More than a thousand people gathered in Rackham Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 19 to hear some of Michigan's Democratic candidates, including gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, speak. Along with the majority of the state-wide blue ticket, United States Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke to inspire people to vote.
The night ended with a greatly anticipated speech by Sanders. He began by addressing the drastic importance of voting, and of fighting voter suppression. He encouraged people to speak with others who are unsure about voting, and drive to the ground the seriousness of the influence voters have.
He expressed disdain towards the Trump administration's actions toward climate change and health care. "What we need in Washington, and what we need in Michigan, is leadership that has the guts to tell the big money interests and campaign contributors that democracy is not for sale," Sanders said. "We need to tell them that we're going to have a government where people who are elected are going to represent the interests of working families and the middle class and not simply the billionaire class."
"I believe that this coming midterm election is the most important midterm election in the modern history of our country."
Sanders said that his ideas about politics and were once seen as extremist or radical, but are now supported by the majority of America. He added that most Americans believe the minimum wage should become higher, the racist criminal justice system must be changed, everyone should have clean water running from their faucets and that women should have the right to choose what happens to their bodies. He expressed the importance of governors across the country understanding that women's rights issues should be in the hands of women themselves.