Bernie Sanders is the longest-serving Independent politician in U.S. history. He served three terms as the mayor of Burlington, Vt., and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, where he served for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He has since been re-elected to the Senate twice, in 2012 and 2018. In 2015, Sanders campaigned for the 2016 Democratic nomination for the President but lost to Hillary Clinton.
Previous Work Around Poverty and Opportunity
- One of the most high-profile self-described socialist politicians in America.
- Has continuously described the U.S. economy as “rigged” by banks and the ultrawealthy.
- Has been one of the leading advocates for “Medicare for All,” helping to push the issue onto the national agenda.
On the Issues
Affordable Housing: In 2001, introduced legislation to create the National Housing Trust Fund, which aims to help build housing for low-income Americans.
Health Care/Insurance: Is a strong proponent of Medicare for All.
Education: Introduced the College For All Act, which would eliminate undergraduate tuition at four-year universities for students from households making $125,000 or less per year, make community college tuition-free for all students, reform and refinance student loans and simplify the student aid application process.
Criminal Justice: Supports alternative sentencing in cases of non-violent drug crimes and objects to current mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offences. Voted yes on an appropriations bill that supported alternative sentencing. Advocates for treatment for non-violent offenders (instead of incarceration), for federal legalization of medical marijuana and for ending federal prohibition on legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
Minimum Wage: Supports a $15 an hour minimum wage.
Safety Net: Advocates for public assistance programs, such as social security, pension benefits, childcare services, affordable housing, nutritional programs and programs to support homelessness.
Children/Families: Has been outspoken around child poverty in America.
“What It Would Take to Make Bernie Sanders’ Single Payer Health Care Plan Work.” (Fortune: 9/13/2017)
“Why Bernie Sanders Is Talking About Poverty” (TIME: 4/13/2016)