we need Bernie to implement them. He is someone who is ready to tackle the status-quo from the start.
As someone who has battle the status-quo right here in New Jersey, I know how hard it is to take on special interests in your own party.
With Bernie in the race, we have the opportunity to tackle special interests and to make sure his ideas remain a focal point of the debate.
This is a movement, not a moment. This is not about Bernie, this is about us. Our future.
And today I am asking you to join us in making our vision for America a reality. Thank you.