Bernie Sanders political life
Bernie Sanders first taste of political victory was a close one by the margins. In 1981, he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, by only 12 votes. Sanders was able to achieve this win with the support of the Progressive Coalition, a grassroots organization. He was reelected three more times, proving that the self-described "democratic socialist" had staying power.
As mayor Bernie Sanders developed some of the most innovative affordable housing concepts in the country during the time. Through the Burlington Community Land Trust, working class people were able to purchase their own homes at a lower cost than available on the commercial market. The housing remains affordable in perpetuity because owners must agree not to sell the property as market rates, accepting only a reasonable and limited return on their investment. Which his administration fought for a universal child care program, to supporting the LGBT community. As mayor Bernie supported and started making in depth change to making the city of Burlington that much more dedicated to the people something he's always been passionate about.
Two years later, in 1990, Bernie Sanders became the first congressman in forty years to be elected to the United States Congress from outside the two party system. As Sanders explained to The Progressive, he considered working with the Republicans to be "unthinkable," but he did caucus with the Democrats despite "a lot of opposition among conservative Democrats to my being in that caucus." Outspoken on the issues, Sanders criticized both parties whenever he felt they were in the wrong. He was a vocal opponent on the Iraq War, concerned about the social and financial impact that the conflict could cause. In an address to the House, he said "As a caring Nation, we should do everything we can to prevent the horrible suffering that a war will cause."
Outspoken on a lot of issues, Sanders always stood up for groups that were marginalized within the United Sates. A group that Bernie Sanders always supported is the LGBT community.
Bernie Sanders, as a member of congress, stands up for homosexuals in this 1995 C-SPAN clip. In the video, Duke Cunningham derisively refers to "homos in the military" and Bernie Sanders stands up to him believing to defend the LGBT community in the military. The exchanged occurred, bizarrely, while discussing the Clean Water Act at a time when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was the law of the land.
"In my sixteen years in Congress I am proud to have complied one of the strongest voting records there on behalf of workers rights, seniors, women, children, the LGBT community, and the environment" (Sanders, 2016).