On the Road

Friday Night Lights

A new, 1,200-seat theater at Valley High School in West Des Moines was filled Friday night by Iowans who came out to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The Democratic Party presidential candidate called for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, an idea he turned into legislation filed on Wednesday in the Senate. He spoke about making higher education at public colleges and universities tuition free. He said Social Security should be expanded and Medicare should be strengthened. He called for trade policies that keep good-paying jobs in the United States instead of shuttering American factories and shipping jobs to low-wage nations overseas.

Bernie Sanders in West Des Moines“The message we are sending to the billionaire class is you cannot continue to get huge tax breaks while children in America go hungry. We cannot continue to send our jobs to China and other low-wage countries when millions of Americans need work.”

Earlier on Friday, Sanders focused on children’s issues when he took part in a round-table discussion with child advocates at a union hall in Des Moines. At the meeting hosted by the nonprofit Every Child Matters Education Fund, Sanders called the current state of American child care a “disaster” and pledged to open up access to high-quality, affordable child care and preschool. Working families are searching for high-quality, affordable child care and early childhood education “and we basically turn our backs,” Sanders said, according to The Des Moines Register.

While Sanders was discussing issues impacting working families in Iowa, there was another sign on Friday of momentum building for him and his proposals. A new Gallup Poll said Sanders favorable rating among Americans doubled – rising to 24 percent from 12 percent – as he has become better known since Gallup’s first poll in March.