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On Aug. 9, Bernie Sanders was greeted by thousands in Portland, Oregon, to watch him speak. It was a packed arena of 28,000 supporters who wanted to hear the truth about injustice and income inequality. The event was kicked off by a former Black Lives Matter activist, who is now a campaign press secretary for Sanders.

Thousands of voters showing up is not a surprise but a trend that continues to grow. As people become more and more frustrated with the economic disparity in this country, they turn to someone who listens to their problems. Bernie Sanders shares a message of capitalism that works for the common people. He is the only candidate right now who is a true champion of the middle class.

Unlike other candidates who have skeletons in their closets, Bernie Sanders has always remained on the right side of history.

Sanders has been a strong activist of the civil rights movement since the 1960s. As a student at the University of Chicago, Sanders was active in both the Congress on Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1962, he was arrested for protesting segregation in public schools in Chicago. The police charged him as an outside agitator as he went around putting up fliers around the city detailing police brutality.

In my first column with the Central Florida Future, I wrote about income inequality and how it hurts middle-class Americans. Lack of investment on health care, infrastructure, education and job programs have hurt the American people. Americans today are more likely to work 40-hour minimum-wage jobs while still being dependent on welfare programs. This is why the message brought by Sanders is important for the American people. He believes health care and college education should be a right for all Americans.

He believes in an economic plan that is geared to helping the middle class. Mr. Sanders believes in raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020. In the year 2015, no one who works 40 hours per week should be living in poverty.

Bernie Sanders is for legalization of marijuana because too many lives have been destroyed for smoking a plant.

Failed policies of the past have hurt working-class Americans. The frustrations we have witnessed nationwide are not only a result of racial tension, but also the effects of racial income inequality.

While there has been a massive redistribution of wealth to benefit the top 1 percent in America, minorities in America are the ones who are stuck with stagnant poverty wages. The way the top 1 percent robbed the working class is unfair and they should be held accountable.

The top 1 percent may have their money, but we have our voices and Sanders resonates our voices.

In 2016, it is dire for the American working class to “Stand With Bernie.” President Sanders is who this nation desperately needs so that we have an economy that works for the common people.

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Rezwan Haq is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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